LGBT People Get Warm Embrace at Knesset

Ha’aretz writer joined participants of 40 Years of Pride Conference at their Knesset visit

LGBT People at Israel's Knesset

It’s not every day that Israeli lawmakers from across the political spectrum sit around a table visibly moved to the point of tears. But that’s exactly what happened Wednesday morning when a group of transgender Israelis shared with them their personal, and often painful, stories.

Mainly high school students, these young Israeli activists were invited to attend the inaugural session of the newly elected Knesset’s gay forum, a coalition of parliamentarians who support LGBT rights. Aside from the religious parties, all the political parties serving in the current Knesset were represented at the jam-packed session, also attended by leaders of gay rights advocacy groups.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog stopped by for a few minutes so that he could personally address the group and express his support, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent an emissary to read a message in his name. That emissary happened to be Amir Ohana, an openly gay Likud activist, who barely missed getting into the Knesset in the last election.

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