The number eight candidate on the Jewish Home Knesset list, Betzalel Smotrich, said Sunday that he is “a proud homophobe.” He was reacting to a heckler who called him a “benighted homophobe.”
Smotrich was speaking in a discussion panel at Givatayim High School, when one of the students called out: “My brother is not a beast, my male and female friends are not beasts.”
This was a reference to the fact that Smotrich, 34, was the organizer, nine years ago, of the “March of Beasts,” in which donkeys were paraded around the streets of Jerusalem as a reply to the “Gay Pride” parades. Smotrich recently said that he was “young and stupid” at the time and that he regrets organizing the parade.
Speaking to the high school students, Smotrich explained his position regarding homosexuality.
“It is permitted, for any person, to decide that he does not want to lead a normal life. That is his complete right,” he said. "He does, however, have the right – because he feels uncomfortable being abnormal – to demand that we all throw out the concept of normativity and say that there is no longer such a thing as being normal.”
"Every person, in his home, has the right to be abnormal and to establish any family unit he desires. He cannot make this demand of me, as the state, and this is where it begins: he feels uncomfortable being different. It is not fun. He comes out of the closet, and then he runs and boasts about it.”
Asked by Army Radio about Smotrich's statements, the Jewish Home said: “We advise you to turn to Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni, who ran out of the Knesset plenum during votes on single-sex people's rights, instead of harassing the Jewish Home day after day and being surprised by the position of the religious Zionist party on these matters.”