Led by some gay celebrities, Israel’s LGBT community and its allies have launched a campaign against the government’s declared position, earning widespread public support. The Israeli media have been filled with criticism of the country’s right-wing leadership alongside accounts of loving same-sex parenting.
Singer Ohad Hitman and his family.
On Sunday, the government came out in favor of effectively preventing adoption by same-sex couples. Responding to a petition to the High Court of Justice challenging the current policy, it said that given the “reality of Israeli society,” same-sex parents put an “additional burden” on their adopted children.
Singer Amir Fryszer-Guttman declared on television that gay Israelis were done making the country look good without getting government support in return. Pro-Palestinian activists over the years have accused Israel of “pinkwashing” its conflict with the Palestinians by promoting its gay-friendly laws and culture.
“We as people have for years felt they are not accepting us. We are good only for speeches at the United Nations and to be the fig leaf of this country,” Fryszer-Guttman told Israel’s Channel 2 on Monday. “I will not have an answer for my child the day he asks me why I have to pay taxes to this country. And why should I go to the army for a country that does not respect you and me?”
Ohad Hitman, 40, a top Israeli singer and composer, told JTA that gay artists like him are stepping up because they are “dreamers” who want to create a better world. He said he personally felt an obligation to “speak his truth.”
On Monday, Hitman, who is married to TV commercial producer Ran Hurash, 30, wrote a Facebook post addressed to Shaked from the perspective of their 2-year-old twins, Eva and Berry. The tongue-in-cheek message purported to agree that gays are bad parents, saying the children’s “emotional burden” includes limited TV watching privileges and early bedtime.
The post concluded with a call for an “in-depth dialogue of love” and national unity. By Wednesday it had received 24,000 “likes” and hundreds of mostly supportive comments.