Party head set to oversee some school programs in new gov't

Anti-LGBTQ party drew up lists of gay media professionals, women’s activists: report

Internal Noam document from 2019 shows round-ups of people in news, entertainment, and ‘extreme left-wing women’ it says are part of ‘radical feminist’ takeover of IDF

MK Avi Maoz, left, and Likud head Benjamin Netanyahu after signing a coalition deal on November 27, 2022. (Courtesy, Likud)
MK Avi Maoz, left, and Likud head Benjamin Netanyahu after signing a coalition deal on November 27, 2022. (Courtesy, Likud)

The far-right, anti-LGBTQ faction Noam prepared a list of dozens of gay TV anchors, reporters, radio hosts, and other TV professionals working in the news and entertainment industries, and a round-up of “extreme left-wing” women who it says are part of a “secret team” in an army unit in charge of gender equality, as part of an internal document from 2019 that appears to outline the party’s perceived opponents in the media and in civil society.

The lists were prepared for unknown reasons, online news site Ynet first reported on Thursday ahead of a wider feature on Friday in the print edition, Yedioth Ahronoth.

Noam openly espouses homophobic views and policies and ran on an anti-LGBTQ, anti-pluralist agenda as part of the Religious Zionism party ahead of the November 1 elections that handed the Likud and its far-right, religious partners 64 seats in Israel’s 120-member Knesset.

Noam leader Avi Maoz is set to serve as a deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, heading a unit in charge of Israel’s “Jewish national identity” in the incoming government led by Benjamin Netanyahu. Maoz has decried female enlistment in the IDF and has said that he would work to shut an army unit in charge of promoting equal opportunities for women in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

As part of the office on Jewish identity, Maoz is slated to take control over an Education Ministry unit in charge of approving external educational vendors, who play a critical role in school programming. Especially prevalent in secular schools, these vendors cover a range of subjects from sexual health to bar mitzvah preparation.

On Thursday, Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth columnist Nadav Eyal unveiled parts of a document — prepared for the party’s internal use and dated to 2019 — that lists dozens of names of journalists and editors in some of Israel’s largest news organizations including Yedioth Ahronoth and Ynet, Ha’aretz, Channel 12, Channel 13, and the Kan public broadcaster, as well as TV personalities, some of whom have been open about their sexual orientation.

The report quoted another part of the document that features photos and descriptions of “extreme left-wing women” active in non-governmental organizations that the party says were involved in research led by the army unit in charge of gender affairs in the military.

The party said “continuous monitoring of [the unit’s] activities between 2001 and 2013 reveals the involvement of the following researchers in [the unit’s] studies.”

The party called these women part of a “secret team” inside the army unit and decried a “radical feminist” takeover of the military.

The push for the “integration of female fighters that continues with intensity today takes place because of this group of women,” the party said in the internal document, according to the report.

Another part of the document unveiled by Eyal outlines the “takeover” by “leftist” organizations and foundations of offices such as the Education Ministry and the Justice Ministry, according to the party.

Listed organizations include the New Israel Fund, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), the Israel Democracy Institute, the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, and the Tali Education Fund, which runs Israel’s largest pluralistic Jewish studies program.

In a bleak and bitter address on Thursday, outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid made a reference to Noam’s “blacklists” and warned against the agenda put forward by Netanyahu’s coalition, accusing the Likud leader of being weak and beholden to extremist partners who will send the country down the road to ruin.

Lapid called Noam’s leader, Maoz, “a dark racist, a man who, it was today publicized, has blacklists of LGBTQ people and activists in women’s organizations.”

Yet Moaz, he said, “will be in charge of the education of our children.”

Young parents will not be able to send their children to school without fear that they will be brainwashed, Lapid said.

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