Against the backdrop of the upcoming “Gay Pride” parade in Jerusalem, Israeli government officials have been verbally sparring with several prominent rabbis who insist homosexuals should rather be ashamed. Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, head of the Bnei David yeshiva and a central figure in the pre-army preparatory education system for young religious Israelis, stated last week that homosexuals are “perverted.” Levinstein went on to criticize the military brass for allowing the homosexual agenda to infiltrate the Israeli army. Rabbi Ratzon Arusi of Kiryat Ono (a recognized expert on Jewish Law) agreed that “homosexuality is not a natural thing,” and that the “gay pride” movement is harmful to everyone, especially homosexuals, most of whom are certainly not “proud or happy” about what he described as their condition.

Rabbi Dov Lior, a heavyweight in the national-religious community, called bringing “homosexual pride” to the streets of Jerusalem “an abomination,” and urged religious Israelis to “protest the desecration of the Holy City.” Levinstein and those who stood with him earned quick condemnation from political figures, including Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who is himself a religious Jew. “Jewish Law is meant to determine what is permitted and what is forbidden, it was not meant to serve as a tool to divide us or to single out people, identities or sectors,” Bennett told the Knesset plenum. “These comments are unacceptable in my opinion. This is not the way of the religious-Zionist movement.”

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan added that Israelis must “respect every person: his choices, his identity, his belief. I believe this is also the role of rabbis.” A number of high-profile rabbis decided to protest Levinstein’s remarks by attending the Jerusalem “Homosexual Pride” parade. Among them will be Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, chief rabbi of Efrat, who suggested that in regards to the Bible homosexuals are exempt from criminal responsibility because they were born with these tendencies. Who won’t be marching in the parade is Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who appeared to criticize its offensive nature, while defending the right of homosexuals to conduct the event.

“I won’t be marching because I don’t want to be part of something that offends the religious population,” Barkat told reporters. “Of course it’s their right to march … but they need to know that it offends others. Tolerance isn’t just letting people march, it’s also looking for ways to achieve your goals without attacking other people’s feelings or opinions.” Barkat also ordered that the “Homosexual Pride” rainbow flags that have been installed along streets throughout the city ahead of the parade be removed in the area of the Great Synagogue.

Source: Israel Today

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Due to strong, determined Israeli policy and the alertness of security forces, there has been a significant reduction in the frequency of Palestinian terror attacks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet recently. “Today the Cabinet will hear an ISA [Israel Security Agency/Shin Bet] briefing that shows a significant decline in the scope of terrorist attacks,” he stated. “I say this with great caution because this trend could reverse itself, but we know that it has been achieved up to now as a result of the government’s strong, responsible and methodical policy.” Netanyahu commended the IDF, (Israel Defence Force), ISA and Israel Police for their efforts, which have reduced the terrorists’ success rate, resulting in a decline in attacks.

“The main element leading the spread of terrorism, both here and elsewhere, is success,” he said. “To the extent that we reduce the success rate, we reduce the number of those joining, and this is the main thing that we are doing, along with—of course—very strong actions against the incitement of the Palestinian public.” The Israeli leader announced a multi-year plan for strengthening security in Jerusalem and the implementation of equality in law enforcement. “We want a single nation of law without enclaves in which the law is not upheld. We also want to reduce other gaps in society at large and in Israeli-Arab society,” he said.

Source: United with Israel

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Ahead of this year’s celebration of the Israeli holiday of Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel’s historic ties to the Jerusalem-based Temple Mount and Western Wall sites do not need justifications or apologies. “It’s so absurd, so ridiculous; I can’t get over it,” Netanyahu said in a special Knesset meeting. “Do people claim the Egyptians aren’t connected to the pyramids in Giza? It’s ridiculous.” Netanyahu was criticizing the recent United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) resolution that used language which ignores the historic Jewish connections to the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, and eastern Jerusalem.

The prime minister reiterated that the Jewish ties to Jerusalem and its holy sites date back to King David’s time and through the First and Second Temple eras. Additionally, Netanyahu discussed Arab violence and incitement relating to the Temple Mount. “Violence will not deter us or put our control over Jerusalem in doubt,” he said, adding, “Jerusalem deserves quiet. We cannot let anyone spark extremism.” Netanyahu has repeatedly said that Israel will maintain the Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian “status quo” agreement for the Temple Mount, which includes a ban on Jewish prayer at the holy site.

Source: JNS.org

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