Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich has been coming under heavy Facebook fire in recent days, from gay rights activists who see him as bearing some responsibility for the murder of Shira Banki, 16, at the gay rights parade in Jerusalem last week. Banki was stabbed by a crazed zealot, along with five other participants in the parade.
The homosexuals point to past statements by Smotrich, in which he spoke in favor of traditional family values, and declared that he is “a proud homophobe.” They also recall his participation, as a young man, in organizing a “parade of beasts” in Jerusalem – featuring donkeys – to protest the gay parades (an action he recently said was "stupid").
"There is a crazy attempt here to shut the mouth of whoever thinks otherwise, of whoever opposes the [gay] community and same-sex marriage,” Smotrich told Arutz Sheva. “I suggest that you go into my Facebook page and see the curses and the namecalling and the mudslinging against me… there is crazy violence against me. If people claim that they are against violence, well – the violent side in this story is their side.”
Not ashamed of family values
At the same time, he said, he has no intention of taking responsibility for the “madness” of the murderer, Yishai Shlissel. Whereas the religious right wing has denounced Shlissel with wall-to-wall condemnation, he argued, the speech on the Left is uniformly violent, and “not only are people not denouncing this discourse – “I see how the prime minister, the president, Shimon Peres, and of course, the entire Opposition, like Zehava Galon and all the other wagging tongues are joining this violent discourse, delegitimizing democracy, freedom of speech, and my right to express my opinions, along with people who think like me.
"I do not deny or feel ashamed that I hold traditional family values, and believe that this is what is proper in the world in a moral sense, in a Jewish sense, in a religious sense and a natural sense, and that is why I shall continue to oppose all kinds of other family structures, and if someone wants to scare me, he will not succeed,” Smotrich stated.
"Most of all,” he said, “I regret that the police are cooperating with this thing, and anyone who dares publish anything against the LGBTs is immediately considered to be an inciter and is immediately arrested.”
He noted the violent arrest of Rabbanit Yocheved Grossman, on suspicion that she knew the stabber and said that the police are trying to make up for “a chain of failures with hysterical and crazy behavior that damages the rule of law.”
"I call upon the police and the Minister for Internal Security to take a deep breath, drink some water, cool down and take care of matters in a professional manner, instead of joining the crazed herd mentality.”
a violent community
Asked what his red lines are in the political debate with the homosexuals, he clarified: "Violence is a red line, and calling for violence is red line. Whoever issues a call to attack, beat, stab and hurt physically, that is a terrible thing. But if someone is expressing a legitimate opinion, how can you silence him?… Do we accuse anyone who thinks settlers are bad for Israel of inciting to shoot settlers?”
Asked why everyone seems to fear the LGBTs, Smotrich said that they are “a violent community that tramples everything standing in its way. I have been experiencing this on my flesh since I entered the Knesset. The style of discourse there is all aggressive and uses ugly words that I cannot repeat. The lowest rung. You can't go any lower than the disgusting gutter talk that this group hurls at me.”
"We must not bend in the face of this thing,” he said. “We have confidence and full belief in the rightness of our path.” He noted the “noble” way in which the religious Zionists reacted to the way they were besmirched in the lead-up to the Disengagement ten years ago. “We are the last ones who need to feel bad about themselves and beat themselves up. Truth will emerge victorious. Most of the nation is closer to us than to them, even if the Evil Side is currently celebrating.”