Sunday, August 09, 2009

A bit of pride

Though I prefer not to start pointing accusing fingers until the perpetrator of last week's attack in the gay community center in Tel Aviv is caught or at least identified, feedbacks to articles such as this one show that Jews and Israelis can be not only as liberal but also as homophobic as anybody else. It is true, compared to other countries in the region the Holy Land is a safe haven for gays. But still, true tolerance is far from obvious here. On the other hand, it is just as far from obvious in Holland, where indifference and opportunism have more than once been mistaken for tolerance, I am afraid. I liked the comment by one David from Haifa. One feedbacker from Ra'anana writes that after last night's solidarity rally in Tel Aviv - with President Peres as the main speaker - he is "embarrassed before the decent people of the world" because Israeli VIPs "come to lend support, publicly, to a perversion". To which David responds ( I added some parts ): "You mean the ultra-orthodox who desecrate every shabbat in order to express support for child abusers or who protest violently against a democratic decision that they disagree with, or the ayatollahs in Iran who hang gays, or all other bigots like you? Thank G'd I am indecent, i.e. I support diversity and am all in favor of "Live and let live"." Amen to that. By the way, the Hebrew word for 'gay' is 'ge'eh', which means 'proud'. I like that term, more than a far less tolerant description that you might hear from elderly Ashkenazim, 'faygeleh' ( Yiddish for 'little bird' ).

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