Freshly minted far-right Likud MK Moshe Feiglin, who wrote a 2009 op-ed titled
“I’m a proud homophobe,” held a lively discussion with members of the Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community in Tel Aviv Thursday night, in which he
clarified some of his positions.
“I am not a homophobe,” he flatly said
when The Jerusalem Post asked him after the discussion whether he maintained
that position. “Everyone who’s ever written an article knows the editors get to
choose the headlines.”
During the two-hour discussion in Beit Noar, an
LGBT center that was attacked in 2009, the members of the community raised a
broad range of issues with Feiglin, including surrogacy, marriage, adoption,
discrimination, violence and at-risk LGBT youth.
Feiglin promised to
support legislation that would protect what he described as the “human rights”
issues the LGBT community faced, such as discrimination, and the plight of youth
thrown out of their homes over their sexuality.
With issues of “values,”
however, the gaps appeared unbridgeable.
“When we’re talking about the
human issues, the human rights, that’s where I see myself helping you,” Feiglin
said. “When you’re trying to change the value system, that pushes me into the
closet!” Families, he stated, are the foundation stone of society and the
nation, and he said he would not do anything to harm what he called the
“classic” family structure of one man, one woman and their
Despite sometimes heated exchanges and stark differences, many
participants said they were satisfied with the evening.
“It was very
meaningful just from the perspective of dialogue,” said Shai Doitch, chairman of
Agudah, the LGBT organization that organized the meeting. “It is clear he won’t
support us on things like surrogacy, but he’ll help us on other issues, and
that’s already a huge step.”