MK Issawi Frej (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
MK Issawi Frej
MK Issawi Frej (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
Yoaz Hendel

A double standard sword

Op-ed: Meretz may have dubbed itself a crusader for human rights, but when it comes to the Arab community, it seems that more can be forgiven.

Soccer player Eran Doron opened a Pandora's Box of politically correct blindness and corruption when he claimed that Meretz MK Issawi Frej was responsible for his being fired from coaching F.C. Kfar Kassem several years ago after it was discovered that Doron was gay. He dovetailed his claims with the court's verdict, which stated that he indeed was unjustly dismissed, and finished it off by appealing to MK and Meretz Chairperson Zehava Galon.



Accusing anyone of homophobia is serious enough, but it carries an added meaning when it is lobbied at the member of a party that has declared itself to be the champion of LGBT rights. Meretz, for its part, responded by explaining that it was an old story, and that it wasn't Issawi Frej who had referred to Doron's sexual orientation, but Frej's brother. Such excuses could have been tolerated were it not for the fact that it reappeared at the same time as Rabbi Levinstein's headline grabbing "perverts" speech, along with the letter of support Levinstein received, which was signed by some 300 rabbis.

MK Issawi Frej
MK Issawi Frej


I find Levinstein's speech and his general cockiness to be completely repugnant. In regards to the Kfar Kassem story, though, I feel that the crux of the issue lies in the chance that it might be true; that liberal values are only applicable to certain groups, while others are exempt from adhering to them due to a patronizing attitude toward them.


I have no idea what actually took place in the F. C. Kfar Kassem case, but I'm sure they wouldn't have accepted a gay coach, nor will they ever. Pride parades (in Kfar Kassem) would also be out of the question: Arab MKs do not participate in such events, regardless of whatever human rights rhetoric they may be peddling. LGBT rights are not listed among those demanded by Arab "rights" organizations such as Adalah, and there has yet to have been an Arab MK to come out of the closet.


The silence surrounding LGBT issues within the Arab community, much like the silence around women's rights, is part of the patronizing liberalism that is also being implemented in Western Europe. It's easy to view the recent terrorist attacks by Muslim extremists in France and Germany as the result of a clash between civilizations, and to pontificate over why those countries that have done so much to take in Muslim refugees are the ones most suffering, but to truly understand present-day Europe you have to look at the differences between the cultures that are at play.


The main hypothesis among Europeans these days is that the terrorism they're dealing with is coming out of a radical minority, and that most Muslims are truly interested in assimilating into their newly adopted society. Comfy absorption conditions and an abundance of financial opportunities apparently go a long way in terms of placating people. This is true of course, but it also begs the question of how the majority of Muslims are choosing to respond.


In 122 B.C.E. Roman Emperor Hadrian began building a wall to separate his empire from the Barbarian tribes on its borders. The Roman Empire has since disappeared, but Europe would be wise to take to recognize that a cultural wall perseveres within it: Muslim immigrants in Europe are not held up to the same standards due to Europe's condescension over them. They are granted ethical leniency, just as Meretz and many in the left grant Israeli Arabs leniency when it comes to liberal values. And so, while rabbis are burned at the stake for their views, Arabs are excused due to tradition. The problem with this approach is that liberalism cannot be the product of political convenience. It also happens to be the reason why Muslim extremist terrorism stems from a separatist mentality.


Europe's utter failure to force immigrants to accept its way of life and the "celeb" discounts it gives Muslim immigrants in the name of "tolerance" are the biggest threats that European values face today, and the same idea applies here. Exempting someone in the name of liberalism will turn out to be its own coffin.


פרסום ראשון: 07.28.16, 20:41
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