Keep Israel a safe home for us

Last month, representatives of Jewish LGBTQ organizations, along with representatives of Israeli organizations such as Ma’avarim, Havruta, Bat Kol and IGY, participated in the first global conference of its kind in London of LGBT Jewish organizations, with the encouragement and support of the Jewish Agency. Here is their joint statement:


We are leaders and activists of the Jewish LGBTQ+ communities all over the world. We urgently call to halt the legislation processes that are tearing up Israeli society and support the efforts and protests being held in that vein.
As Jewish people in the diaspora, Israel has always been a second home and a refuge for many. As LGBTQ+ people, Israel’s values as a pluralistic free and open democracy founded on the principles of the Declaration of Independence and Jewish values have made Israel a safe haven — until today.
We are deeply concerned with the current government proposals in Israel. The hasty process, the one-sided nature and the determined opposition from experts against the legislative reform, combined with the demands for further repressive measures reflected in the coalition’s agreements together with the homophobic declarations made by some ministers, and the ignorance towards the tens of thousands of Israelis and many in the diaspora demonstrating in opposition to the current developments, make us fear that Israel will risk no longer being a home for LGBTQ+ people. The situation must be resolved by peaceful and agreeable means. This is the only Jewish way: “Love peace and hate dissension … A house in which dissension will ultimately be destroyed” (Derech Eretz Zutta tractate, chapter 9.) This dissention is threatening to destroy this house.
Outside of Israel, the Jewish Diaspora lives as a minority that can only flourish under a strong democracy with checks, balances and powerful protections to civil and human rights.
In the current climate of rising anti-Semitism and hatred towards LGBTQ+ people around the world, we are reminded of the necessity of a Jewish homeland, the Land of the Jews as envisioned by Herzl. We fear a world that holds no place for us.
We ask the leaders of Jewish communities in the diaspora to hear our plea and speak up against the danger to our place in Israel’s future, and we ask the Israeli government to stop and change course so that Israel will continue to stay safe for LGBTQ+ people.
Keshet Deutschland, A Wider Bridge, Keshet Sefarad, Rainbow Jews, Magen David Keshet Italia, the World Congress of GLBT Jews, Guimel and Gaavah are major LGBTQ Jewish from the U.K., Brazil, the U.S., Mexico, Spain, Germany and Italy that signed a joint statement calling on the Israeli government not to lend a hand to legal changes that would harm Israel’s status as a safe home for them.