Rabbi Says LGBT Is a Sickness Taking Over Israel, but ‘We Are Not Homophobic’

Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, a yeshiva dean, says support for healthy, religious families is being unfairly labelled homophobic

Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira
Hillel Meir

LGBT is a sickness that’s taking over the country, Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, the dean of the Ramat Gan hesder yeshiva and a well-known figure in the religious Zionist community, said on Tuesday.

Hesder yeshivas combine religious studies and army service.

Speaking at a conference launching the National Union party’s religion and state platform, Shapira said that Israel “is looking more and more like LGBTistan.”

Anybody expressing support for healthy religious families is now considered homophobic, even though such a position has been the basis of all humanity and the Torah throughout history, he said.

“We are not homophobic and not extremist,” Shapira said. “When the atmosphere around is LGBTistan, we are distressed, because we are being singled out for expressing the voice of sanity.”

The National Union is represented in the Knesset as part of the Habayit Hayehudi faction.

In a family setting, he does not support rejection or ostracism, Rabbi Shapira said, adding that he has devoted long hours “to trying to help people who have difficulty in this area.” Furthermore religious Zionism is not homophobic, he stressed, saying that it would be “insanity to see that as its image problem.”

In religious Zionist circles, Shapira is considered a conservative. Before Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, he supported former Chief Rabbi Avraham Shapira, who called on soldiers to refuse if ordered to evacuate settlements there.