The recent earthquake that
was felt across Israel was the result of the "homosexual activity practiced in the country", Knesset Member Shlomo Benizri said Wednesday.
During a special Knesset session on Israel's preparedness
for the possibility of another earthquake hitting the region, the Shas member said "the Gemara refers to earthquakes as disasters, but you are searching only for the practical solutions how to prevent and repair.
"But I no of another way to prevent earthquakes; the Gemara mentions a number of causes of earthquakes, one of which is homosexuality, which the Knesset legitimizes," Benizri said.
An earthquake registering 5.3 on the Richter Scale was felt by residents across Israel at 12:36 pm Friday. The trembling lasted for 19 seconds and shook structures in many major towns and cities.
Reports of shaking were received from Nahariya in the north down to Beersheba. Magen David Adom emergency services said there were no reports of injuries, but several people suffered from shock.
Last month fellow Shas member Nissim Ze'ev stirred controversy when he referred to the local gay movement as a "plague that could destroy Jewish Israel," adding that it should be treated "just as the Health Ministry dealt with the bird flu epidemic."
Mike Hammel, chairman of the Israeli Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Association commented on Benizri's remarks saying "it is sad that a religious MK in Israel doesn't think earthquakes are God-made.
"On the other hand, I suppose we should be flattered he attributes us with such magical powers," he added.
"One must wonder why Shas MKs are so obsessed with the gay community… we can all recall the case of the American senator who fiercely spoke out against gays until it was found he himself was gay."