Religious Zionist Party: We never had negative approach to LGBTQ+

Struck stressed that the party is "obviously against the flood of demands for legitimation and the pride parades."

Orit Struck

The Religious Zionist Party “never had any negative sentiments” toward LGBTQ+ people, Orit Struck, No. 5 on the party’s list, told the Knesset Channel on Tuesday.

“Concerning private people, who you call LGBTQ+ [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] people, I never, ever had any negative sentiments toward private people for whom this is their situation,” she said. “They’re not to blame for their situation. There is absolutely no reason to reject them, to kick them, to hurt them or to discriminate against them or anything like this. For sure, for sure this is not our way; it never was our way.”

Her party was “obviously against the flood of demands for legitimation and the pride parades,” Struck said, but that had no bearing on how they relate to individuals.

“We relate to the individual as an individual,” she said. “We love every Jew, every person as they are. Therefore, I don’t see anything outrageous here... We talk a lot about this subject.”

In the interview, the Knesset Channel cited statements made by Michal Waldiger, No. 2 on the Religious Zionist list, to Makor Rishon in February, in which she said: “Sometimes there is a conflict between liberal values and the Torah, but the Torah determines. There is a Creator who sees the whole picture, and if there is a Torah that does not allow certain things, then I am small and have to find a way.”

“At the personal level, I have quite a few friends with children who are religious and LGBTQ+,” Waldiger told Makor Rishon. “At the state level – what the public space will look like – it is more difficult. It is a difficult struggle that needs to be thought about.”

Waldiger also expressed support for women who decide to join the IDF.

In another Knesset Channel interview on Tuesday, Public Security Minister Amir Ohana (Likud), who is gay, was asked if he would object to the Likud Party sitting with the Religious Zionist Party in a coalition even if the Noam Party is including in the Religious Zionist Party’s list.

There was no way for anyone in any bloc to form a coalition without at least one party that opposes LGBT rights, Ohana said, adding that even the left-wing Meretz Party was willing to sit with haredi (ultra-Orthodox) parties if necessary.

Noam was established by hard-line members of the religious-Zionist community, including close associates of Rabbi Zvi Yisrael Tau, dean of Yeshivat Har Hamor.

The party has expressed strong anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-Reform movement positions, referring to them and other issues as “not normal.”

In 2019, before the second round of Knesset elections, the party set up booths around the country manned by activists handing out pamphlets and explaining Noam’s plan to make Israel “a normal nation” with anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-Reform movement slogans.

Noam Party head Avi Maoz is No. 6 on the Religious Zionist list. No poll has the list winning more than five seats since the deadline passed for submitting party lists on February 4.

Several polls from March 4 predicted it would win four seats, including a Panels Politics poll published on March 8 by 103FM radio, part of The Jerusalem Post Group.

Natan Rothstein contributed to this report.