Gay Activist Starts Drive for Israeli LGBT Political Party

Author Ilan Sheinfeld to set up party 'assisted by the intellectual, political and activist forces of the LGBTQ community'

File photo: A man waving a gay pride flag at the Tel Aviv Pride Parade, June 12, 2015.
Ariel Schalit/AP

Author and publicist Ilan Sheinfeld has informed the State Comptroller’s office that he intends to establish a new party called “Shavim (Equal), a Gay Israeli Party.” An announcement made on his behalf states that the party “is assisted by the intellectual, political and activist forces of the LGBTQ community, but is open to anyone regardless of religion, race, sexuality or gender.” It was noted that the party’s basic tenets are equality and mutual responsibility.

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Sheinfeld added Sunday that the new party “would concern itself with promoting the needs of the LGBTQ community, at the same time striving to promote other minorities in Israeli society. It will also try to take part in the next government, on condition that the tools the party seeks will be given to it.”

Some of the party’s central activists include strategic consultant Eran Fogel, attorney Zvi Zegelstein and start-up associate Liad Kashnowski. Sheinfeld heads a team of activists that is in the final stages of drafting a platform and rules for the party, and preparing the basis for its establishment. The announcement was a preliminary step, required by the law regulating election finances, which will enable the raising of funds for the submission of a request to the registrar of political parties for official recognition, enabling it to run in elections.

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“If we needed further proof regarding the need for such a party in the Knesset, and, if conditions are right, in the next coalition, we’ve received it in recent days,” said Sheinfeld. “According to media reports the prime minister has again deceived the gay community, in practice ignoring the largest protest ever waged by the gay community in Israel.”

Sheinfeld, 58, has 6-year-old twins born to a surrogate mother in India.