Just like I cannot stop being a Jew no matter how hard I sometimes try, homosexuals did not choose their lifestyle. In the interests of full disclosure, my brother is gay. I know that he attempted to be straight and only found peace and love in homosexuality.
We all seem to have forgotten that the Nazis persecuted them as well as Jews. For that reason alone, we should support them. Once a country starts persecuting a minority, history has proven that time and time again that Jews are next in line for persecution. Yes, the Jews can be persecuted even in Israel.
Israel touts itself as “the only democracy in the Middle East”. Well, folks, this is what a democracy is. It is a messy just like the people it represents. Democracy needs to hear from all segments of society and that includes the gays, lesbians, and transgender. A democracy is not only about the wishes of the majority.
John F. Kennedy wrote a best selling book, “Profiles in Courage,” that launched his political career. This book described the acts of political bravery of eight US Senators.
In that spirit, I nominate Israel’s attorney general, Menachem Mazuz as Israel’s “Profile in Courage,” for this one decision to uphold freedom of speech and the right to organize. There cannot be a democracy without them. He has done this at great political and personal peril. There is little chance that he will be able to ascend to the Supreme Court of Israel like all his predecessors. The Orthodox will object.
What needs to happen now? First, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has to get a backbone. As mayor of Jerusalem, there were gay parades. This parade is no more provocative than any of the others. Being provocative is the whole point. Protests are designed to make people think and provoke action.
Would the Israeli public tolerate the same behavior from the Arabs as we have from the Orthodox of Bar Ilan Street? The answer is a resounding no. If we do not stand up for the rights of minorities regardless of our religious views, it will be the beginning of the slow death of the State of Israel. We will choke on our intolerance and persecution.