Zionist Union MK Itzik Shmuli.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Member of Knesset Itzik Shmuli said that anti-LGBT ideas and opinions "must be wiped out like diseases," in response to Rabbi Yigal Levenstein's anti-gay comments.
"The violence is being supported from the top," complained the Zionist Union MK. "During the last year we have witnessed an insane escalation. We need to respond to Rabbi Levenstein."
Rabbi Yigal Levenstein, known for expressing the ideas that “women in the army become non-Jews” and that “homosexuals are perverts", recently said gay people should be eradicated like AIDS.
Shmuli, who made history by becoming the first openly gay MK to come out of the closet while in office, made these comments during a Knesset debate on the safety of the LGBT community in Israel.
The fifth annual report of the Nir Katz center to fight LGBT hatred claims that in 2017 there was a 26% increase in the number of reported incidents in comparison to 2016.
Every four minutes an offensive comment about LGTB people is placed online on the Hebrew internet, they claim.
The next issue that is going to be "explosive" in Israeli society, said MK Shmuli, is the topic of adoption by LGBT couples.
"It is only a matter of time until we can get [access to] surrogate mothers [for LGBT couples] into Israeli law," he added.
The annual report on LGBT hate crimes was named after Nir Katz, a gay youth who was murdered in the Bar Noar attack of 2009
On February 20 the Knesset will also honor LGBT rights by holding a special session dealing with the various needs of LGBT people who are elderly, giving one-minute speeches and marking the 30'th anniversary to the abolition of the sodomy law in Israel.
The choice of date is not related to any historical event related to the LGBT struggle and is designed to indicate the Knesset deals with LGBT issues seriously all year long.