'Aggressive Terror': Over 200 Israeli Rabbis Slam LGBT Groups as 'Deviants'

Rabbis sign open letter supporting Jerusalem rabbi who was harshly criticized for his support of the new law blocking surrogacy for same-sex couples

Protesters shout slogans during a LGBT community members protest against discriminatory surrogate bill in Tel Aviv, Israel, July 22, 2018.
\ CORINNA KERN/ REUTERS

More than 200 rabbis, including Orthodox local chief rabbis and yeshiva heads, signed an open letter on Thursday in support of Jerusalem Rabbi Aryeh Stern, who had come under fire for his scathing criticism earlier in the week against the practice of same-sex couples raising children. The rabbis blasted organizations fighting for LGBT rights, calling them “deviants” and an abomination, and labeling their conduct “aggressive terrorism.”

Stern said LGBT couples’ children “could very possibly be miserable in the end, maybe not as small children, but when they grow up and find themselves in this unnatural situation. It seems to me that this will make them very unhappy and that they would have a really difficult life.”

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The open letter in support of Stern said he had spoken “bravely and simply about our holy Torah’s eternal truth and of human normality, which the healthy majority in Israel identifies with and is outraged by the provocations of the abomination organizations...even on Tisha B’Av, a national day of mourning for the destruction of the Temple, which was destroyed among other things over incest and baseless hatred.”

The open letter states that LGBT groups have engaged in violent behavior and “terror” and that they have silenced and attacked anyone who supports family values. “The aggressive terror accompanied by media brainwashing day and night” was intended to “destroy the institution of the family and turn the deviants into heroes.” This attempt, the statement said, will not succeed, “nor will gagging rabbis and sane people, turning them into crazy radicals.”

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Stern had come out in defense of Israel’s children “who will be miserable if they aren’t adopted by normative families,” the statement said, adding that the rabbi had issued a cry on behalf of children “who have no voice, to save them from a miserable life and give them the basic right to live in a natural, normative family so they grow up to become normal, mentally healthy people.”

Uri Keidar, the executive director of Be Free Israel, an organization that promotes pluralism, said in response to the rabbis’ statement: “The rabbis’ letter is a clear call that can only be seen as incitement to attacks on the entire LGBT community. A large part of this group of lunatics’ wages are paid by the state, and Prime Minister Netanyahu and Justice Minister Shaked’s silence is testimony akin to that of 1,000 witnesses that they have no intention to do anything to stop these people of religion, who have no God.

“Every minute these people are not behind bars is a serious failing on the part of law enforcement authorities. The large number of people who will flood Jerusalem’s streets at the Gay Pride Parade [on August 2] will show all those stuck in the Middle Ages that their time has passed and that their place is in the ashcan of history.”

The Liba organization, which helped to organize the letter, and whose website states in part that it is dedicated to preserving Israel’s Jewish character, said: “It’s not surprising to see the rapid mobilization of more than 200 rabbis to support Rabbi Stern and strengthen the healthy, normal family. Israel’s rabbis reflect the position of the healthy majority in Israel, which loathes this violent, hysterical campaign in recent years, especially in the past week, seeking to destroy the family and continuity of the generations.”