Yachad Party leader Eli Yishai on Wednesday claimed he had no connection to Facebook posts warning against a world where families have two parents of the same gender, but did tell reporters that the party’s ambition was for “every Jew to have both a father and a mother.”
Yishai said the posts, seen by many as homophobic, were made by Yachad Party activists. He refused to condemn the message and said that he has yet to decide whether to use the message in official campaign material. “In the Jewish tradition there is a father and a mother and children makeup the next generation. I will not utter a word against the Torah of Israel,” he said.
“When considering values and tradition, I look at what is the most appropriate thing. I want the public to see our agenda on how to improve the lot of young couples, the health and welfare service,” Yishai added. He also said that he intends to accelerate the expulsion of African migrants from the country.
Director of the The Aguda—Israel's LGBT Task Force Hen Arieli said: “As Interior Minister, Yishai collaborated on a number of LGBT related matters. We know that he promised family members from the gay community not to speak against them. Since then many years have passed, Yishai was ousted from the Knesset and Shas, incurred debts, lost his public stature and become a marginal episode in public life.”
Arieli charged Yishai with incitement against the gay community out of desperation to make headlines ahead of a possible union among Right wing parties vying for Knesset seats.
“How does he intend to eradicate the phenomenon?” Arieli asked. “Does he intend to remove thousands of children from same-gender homes and send them to orphanages? Perhaps expel them? Perhaps a pink badge? Enough headline making.”
Yishai said that the parties on the fringes of the right-wing, Moledet and Bayit Yehudi, will unite, adding that in such a union the party will garner 10 seats. Yishai rejected allegations that the main motivation behind the union is his political survival, insisting the two parties share the same ideology: Torah and Jewish traditions and ethics.
Yishai said that the Knesset always had a religious lobby. He views it crucial that votes for the right not go to waste as often happens when parties don’t pass the Knesset entry threshold. “If Netanyahu is not able to form a broad right wing coalition, we will find ourselves with a leftist government,” he said, expressing unequivocal support for the prime minister.
LGBT activists did succeed in having the Prima hotel chain reject a campaign waged against the gay community by the Hazon (Vision) organization and the hotel took down such signs—stating that a “normal” family includes a mother and a father —that were hung on their Jerusalem location. The hotel’s Director Avi Dor apologized for the signs which he said were placed by a third-party advertising company.