Following Knesset Member Anastassia Michaeli's
on homosexuals last week, MK Uri Ariel (National Union)
said on Monday that the IDF
must stop enlisting homosexuals into the army.
In an interview to the Knesset Channel, Ariel said: "If I were the decision maker, I wouldn’t enlist homosexuals into the IDF, because some things interfere in the military's ability to fight."
"We must conduct ourselves in accordance with Jewish law. The Torah forbids homosexuality and demands that those who behave in such a manner be punished," he added.
Opposition chairwoman MK Shelly Yachimovich
responded to Ariel's harsh remarks, calling his attack a "primitive and dangerous one."
"The MK's attack takes place at a time when the Israeli
public views the gay community in a tolerant and accepting way," she said.
"These vicious lawmakers might be earning political points with a small public, but their inciting comments endanger the gay community and harm Israel's image as a democratic and enlightened country," Yachimovich added.
Ariel's comments came less than a week after MK Michaeli publicly
stated that "most homosexuals are people who experienced sexual abuse at a very young age."
During a session of the Knesset's Committee on the Status of Women, Michaeli slammed Channel 10 for featuring programs that show "how nice it is to be gay," and added: "They are miserable, these homosexuals… Eventually they commit suicide at the age of 40."
The rightist lawmaker questioned Channel 10's "right to air such programs - which my children (could be watching). How fun it is to put on make-up and wear skirts. These are the same people who want to be women.
"In these shows the homosexual's mother is interviewed and says how miserable she is and that she is divorced from her husband. I want to ask what the (homosexual) went through when he was three years old and why (the parents) are divorced," she told the committee.
Michaeli's comments, which were made just several days after Israel's Gay Pride Parade,
drew harsh criticism from several lawmakers and organizations.
Meanwhile, as part of the gay pride celebrations, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit released a photo,
which was posted on the Israeli military's international Facebook page, depicting an Artillery soldier and a Givati soldier holding hands.
The photo, which managed to cause a positive cyber-stir, aims to express the army's support for gay soldiers. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that the photo was taken as part of Israel's gay and lesbian community's Pride Month events.
The photo's caption read: "It's Pride Month. Did you know that the IDF treats all of its soldiers equally?"