Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance (JOH) issued a press release condemning the words of right-wing Member of Knesset Betzalel Smotrich, who called Jerusalem Pride “an abomination.”
“Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance sees in the words of MK Smotrich the seeds of the next violent act of incitement and other hate crimes against the LGBT community and all those who struggle for equal rights,” the statement reads.
MK Smotrich wrote on his Facebook page that “When everything is prohibited – everything is permitted” and “Whoever forbids people to think and express their views, whoever tries to imply terrorism to them and arrest them because they dared to stick to their ideological positions – will push them into a corner and make them take action.”
“Smotrich’s words are preparing the ground for both the continuation of the instigators and violent discussions against the LGBT community. They hold weapons of destruction in the name of dark and anti-democratic positions,” the Open House’s statement says.
This is not the first time that MK Smotrich chose to attack an entire community, and only a few days after the heinous crime of hatred and murder of an innocent girl in the streets of Jerusalem “he continues his attempts to push the just struggle of the LGBT community into a corner and silence it,” the statement reads. “In 2006 he organized the ‘Beast March ‘ and presented us as‘a group of perverts who do things that the Israeli public are repelled by.’ Just this year, MK Smotrich declared he was ‘a proud homophobe’, and called gays and lesbians ‘abnormal.’ We ask MK Smotrich, what pride is there in homophobia? What kind of pride is there in unfounded hatred? What kind of Judaism is reflected in your words, that stab a knife into the hearts of thousands of teens, young people and adults who only want to love?”
“We will not be silent in the face of attempts by homophobic and dark Knesset members to undermine our right to march in Jerusalem. ” The statement concludes, “To challenge anyone’s sexual orientation or gender identity and to defile the State of Israel with views that ignite the match will only lead to the next murder.”