Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem and former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Amar said that recent earthquakes in Israel are a direct result of the rise in rights and freedoms for LBGTQ+ people during his weekly lesson.
Using a passage from the Talmud to demonstrate his claim, Rabbi Amar made the case that the earthquakes that have struck Israel in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria can be attributed to the rise in gay marriages in Israel.
"It's not me interpreting, it's the language of the Gemara" he said, quoting from the Talmudic passage: "God said you are shocking your people for something that is not yours."
Rabbi Amar’s previous homophobic statements
Rabbi Amar has previously made outlandish statements about the homosexual community. In 2016, Amar described homosexuals as “a cult of abomination” and asserted that they should get the death penalty according to Jewish law.
Amar has also said that gay people cannot be religious Jews, has called homosexuality “a wild lust that needs to be overcome,” and declared that “animals and wild beasts don’t behave like that” regarding the Jerusalem gay pride march.
Channel 13 News anchor Ori Qual – who is himself gay – used a portion of his broadcast to respond to Rabbi Shlomo Amar’s claim.
"As a gay man, Rabbi Amar, and as someone who was sent on behalf of this channel to Turkey to cover the earthquakes, it's good to know that in your opinion, I and my community members are responsible for this disaster," Koel said. "Perhaps at the same time, you can blame us (the LGBTQ+ community) for the cost of living and inflation?”
"You (should) be ashamed of your dark views," Koel declared. "In a democratic, western and progressive country, a person like you should not receive a salary from the taxpayers' money.”