Jewish Home MK says gays control the media

After being ridiculed for homophobic comments, Bezalel Smotritch says media stifles conservative opinions like his own

Bezalel Smotrich (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Bezalel Smotrich (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotritch said Thursday that gays control the Israeli media, and therefore the public agenda.

“There’s many senior officials in the media market in Israel, among those who hold the mic and tell us what we should think and what we should say, many, many of them are [LGBT] themselves,” Smotrich told Galey Israel radio.

Smotrich claimed that mainstream support for the LGBT community stems from the media coverage, and in the radio interview said conservative beliefs — like his own — are absent from the media debate.

“These people hold immense power in shaping our social consciousness. When you look at the list today, there are many dozens, the most dominant figures today [in the media]… so naturally, an opinion like mine cannot be heard,” he told the radio.

The Jewish Home MK said he was certain “95 percent of Israeli citizens would want their kids to raise families and give them grandchildren.”

“A healthy person, a normal person, that’s what they want,” he added.

Earlier this month, the lawmaker condemned the “witch hunt” against those opposed to gay marriage, terming the pride parade an “abomination parade,” days after 16-year-old Shira Banki was murdered at Jerusalem’s pride parade by an ultra-Orthodox knife-wielding assailant.

“Anyone who dares oppose same-sex marriage and the abomination parades are arrested by police,” he wrote on Twitter on August 3. “Crazy. A dark day for democracy.”

LGBT activists bombarded Smotritch’s Facebook page immediately afterward, posting photos of gay couples and memes poking fun at the Knesset member.

Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett promptly distanced himself from Smotrich’s comments, telling Army Radio that there was “no place” for such statements.

“I personally rebuked him for this,” he said. “I can only hope and pledge that as education minister in Israel I will do everything I can to end this discourse.”

Bennett told Army Radio he was in favor of “full rights” for the gay community, but drew the line at same-sex marriage.

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