Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent out a special video message to the LGBT community on Friday. It was first screened in the political panel organized by the Aguda, in which for the first time in history Netanyahu actually used the words “gay” and “lesbian”.
“The spiritual leader of our party, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, said: ‘every single person is a king,” said Netanyahu in his message. “Every single person is unique by himself. Every person has his or her own rights.”
“Therefore I’d like to say to you, members of the community- lesbians, gays, all the members of the LGBT community: we are proud of this panel that takes place today, and we’re also proud of the choice we have made. Because in the Likud we’ve elected an out gay person, Amir Ohana, an outstanding man, energetic, active, leading an active forum in the Likud. And I’d like Amir Ohana to represent you. And for that he needs to be elected to the Knesset. We need your vote in order to continue the liberal and respectful policy of Ze’ev Jabotinsky”.
Netanyahu speech was accepted with mixed feelings. While people in the audience cheered after the video was screened, others were disappointed that his speech was later published only on the Facebook page of the LGBT Forum of the Likud, instead of on the main Facebook page of the party, as if he wasn’t supporting the community publicly, but in a sectioned way, secretly, only to get more votes from the community.
Amir Ohana, the gay candidate of the Likud, chose not to respond to the criticism on Netanyahu’s speech, but to attack those who object to the warm words of the Prime Minister. “They’d rather show off their homophobic, racist, chauvinistic, xenophobe, inarticulate and illiterate right wing,” Ohana said. “It makes them feel good about themselves, like they are on the “right side.” A right wing that talks about LGBT rights? and with no mistakes?! It reminds them of dark times. This is how the LGBT community’s teenage years looked like. It will pass. Time will help.”