Labor MK Itzik Shmuly.
(photo credit: KNESSET)
Zionist Union MK Itzik Shmuly revealed on Friday that he is gay, writing that the stabbing at the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade on Thursday evening was an attack on his community.
“We cannot be silent anymore because the silence fuels more hatred that chars the promise of total equality,” Shmuly wrote in Yediot Aharonot.
“We were quiet. I was quiet. No more.”
Shmuly said he will not be silent as long as “a knife is at the neck of the entire LGBT community, my community,” because such hatred will threaten anyone who is different from those who wield the knives.
The marchers, he wrot e, simply wanted to exercise their basic right to live as they want in a democratic country.
“In the name of what God did the despicable criminal charge at the marchers?” he asked. “In the name of what religion did he draw a knife and start stabbing again and again? “This is a time to unit forces, without difference of opinion, preferences or faith and fight the great darkness, darkness that sometimes looks like it does not leave room for others,” he continued. “This is a war between the people of darkness and those of light, between those willing to accept people who are different, and the attackers, between those with mercy and those who seek to harm. Between those who want a civilized state and those who want to fuel the flame of hatred.”
Shmuly was first elected to the Knesset in 2013, after previously serving as the chairman of the National Union of Israeli Students and a leader of the 2011 social protests.
Since then, he was subject to several outing attempts, the most high-profile of which was last December, when filmmaker Gal Uchovsky wrote a column calling on Labor chairman Isaac Herzog to tell his closeted MK to either come out or not run for reelection.
There have been two other openly gay MKs in the Knesset, both from Meretz: Uzi Even and Nitzan Horowitz. Marcia Friedman, also a former Meretz MK, revealed her sexual orientation after leaving the Knesset.