Likud MK Miri Regev.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Likud ministers Miri Regev and Ophir Akunis were on the receiving end of an angry backlash from right-wing social media users who objected to their presence at Tel Aviv’s gay pride parade on Friday.
Regev, the culture and sport minister, and Akunis, who holds a position akin to that of a minister in the Communications Ministry, posted photographs on Facebook of themselves reveling in the parade alongside gay Likud members.
While their posts did garner likes and shares, there were also a number of angry messages from people who expressed disgust with their participation.
“What a real celebration, great joy, and many smiles in the Tel Aviv gay pride parade,” Regev wrote on her Facebook page. “I walked around during the parade together with a number of gay Likud members and it was simply an enjoyable experience.”
“I met people from the gay community who support Yesh Atid and Meretz,” Regev wrote.
“What we all have in common is that there is no difference between Right and Left, religious and secular, men or women. We are all here to support the other and to advocate for equal rights for all.
So to those who are celebrating, continue to have fun.”
“Today, at the start of the gay pride parade in Tel Aviv, I thought of those whose only interest in life is to smear the State of Israel and to talk such nonsense about us and promote boycotts against us,” Akunis wrote on his Facebook page. “If they got to know the real Israel and seen the hundreds of thousands of people here from all over the world celebrating, perhaps they would understand that [in Israel] there is freedom, liberty, and individual rights. We still have much to do to advance the LGBT community.”
In response, Facebook users posted blunt, angry messages in condemnation of the ministers.
“Miri, you should be ashamed of yourself,” wrote one user. “Before the election, you were quick to visit the grave sites of rabbis, you took pictures of yourself with Shabbat candles, you spoke of the weekly Torah portion. All of a sudden, you got what you wanted, turned your back on the truth, and denied your religious background.”
“Shame on you,” the user wrote. “We will remember this, and this will come back to haunt you like a boomerang.”
“When you weren’t a minister, you never spoke this way,” wrote another user. “All of a sudden, you have friends from Meretz?”
“Miri Regev, you should be ashamed of yourself,” wrote one Facebook poster. “As a minister of culture, for you to give this disgrace your blessing is simply shocking. You are a disgrace to the Right. It’s simply a shame for you to take part in this destructive parade and to give it legitimacy.
I hope you are replaced by somebody good. The Jewish people are ashamed of you.”
Akunis was not spared similar treatment from critics.
“Ophir, you have embarrassed yourself and what remains of your respect for the Likud brand,” wrote one user. “I say this as someone who voted for you. You should know that you are beginning to act like that clown from the non-Jewish Home, [Bayit Yehudi head Naftali] Bennett.”