23 thoughts on “46% of Israelis Believe Homosexuality “a Perversion” – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.

    1. I think that’s meant to be a joke (not terribly funny btw) rather than a claim of fact (which it clearly isn’t). If a fairly traditional Arab society like those living in Israel could manage 27% who said that homosexuality was not a perversion, the number is certainly higher in a more urbane, western-oriented Muslim community like Britain’s. Besides, God help us, there may even be a few gay Muslims in Britain!

      1. I’m not sure why anyone thinks this is “a joke”, and Warren – I’m just using math! If 0% of >1,000 Muslims polled say homosexuality is not tolerable, doesn’t that suggest that 100% think it’s intolerable? Anyway, here’s the news:

        Here’s the analysis:

        Not sure why anyone’s surprised – we’ve been tolerating intolerance and allowing hatred under the guise of “tolerance” for too long in the UK. Would anyone also be surprised that most of the anti-semitic attacks in the UK are now by Muslim extremists? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8166173.stm

        It all kind of fits hand in hand – the minute you say hatred in the name of ANY religion is acceptable you open the floodgates.

        By the way, I’m not defending any country’s attitudes.

        1. I’d say that if Israel occupied the Vatican for 40 yrs. there would be plenty of anti-Israel attacks on European Jews by Catholics. The fact that there is hatred of Israelis by Muslims should surprise no one. That doesn’t excuse the violence in any way. But to claim that the violence is somehow inherent in Islam is ridiculous when adherents of any religion, if felt put upon, would react similarly.

      2. “If a fairly traditional Arab society like those living in Israel could manage 27% who said that homosexuality was not a perversion, the number is certainly higher in a more urbane, western-oriented Muslim community like Britain’s.”

        I frankly disagree with this argument, Richard. In fact, immigrant communities in Europe are more cloistered and cling to conservative religious values more strongly than their Muslim counterparts elsewere, particularly in the West Bank or other Arab societies. Recent polls amongst European Muslims do not show them to be particularly sympathetic to the plight of LGBT peoples, whether in Europe or abroad, and I have personally met very few Muslims who are openly willing to accept homosexuality as an acceptable way of life. Bruce Bauer exaggerates quite a bit on many of these issues, but his “While Europe slept” does contain some valuable statistical references that contradict your argument. In my case, I can honestly say that immigrant communities in Spain (both Catholic South Americans and Moroccan and Algerian Muslims) display a very conservative, homophobic and misoginistic view of the world. One could argue that second and third generations might change that, but geographical isolation and ghettoization of these communities (reinforced by a general – whether real or perceived – sense of discrmination amd marginalization on the part of mainstream society) do not exactly contribute to erasing these prejudices but rather reinforce them.

        1. Thanks for yr perspective. Your judgment is based on more direct observation and experience than mine. Perhaps my generalization would be more true here in the U.S. where Muslims have been more able to integrate themselves into greater American society (with some exceptions of course).

          1. Indeed, Richard. My experience with US Muslim communities is quite different from that in Europe. Generally, US Muslims tend to come from more educated backgrounds; college and university attendance rates are considerably higher compared to those in Europe (many Muslims here just finish their secondary education and quit, whereas in the US as a an ABD and TA I had many Muslim colleagues and studentss, which is simply not the case in Europe where the presence of Muslims at the academic level is purely nominal); and in general US Muslims are better integrated in their communities than European Muslims (with exceptions, of course). No doubt an in-depth study of the differences between both communities would yield very interesting results!

  1. So your basic point, Jon, is that the situation in Israel could be worse than it is. Alright, I think I agree w/you. Your comment appears to implicitly accept that Israel is quite bad on this subject, but, hey, it could be worse… This is a primo defense if I’ve ever laid eyes on one.

    It is pleasant agreeing with people, particularly people who think they’re defending Israeli attitudes/behavior but are really just unwittingly underlining Richard’s point. Nice.

    P.S.—I sincerely doubt your statistic for Muslims in Britain is real or correct. 100%, give me a break.

  2. I’ve probably been too complacent on this issue (prob a result of living in the bubble), and our debate here has made me rethink. What I object to is using this issue as a stick to beat Israel rather than a sympathetic critique by those who genuinely care about making the country better. I also find it ironic given that 51% 0f Americans believe homosexuality to be morally wrong – http://www.kff.org/kaiserpolls/upload/New-Surveys-on-Experiences-of-Lesbians-Gays-and-Bisexuals-and-the-Public-s-Views-Related-to-Sexual-Orientation-News-Release.pdf
    As Jesus wisely said, let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    1. Thanks for saying that. It shows a broad mind & I appreciate yr willingness to rethink your former position. I do care about making Israel better or I wouldn’t be blogging. But I’m a bit more in your face about this than probably you & many other Israelis & pro Israel Diaspora Jews can tolerate.

      Saying homosexuality is “wrong” & saying it is “perverse” or a “disease” are quite different. And that poll result will gradually fall over time as homosexuality becomes more & more accepted in U.S. society. Hopefully, the same will happen over time in Israel though the fact that there is no Bill of Rights or constitution to protect individual rights there leaves gays & other minorities out on a limb. At least here they can appeal to our Supreme Court and they have a constitutional text to point to that protects rights.

    2. Alex, the original context of this discussion of Israel’s supposed gay-tolerance was the way this was being used as a propaganda tool against the Arab world and also against Iran. Considering that back-drop, to the extent this supposed tolerance of homosexuality is a thin, misleading veneer, it becomes essential to point that out and deprive Israel of one more narrative prop to supposedly “legitimize” or excuse either its continued repression of the Palestinians, or warmongering at Iran.

      You don’t see Obama or American officials citing supposed American tolerance of homosexuals as part of some rationalizing structure for our Empire or war designs. Although, rather ironically, given the deeply right-wing nature of the administration, you did see the touting of American liberalism and women’s rights as a rationalization for war under the Bush administration. i.e., Bush/Cheney engaged in somewhat corollary slick propagandizing like you’re seeing now with Israel and American “friends” of Israel like Jeffrey Goldberg, although the Bushies definitely wouldn’t have used gay porn as an example, I will grant you that.

      1. Yes, but the truth is that homosexuality is punishable an ALL Arab and Muslim countries, with penalties ranging from going to prison for a long period of time to execution. No Arab or Muslim country grants a single right to LGBT people, save for the tragic transgender policy of Iran which forces many homosexuals into sex reassignment surgery to escape death. This is not a joke: there are many things that Israel does wrong, but they do not excuse the wrongs that others do. I agree with you that the use of the treatment of LGBT people as a lame excuse for warmongering is simply that: a pathetic, hollow excuse. But when it comes to living as a LGBT person in the Middle East, I harbor no doubts as to which side of the fence I would chose as a lesbian woman.

  3. As Israeli gay i want to say that it is so not important to discus who better Jewish or Muslims.

    in Israel many people hate many groups. the lgbt group is not special.

  4. I have met gays among the muslim, non practising, muslim, communityhere in the UK, quite open about it, but the fact is, they are not killed, in Israel, which is a sick society, they kill homosexuals. are there any in the government, perhaps its time to ‘out’ them, I donlt believe there isn’t one, is Livni a dyke, she certainly behaves like a bloke

    1. This is absolutely ridiculous. Here in Spain, by far one of the most progressive nations in the world in terms of recognizing same-sex marriages (including full adoption rights for same-sex family units) LGBT people are also killed, though all polls show an unquestionnable support on the part of the majority of the population towards LGBT rights. I believe the most recent poll showed that almost 70% of Spaniards are supportive of gay marriage and full equality (remember: we have the burden of 500 years+ Catholic history and just emerged from a right-wing quasi-fascist dictatorship in 1978). True, social homophobis is still there and recently there has been a powerful surge in attacks, particularly against transgender people.

      I don’t think defining Israel as “a sick society” does your argument any favor. I lived for 8 loooooong years in the US and finally decided to return home here in Spain, where I can live as a first class citizen regardless of the town or province I live in, unlike the USA.

      The reference to Livni is plainly homophobic.

  5. richard if you take pull of religous christians in us, europe, canda and other places you will find the same results that you find from religous jews, muslims.

  6. One of the differences between Israelis and Americans is that Israelis are still honest about their feelings and prejudices because the thought police has been much less active here. Americans are much more attentive to what opinions are allowed and not allowed to be expressed in polite society. This true even when answering polls or surveys.

    1. I agree that Israelis tend to be more unbuttoned & that in many contexts this can be refreshing. But racism and homophobia are never refreshing whether expressed in Israel or elsewhere. Israelis don’t, I’m afraid, get points for being refreshingly candid about their more noxious prejudices.

      Polls nowadays are designed to check & doublecheck to avoid precisely the kind of political correctness & self-censorship that you claim distorts polls here. I’d trust a good pollster & his/her methodology over yr claims about skewed U.S. polls.

  7. How do you explain the fact the US armed forces still discriminate against homosexuals in spite of the constitution, and Israel doesn’t?
    This is a huge difference between the two society’s, not just one point.

    1. I’ve already stated here that Israel deserves credit for accepting gays into the IDF (but I do wonder whether someone who was gay could become a general). But I don’t think as you do that this is a “huge difference.” It is one step Israel has taken that the U.S. has not yet taken. We will get there.

      By the way, why no arrest yet in the case? Could it be that Israeli police either have little interest in capturing a murderer of gays or that they know so little about the subculture where the shooter lurks that they don’t have a clue where to look?

  8. “why no arrest yet in the case?”
    This is a good question. I hope we’ll have an answer soon. Nobody in Israel, as far as I know, has accused the police of not taking this investigation seriously. The killer apparently has military training (leaving life long Haredim out) and knows Tel Aviv well and had planned this massacre ahead of time and planned his escape route well. When I was watching live coverage a witness said there were two shooters and one committed suicide, but I never heard this claim repeated and it seems she was relying more on rumors than anything else.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link