A prominent right-wing rabbi was invited to speak at an event organized by a faction within Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party, and promptly outraged most secular Israelis.
Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira (pictured) is head of the Ramat Gan Yeshiva, and has often spoken out against homosexuality, insisting that such tendencies can be overcome with proper therapy.
At Tuesday’s event, Shapira let loose:
“We are not homophobes, and we are not phobic. We do not live out of fear, and we are not scared. We are courageous people, we are the Land of Israel’s heroes, and we are not scared of the LGBT trend.
“I have invested many hours in helping people with difficulties in this area. But no, we’re not homophobes, we’re believers and we’re healthy people. And there is an illness which is growing and spreading, and more and more, we are becoming a country that looks like LGBTistan.
“Anyone who speaks about a believing and healthy family is immediately classed as someone who has phobias. He’s an extremist. Why? Because he said something that has always been the basis of all of humanity and all of the Torah. It’s insane to see this as the problem with Religious Zionism’s image.
“When there is an atmosphere of LGBTistan, we don’t belong, and they hate us because we’re sane.”