Chief rabbi compares Pride-goers to ‘wild animals’ in seething sermon attacking ‘abomination parades’
A chief rabbi has compared LGBT+ Pride-goers to “wild animals” in a seething sermon that attacked Jerusalem Pride.
Former Sephardi chief rabbi of Israel Shlomo Amar launched the latest in his many attacks against the queer community last Thursday (3 June).
According to The Times of Israel, Amar, 72, dubbed the Jerusalem Pride parade – which was attended by some 7,500 people – as an “abomination”.
“They did the abomination parade, which they are supposedly proud of,” he said during the sermon.
“Wild animals don’t behave this way.
“We have reached this disgrace, this debasement, this corruption, that there are people who are called religious, who wear a kippa,” he added of those attending the march.
“If only they would take it off, if only they would eat pork rather than do this action.”
Alon Shachar, the executive director of the LGBT+ non-profit Jerusalem Open House, reacted to the rabbi’s regular hate-fuelled wrap with frustration.
“Jerusalem chief rabbi Amar chose to incite against and demean the LGBT+ community, instead of sending a message of tolerance and inclusion,” Shachar said in a statement to the Times.
“The abomination here is not the parade, but the tenure and oppressive positions that Amar expresses.”
He added that there is “no place in Israeli public life for a chief rabbi who holds these views, even less so one whose job is funded by taxpayers”.
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“If only spiritual leaders like rabbi Amar could engage in bringing people together with love instead of inciting them with hatred,” he said.
Amar has a lengthy track record of barbed comments and sermons against LGBT+ people.
In one interview, with a local newspaper, the rabbi called for the “cult of abomination” of being gay to be punishable by execution under Jewish law.
“This is in the first line of serious sins,” he said.
During one of his weekly sermons, he said people who want gender-neutral public facilities in holy sites are worse than Holocaust deniers, calling them “wicked” people.
In 2015, Amar said he believes homosexuality will “wane and disappear because most of the public is disgusted by it and detest it“.