An Israeli MP has refused to respond to criticism – after referring to a Pride event as an “abomination parade”.
Earlier this month a 16-year-old girl died and five other people were wounded, after an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man went on a stabbing rampage during Jerusalem’s Pride parade.
However, rather than respond to the issue sensitively, right-wing MK Bezalel Smotrich of the Jewish Home party refused to stop referring to it as an “abomination parade”.
He also claimed that gay people control the media, saying: “Among those who hold the microphone and determine for all of us what we should think and what we should say, a very large number are [gay].”
However, according to Arutz Sheva, the politician has ardently refused to apologise for any of his comments.
After a complaint was filed with the Ethics Committee, he said: “I don’t think I need to respond to every piece of populist nonsense put out by an organisation looking for publicity.
“My only accountability is to the public and I can assure and promise it I will not be deterred in the future from expressing my views on any topic, including those that relate to the Jewish character of the state and the promotion of family values.”
It is not the first time the politician has been caught up in a homophobic controversy – he organised the anti-gay ‘Beast Parade’ in 2006 to protest a Pride march.
Thankfully, his disturbing approach to the stabbings hasn’t been mirrored elsewhere in Parliament.
Following the harrowing attack, MK Itzik Shmuli of the centre-left Zionist Union party came out as gay himself, writing: “The knife was raised against my community. We stayed silent; I stayed silent. No more.”
Meanwhile, MK Tzipi Livni has proposed a number of new LGBT rights laws, named in memory of murdered teen Shira Banki.