A Wider Bridge stands with our Israeli partner the Aguda National LGBTQ Task Force in expressing deep concern regarding the recent Israeli Police drug raid on a Tel Aviv gay sauna which occurred during the start of Pride week. Police intimidation tactics included refusing to let patrons dress, videotaping, and disseminating images on social media. While we acknowledge that drug abuse occurs in our community, like in many others, this humiliating raid does not effectively solve the problem. Instead, it only furthers distance and distrust between community members and the police, and is a clear violation of the right to privacy.
This is eerily reminiscent of days, pre-Stonewall, when law enforcement regularly conducted similar discriminatory raids on LGBTQ clubs with a primary purpose of belittling and intimidating the LGBTQ community into submission and relegating an entire community to second class citizenship. As we commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall and over five decades of fighting against these types of homophobic raids, enough is enough. We support the Aguda in requesting that the Israeli police meet with the LGBTQ community to restore trust and find more constructive ways to deal with issues within our communities.