}

Rubber Duckie …

Here’s a little light-hearted entertainment for you all. You may or may not know that there is aHebrew language version of Sesame Street in Israel called Rechov Sumsum (רחוב סומסום). So, in a moment tinged by the nostalgic memory of a childhood spent glued to the TV whenever Sesame Street came on, I decided to post this video of Ernie singing Rubber Duckie in Hebrew. Except in Israel he’s called(*sniff* *sniff*) Arik:


Now, as long as we’re talking about Ernie, lets not forget good ol’ Bert (in Hebrew, he’s “Bentz”) and their uh… ambiguous friendship. Which brings me to my next point. In August, Jerusalem, despite the efforts of the Municipality and other small-minded individuals, will host World Pride. Treppenwitz wrote a spectacularly great post about the subject and I urge you to read it as well as the rollicking comments attached to it. The post was inspired by an email he received urging religious and/or right wing JBloggers to join a campaign against World Pride. Needless to say, I for some reason never got that email and in any case, I fully support Treppenwitz’s position.

But I still think Ernie and Bert are kinda disturbingly odd. In any language. And will someone please tell me why Ernie/Arik sounds like an old Ashkenazic man?

One last thing – Kadima MK Otniel Schneller sent a letter to Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik asking that a planned visit by several Homosexual Youth groups to the Knesset in August be cancelled.

In his letter, Schneller said that while he supported youths educating themselves in liberalism and democracy, such a visit would turn the Knesset into “Sodom and Gomorrah.” “They should conduct their lives in their homes, and not visit the Knesset as a group,” said Schneller in the letter.

Probably Schneller didn’t want to catch their Gay-Homo cooties too. The way those people spread that filth around, in no time the petty bickering and name-calling that ordinarily characterizes the Knesset will be replaced by Israeli politicians belting out show tunes and dancing in conga lines to fab disco ditties by Donna Summer and Gloria Gaynor.
Needless to say, Schneller will not be riding in a float at the parade. Unless of course he catches a dose of the gay and then it’s party time girlfriend!

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ck

Publisher at Jewlicious
Founder of Jewlicious? Publisher? Man I hate titles. I coined the name Jewlicious and I slave over the site. I live in Jerusalem and I need to get some breakfast.
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66 Comments

  1. Puirm Hero

    6/24/2006 at 10:20 pm

    I’m posting this here because I simply don’t know where to put story leads anymore. But if one of you guys with posting power wants to find the article (I got it in an email…) and do a thread about this, I think it’s interesting…

    Interesting story on nytimes.com, “As Barrier Comes Down, a Muslim Split
    Remains”
    Here’s the beginning:

    SAN FRANCISCO, June 24 — During Friday prayers at San Francisco’s
    largest downtown mosque, Sevim Kalyoncu, a young Turkish-American
    writer, used to resent that the imam never addressed the women, as if
    his message was not intended for them. But the sermons underwent a
    sudden change when the Islamic Society of San Francisco took the
    controversial step of tearing down the barrier separating male and
    female worshippers.

    “He was always addressing the brothers during the Friday sermon,” Ms.
    Kalyoncu said. “Now we hear ‘brothers and sisters’ because he can see
    us. Before, I felt very distant, but now it seems that women are part of
    the group. It’s a first step.”

    Even after the slapdash, 8-foot wall across the back of the Darussalam
    mosque was demolished as part of a renovation last fall, however, the
    400-member congregation remained divided.

    After the demolition, a small knot of veiled women marched in
    brandishing a hand-lettered cardboard sign that read “We Want the Wall.”
    Several men who pray at the mosque — on the third floor of an old
    theater in a particularly sleazy stretch of the city’s Tenderloin
    district — are still grumbling, and some of them even decamped for a
    rival mosque. But the wall stayed down….

  2. Puirm Hero

    6/24/2006 at 11:12 pm

    OK… So that we can get back on topic… Did anyone else check out the site that the video links to? televizia.net/
    It’s in Hebrew, but it’s very nostalgic. If you don’t understand/read Hebrew you can just look for “You Tube” in the right hand nav bar and you’ll go to a whole section of video clips from classic Israeli TV. It’s awesome!

  3. John

    6/25/2006 at 12:52 am

    More info on WorldPride can be found at worldpride.net.

  4. Dina

    6/25/2006 at 2:49 am

    He sounds like “an old ashkenazic man” because to properly get some Hebrew sounds, you have to lower your voice and Ernie’s voice is a man making a squeaky pitch in English which is why in Hebrew it’s just, well, a man without the squeak.

    And I remember watching Rechov Sumsum on video when I was younger. Those were the days…

  5. ifyouwillit...

    6/25/2006 at 6:02 am

    Nice to see another Rechov SumSum clip on the net, I posted one last week.

  6. Shy Guy

    6/25/2006 at 9:48 am

    From the Torah portion read at Mincha on Yom Kippur – at least in Jewish synagogues:

    Vayikra 18, 22-30:

    You shall not lie down with a male, as with a woman: this is an abomination.

    And with no animal shall you cohabit, to become defiled by it. And a woman shall not stand in front of an animal to cohabit with it; this is depravity.

    You shall not defile yourselves by any of these things, for the nations, whom I am sending away from before you, have defiled themselves with all these things.

    And the land became defiled, and I visited its sin upon it, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.

    But as for you, you shall observe My statutes and My ordinances, and you shall not do like any of these abominations neither the native, nor the stranger who sojourns among you.

    For the people of the land who preceded you, did all of these abominations, and the land became defiled.

    And let the land not vomit you out for having defiled it, as it vomited out the nation that preceded you.

    For anyone who commits any of these abominations, the persons doing so shall be cut off from the midst of their people.

    And you shall observe My charge, not to commit any of the abominable practices that were done before you, and you shall not become defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.

  7. laya

    6/25/2006 at 10:06 am

    uh huh, and here’s another portion you might be familiar with:

    You shall not take revenge, and you shall not bear a grudge against the members of your people; you shall love your neighbor as yourself — I am Hashem.”

    given that, what would be right conduct here?

  8. Shy Guy

    6/25/2006 at 10:14 am

    Laya, so you think that the mitzvah of Ve’Ahavta Lare’acha Kamocha nullifies all other Mitzvot?

    Where’s the revenge here or the grudge here?

    May I suggest you look up all 3 mitzvot in a simple Sefer Hamitzvot, like Sefer Hachinuch?

    Or is G-d and his Torah dead, antiquated, wrong, whatever?

    Hey! It’s our country – let’s all trash it together. Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die.

  9. laya

    6/25/2006 at 5:38 pm

    no, shy guy, the mitzva of love does not nullify the others. Be careful of straw men.

    My question to you was, in light of the commandment i posted (which, according to our sages is one of the most important commandments in torah), what would be the correct conduct for a mitzva loving Jew in an encounter with people who are unwilling or unable to fulfil one of the commandments?

  10. SP

    6/25/2006 at 9:47 pm

    laya, you’re right, they shouldn’t be stabbed (like last year), but one can also say that they don’t have the right to do their parade.

    If one believes that there’s a mitzva of “v’ahavta l’reiacha kamocha”, in some ways we don’t have a right to hate our fellow man. But on the flip side, the same torah says one doesn’t have a right to engage in homosexual acts, and even more so to glorify the action.

  11. amybz

    6/25/2006 at 11:49 pm

    Yes, you are certainly glorifying homosexuality by allowing this community to come together to give each other support. Because obviously it is lacking from the rest of the community. Very good point Laya- be careful when you condemn something by using certain scripture while you conspicuously ignore other contrary points of the Torah.

  12. Shy Guy

    6/25/2006 at 11:56 pm

    Laya, 4 things:

    1. I never advocated or mentioned hating a person here. One can condemn the aveira without damning the person. However……….

    2. See the halachot derived from the word “L’Rei’Acha”.

    3. The best thing to do, if you love your fellow Jew, is not to encourage them or promote their loss of Olam Habah. In addition, there are other people to whom the Pasuk “Ve’Ahavta L’Rei’acha Kamocha” applies – like all of the rest of the Torah loving Jews in the world, many, if not most who are pained by the disgrace of such immoral events being paraded in what we once used to call “Eretz Hakodesh”, within walking distance of Har Habayit. So, where’s the love, Laya, for Am Yisrael, Torat Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael?

    4. I’m all for Jews doing T’shuva. Here’s some help for Jewish homosexuals, who want to strive to achieve what it says in another forgotten pasuk, “Ve’Ahavta et Hashem Elokecha be’chol le’vavcha”: Jonah – Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuals.

    Chodesh Tov.

  13. ofri

    6/26/2006 at 12:37 am

    Um… ok, Pat Robertson. Now if only we had a support group offering “new alternatives” to hateful bigots who disgrace their fellow Jews.

  14. Shy Guy

    6/26/2006 at 1:21 am

    Yep, folks. To listen to Hashem’s Torah is to be a bigot. Just ask Ofri here.

  15. laya

    6/26/2006 at 1:57 am

    ok, sp and shy guy. So the act of male homosexual sex is forbidden by Torah. My suggestion would then be for the two of you to refrain from it.

    That’s about where your responsibility ends.

    We don’t scream at sabbath breakers that they are “losing there place in olam haba” (which, shy guy, i hope you don’t mean all gays go to hell. Hell isn’t even a Jewish concept) or ostracize them from the community because they are “a disgrace and committing immoral acts”, but rather we embrace them and encourage them to come into Jewish community to the extent that they can. So too it should be with another group of people who are unwilling or unable to fulfil a different commandment. Make they’ll do tshuvah and start keeping shabbat, wouldn’t that be great, gay or not?

    By the way – King George was not “eretz hakodesh” in biblical times anyway, it was just a hill adjacent to the city. No one is parading on har habayit.

    I don’t know why sp makes the connection between the stabbing and the fundamental right to have a political parade in a nations capitol city so I’ll let that one slide.

    So remember boys, no ass fucking for the two of you, other than that, it’s about the love.

  16. Shy Guy

    6/26/2006 at 3:21 am

    Laya wrote:

    sp and shy guy. So the act of male homosexual sex is forbidden by Torah. My suggestion would then be for the two of you to refrain from it.

    It is no different than obeying all the other mitzvot.

    That’s about where your responsibility ends.

    Not necessarily. Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh La’Zeh.

    And let’s not forget “Hoche’ach Tochiach et Amitecha,” which BTW is in the pasuk just before “Ve’Ahavta L’rei’acha Kamocha.” See Vayikra 19:17.

    We don’t scream at sabbath breakers that they are losing there place in olam haba

    1. Did I say otherwise?

    2. Does that mean Jews should not protest should the State of Israel cancel any relevance to the Jewish Sabbath? Really?

    Similarly, if people start advocating support for illicite and immoral sexual relations in public, as is being done in Israel in the streets of Jerusalem, who are you to remain silent and shut others mouths?

    (which, shy guy, i hope you don’t mean all gays go to hell.

    The punishment for intentionally commiting this Aveirah today is “karet,” literally meaning to cut or excise, referring to the severance between the transgressor’s Nefesh and its connection to Hashem. Sound healthy to you?

    (Hell isn’t even a Jewish concept)

    Sure it is!

    or ostracize them from the community because they are a disgrace and committing immoral acts, but rather we embrace them and encourage them to come into Jewish community to the extent that they can.

    That may very well be. That’s not for little ol’ me to decide. But I’m not referring to individuals within a community and the day to day manner they should or shouldn’t be treated in. We’re referring here to the insistance of an anti-Torah throng of people, many of them not even Jewish, who want to grant legal legitimacy to acts defined as abominable by G-d. That this should happen in any country is a disgrace but in Israel?!?!?! We are a very sick nation. How much farther back must we fall before we get another big slap in the face from above?

    By the way – King George was not eretz hakodesh in biblical times anyway, it was just a hill adjacent to the city. No one is parading on har habayit.
    No, Laya.

    “Eretz Asher Hashem Elokeicha Doresh Osah, Tamid Einei Hashem Elokeicha Bah, MeiReishis HaShenah V’Ad Acharis HaShanah”

    It’s all of Eretz Yisrael, defined by either the borders at the time of the 1st and/or 2nd Beit Hamikdash.

    And our obligations are global. Jews in Kamchatka are not exempt from Mitzvot either.

    As for you last sentence, may I suggest you reading “Guard Your Tongue”, based on the Chafetz Haim’s sefer “Shmirat Halashon.” After such vile words (directed to others from someone who just finished preaching about “ve’ahavta l’rei’acha kamocha”) – in a public forum no less – maybe it’s time that you did some elemnatry tshuva yourself!

  17. John

    6/26/2006 at 4:23 am

    I tried to post this earlier this morning but Jewlicious ate my comment! Anyway, thanks Laya and CK for shining light on this topic. See, the thing is that there are people in Israel and Jerusalem that don’t adhere to Judiasm – gasp! Since Israel (and Jerusalem as its capital) is a democratic country (not a theocracy – although there are some serious theocratic aspects), citizens in this democracy have the right to gather and freedom of speech. The parade is an exercise of these rights. If you don’t like it, there are a couple of other countries to the east of Israel where your ideas on homosexuality would be very welcome.

  18. Ben-David

    6/26/2006 at 5:08 am

    Laya –
    This is not about how people with these attractions are to be treated in a Jewish community.

    In fact, the photographic evidence from previous such shindigs – and the politically motivated selection of first Rome, and now Jerusalem, for the march – makes this about the LEAST personal activity one can imagine.

    But thanks for the attempt to trump mature public discourse with mawkish victimology claims – it’s always amusing to see people who don’t think The Rest of Us can recognize such creaky standards of PC doublethink in 2006/5766.

    It’s about an ongoing cultural struggle – of which you are well aware, as an observant person living in Israel.

    It’s about a very public act of IMPOSING supposedly “progressive” views on a majority that does not agree with those views.

    It’s about shutting down those dissenting opinions – not with anything resembling cogent argument or dialogue, but with a barrage of name-calling and pity-mongering. As handily demonstrated by the uffishly, sophomorically self-assured “progressive” posts on this thread.

    It’s about a very childish demand for “respect” without giving any respect in return.

    And yes, laya, King George has always been very much a part of “eretz hakodesh”.

  19. Shy Guy

    6/26/2006 at 5:32 am

    See, John, the thing is that Israel is in some form or another known (perhaps not to you) as a Jewish state or at least the land of the Jews.

    Some people take this to mean that Jews can romp around this land and do as they please. Others recall that G-d took us out of bondage in Egypt some 3 or so millenia ago, to inherit this land to the children of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, in order to abide by the Torah and its way of life.

    You can worship today’s Jewish Golden Calf, known, as democracy, all you want. We Jews who remember who we are answer to a higher authority.

    If you don’t like it, send in the Yassamniks, crack our skulls open and have a beer.

    Yoshev Ba’Shamayim Yischak.

  20. laya

    6/26/2006 at 5:53 am

    shy guy – Like John said, we don’t live in a theocracy. We don’t have a Sanhedrin. No one enforces karet today, if they did, most of us would be right there with the gays.

    If the religious community ostracizes these people and torah is represented as something that only applies to them in so far as their gayness goes, we have done ourselves a great disservice. In cases of other mitzvot that a person is unable or unwilling to fulfil, like shabbat, we do not judge them nearly so hard as we do gays. There’s no reason for such hypocrisy.

    Come World Pride the religious community can choose to be aggressive and violent like last year, or accepting of each persons humanity and god-like image even while disagreeing with one particular lifestyle choice. Homosexuality is no more a threat to someone secure in their sexuality than a bar open on shabbat is a threat to someone secure with their religious beliefs.

    Ben David – back again on this topic i see. People this concerned with others sexuality are always a little suspicious to me. Nonetheless. I really don’t think you and I have anything further to discuss on this topic. I’m sure you’ll bring up your same favorite buzzwords, accusations and nonsensical arguments as the post about last years parade. There’s really no use banging my head against your wall, now is there?

    oh – and forgive me, i misspoke for some reason in my head I was reading/writing “eretz hakodesh” and thinking “ir hakodesh”. Sorry for the confusion.

    Oh, and sorry if the words “ass fucking” offended you.

  21. laya

    6/26/2006 at 6:05 am

    oh, and PS, the biblical prohibition against homosexuality does not apply to women. And arguably it is a commandment just for Jews, like shabbat and kashrut. Therefore, you can at least dispel any wrath you have for lesbians and non-Jewish gay men.

  22. John

    6/26/2006 at 8:03 am

    Thanks, Laya! That’s a relief! Sometimes it’s good to be a goy! Still, I’ll be at the parade in August. I mean, if we don’t stand up these guys will be making us give up our seats on the bus before you know it. Oh wait – that’s just for women. Saved again! (Shy Guy, btw, I live in the land of the Jews, Jerusalem even!)

  23. laya

    6/26/2006 at 8:12 am

    Somehow I got reminded of Borat’s progressive new Kazakstan where “women, now allowed to ride on inside of bus and homosexuals no longer required to wear blue hat!”

  24. Shy Guy

    6/26/2006 at 8:32 am

    Laya, did you erase my last post?

  25. laya

    6/26/2006 at 9:15 am

    umm, thanks for the accusation, but it’s not our practice to just delete posts here. Up above John said that one of him comments got eaten too, so maybe something is wonky today.

  26. Shy Guy

    6/26/2006 at 9:56 am

    It wasn’t an accusation. Posts get accidentally deleted sometimes when moderators edit a thread and accidentally drop a post. And sometimes they can be restored, depending on how they were deleted. That’s why I asked.

    My comments weren’t “eaten” in the sense that they were displayed after I posted them and it even showed up in the “recent comments” column towards the top of the page.

    I’ll summarize what was deleted:

    Hashem enforces “karet” – not human beings. Is it safe?

    I see no disservice in reminding all of Am Yisrael that homesexuality is an abhorent violation of the Torah’s priciples of the sanctity of humanity – not just Am Yisrael’s for that matter.

    The prohibition applies to every non-Jew, as part of their obligation to abide by the 7 Noahide Laws.

    Regarding lesbianism, wrong again. While there is argument as to why it’s prohibited (e.g., “U’bechukotehem lo telechu”), there is no one that permits such a perversion.

    You’re right. Blatant parades making a parody of Shabbat should be protested just as much as parades denegrating Jewish morality.

    Regarding the kedusha of Eretz Yisrael and Yerushalyim, a few elementary reminders:

    Loving the Land of Israel

    To Live As Jews

    Why Live in Israel Today?

    The Centrality of Israel

    Israel and Jerusalem

    Finally, again regarding the gutter talk in your last sentence above, suggested reading: Kosher Speech.

  27. Ben-David

    6/26/2006 at 12:26 pm

    If the religious community ostracizes these people and torah is represented as something that only applies to them in so far as their gayness goes
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    … but it is the activists who have built an identity around their sexual behavior – and made it a centerpiece of how they present themselves to the rest of the community.

    So when you write:
    In cases of other mitzvot that a person is unable or unwilling to fulfil, like shabbat, we do not judge them nearly so hard as we do gays.
    – – – – – – – – – – – –
    … well, we probably would if they built a movement around Sabbath desecration, and purposely organized a Sabbath motorcade in which they drove slowly and blared their radios.

    That’s the proper analogy here – not to a “live and let live” secular Israeli passing through a Jerusalem neighborhood.

    Laya wrote:
    Ben David – back again on this topic i see. People this concerned with others sexuality are always a little suspicious to me.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    … but if I was riding past you in a sequined g-string, then it wouldn’t be so suspicious eh?

    Strange girl you are.

    … and as I have explained in other posts on this issue, my interest flows from personal experience – including a family member who was trapped by the gay party line into ruining his life.

    Laya – are you aware of how your comments read like a catalog of scattershot PC posturing?

    Let’s see:

    – attempting to dress up an act of in-your-face political provocation in the pity-me tropes of victimology?

    Check.

    Totally ignoring cogent argument and valid points by those who disagree with you?

    Check.

    Labelling and dismissing instead of engaging?

    Check.

    Personal attack instead of reasoned argument?

    Check.

    Wrapping up with:
    Nonetheless. I really don’t think you and I have anything further to discuss on this topic. I’m sure you’ll bring up your same favorite buzzwords, accusations and nonsensical arguments as the post about last years parade. There’s really no use banging my head against your wall, now is there?
    – – – – – – – – – – – –
    … besides the interesting question of what Freud would make of that last sentence, this passage translates roughly as:

    “Holy shit – Ben-David knows his stuff, he isn’t going to be as easy to skewer-n-stereotype as Bible-thumping Shy Guy – better beat a hasty retreat by spreading personal innuendo, sprinkled with the fairy dust of PC superiority.”

    Oh, and Laya – exactly what is YOUR interest in this issue?

    I’ve seen people like you at these parades – people so full of themselves and their self-righteous COOLNESS – using the gay people around them as markers of their own PC status. Oh loook, there’s a guy in a dayglo jockstrap gyrating on top of a car – look how COOL and HIP I am for not being shocked by all this…

    … but what’s it like to be that person on the roof of the car? What does that person feel about himself? What does he go home to after the parade passes by? How does he feel then?

    You are right there when it comes to lecturing others about “seeing the gay person as a whole person.” So: try looking at the march – and the gay world – from that perspective.

    Can you get past your own need to strike the “correct” pose to really do that?

    I came to my opinions by doing just that.

    Try it.

  28. ck

    6/26/2006 at 1:48 pm

    Hey Ben-David, look – I can understand your inability to be objective about this whole issue. I had a family member ruin their lives by going to Nashville in the hopes of becoming the first Moroccan Jewish country music superstar. It didn’t quite work out for her and now I generally hate all country music. Except for the plaintive wailings of Patsy Kline. She gets to me every time.

    Lots of people have made lots of unfortunate decisions which led to ruin and misery. I know frum people I care for who married the wrong person at their parents’ insistence and are now some of the saddest people around. Doesn’t mean I hate marriage – or respecting one’s parents.

    So what say we try to step back a bit and look at this objectively? Sin is a constant element of even the most righteous person’s life. Who amongst us has nothing to atone for on Yom Kippur?

    Why does this one particular sin cause more consternation than practically any other? The religious world’s reaction to homosexuality seems shrill and almost panicked, as if openly homosexual men and women have a contagious disease that is spreadable only when the homosexual in question is openly homosexual. As long as they remain closeted however, the disease cannot spread apparently.

    “This afternoon I found myself inexplicably singing tunes from the soundtrack of Rent. Must have caught a touch of the Gay!”

    That’s patently ridiculous. And I know, from past comments, you seem to think that homosexuality is a choice – that it’s possible that otherwise “healthy” straight men will become so enamored of the gay lifestyle, that they would somehow be convinced that “ass fucking” is what they really want. Speaking as a straight man who has been to a fair number of gay events, as cool as all those gay men seem, to this day I have absolutely no interest in gay sex. No curiosity, no uncomfortable stirrings in my loins whenever I see a well muscled man in (gasp!) gorgeous Prada shoes. So yeah, if gay was communicable I’d be as gay as the night is black. Yet I remain fiercely heterosexual. Go figure.

    So what do we do as Jews about the fags in our midst? I dunno – what do we do about the sabbath violators, treiff eaters, onanists, frequenters of brothels, appikorsim, atheists, gossips, gluttons etc. many of whom are otherwise fine, upstanding and even frum individuals?

    Well, I personally ascertain, in the most discrete way possible, that they are aware of the halachic position on their various activities. Once that has been determined, I do nothing. I don’t try to drive them away. I don’t try to take a morally difficult situation and make it worst. I’m not a one man Sanhedrin. These sinners (and we are all sinners really) are part of my community. They are welcome at my home and welcome at my synagogue. Sinning in one area ought not prevent you from doing mitzvot in other areas.

    Hopefully that helps balance things out. As for a gay pride parade in downtown Jerusalem, I think dina de malchutei dina applies and as long as they are not forcing people to have gay sex, it’s ok.

    I know you feel gay pride parades encourage homosexuality. They don’t. Gay pride parades are a way of letting you know that there are homosexuals all around you. They’re on the street, they’re where you work, they’re probably even in your shul (one in every minyan!). You say you hate the sin but not the sinner – good. Let your language reflect that.

    In fact, say the word and I’d be happy to enjoy dinner at your home and I’ll bring along a real live gay person. Through your hospitality (a big mitzva after all) you will be able to demonstrate, in a concrete manner, just how much you don’t hate the sinner.

    Are you in Ben-David? I am offering you the opportunity to make a mitzva. I’ll even bring a fine bottle of wine and the gay guy will bring lovely flowers for you wife (I don’t know shit about flowers, but these gay guys… man, they’re gifted!).

    So what do you say?

  29. Shy Guy

    6/26/2006 at 1:52 pm

    Ben-David, thanks a lot for making my bible thumping career redundant. 😉

  30. laya

    6/26/2006 at 2:10 pm

    well said ck. Three cheers for constructive dialogue.

    Ben-David, here’s a tip – don’t accuse, project, presume and insult in the same post as you accuse someone else of labelling, or personally attacking. Barring that, i might suggest you look up the word “hypocrisy.”

    In fact don’t accuse, project, presume and insult if what you are after is a real discussion. I mean, honestly, after what you just said to me, what is your ideal response “wow ben david, you are so wise, you know everything about me! I DO just want to be COOL! None of my arguments are based on anything other that that desire. I am so insecure, I thought liking gay people was the ticket to coolness, but thanks for putting my desperately PC ass back in line!”

    You and I had a long and tiresome back and forth on this issue less than a year ago here.

    Unless you have something fundamentally new to say, I don’t see any reason engage you further on the topic, especially when you are so purposefully insulting. You don’t fight fair, so I’m not gonna fight.

    Sorry buddy.

  31. Dave

    6/26/2006 at 6:41 pm

    Ben-David, I agree with you 100 percent.
    I think represent some of those non-Orthodox Jews who still believe in family values.
    The problem is that some of us have a created a Judaism in which every mitzvah is considered equally valuable and every sin is equally bad as any other sin. I cannot accept this concept.

  32. Ben-David

    6/27/2006 at 3:06 am

    CK –
    I am not worried about getting “gay cooties” – those are your words and theories, not the words of any of the defenders of tradition on the list.

    Do you see how that riff avoids engagement and sets up straw men?

    There are valid concerns about the nature of this parade and the way it was imposed upon the community – by the same ultra-secular elite that blithely suspended their political opponent’s rights of free speech and assembly last year.

    There are also valid concerns (which I’ve expressed on previous threads) about the gay lobby’s targeting of young adults whose identity is still unformed – and bombarding them with the falsehood that “gays are born that way”.

    This results in young guys who are experiencing perfectly normal – and transient – crushes on men being inducted into the mechanism of exploitation and degradation known euphemistically as “the gay community”.

    Again – despite your and laya’s attempts to insert victimology politics into this issue, there is absolutely no connection between the very real questions at the personal and communal level and this highly politicized and provocative march.

    Gays who really wanted to engage the Jewish community would conduct a different kind of march. These people – and those who imposed them on the residents of Jerusalem – are interested in imposing their views on those they consider primitives, not in “communal acceptance”.

    … and could you take Laya aside and explain to her what hypocrisy is? Like, that those who write things like:

    People this concerned with others sexuality are always a little suspicious to me.
    – – – – – – – – – –
    … shouldn’t then write:

    don’t accuse, project, presume and insult in the same post as you accuse someone else of labelling, or personally attacking.
    – – – – – – – – – – – –

    … I’m sure you can find a way to explain this to her.

  33. ck

    6/27/2006 at 6:39 am

    Ben-David wrote: “young guys who are experiencing perfectly normal – and transient – crushes on men”

    Huh? I sure never had a crush on any man, ever. Living in Montreal, me and my friends would go out to bars and clubs starting at the age of 14. Oftentimes, there were lots of Gay men at the clubs – which is typical in a cosmopolitan, open minded city like Montreal. And despite sometimes being verrily surrounded by these homosexuals, never once did I or any of my close heterosexual friends express any interest at all in buggering or getting buggered. Face it, you’re either a fag or you’re not.

    The point about straw men is well taken. I was just funnin’. What I wasn’t funnin’ about though was that dinner invite. Or even lunch. Whatever. We’ll both be on our best behavior, I promise and there will be nary a gyrating g-string in site.

    So Ben-David? You in? This is a sincere offer. In fact, I you want to just come down to Jerusalem and have a beer or an ice coffee or whatever. No one will yell at you, you are free to express whatever opinion you want. Nu?

  34. laya

    6/27/2006 at 11:16 am

    ben david – lets clear the air.

    The only comment I made towards you that was at all personal was that I tend to be suspicious of someone so concerned with other peoples sexuality.

    You have since explained the reasons for your particular interest (your family member) which helps explain your motivations. Fine.

    So, I will take back my suspicions if you in turn can agree to take back the things you have accused me of (but let’s just be clear, a suspicion is not the same as an accusation)

    these things include but are not limited to:

    -PC posturing

    -invoking “victimology” – Where??

    -Ignoring your “cogent argument and valid points” – rather than simply refusing to go over the same exact territory, as I stated multiple times

    -Labelling you – Again, where?

    -Personally attacking you – Where?

    -Being motivated solely by the desire to look “cool” and “hip” to all my PC friends.

    You may also want to take back this straw man argument for good measure

    … but if I was riding past you in a sequined g-string, then it wouldn’t be so suspicious eh?

    Strange girl you are.

    I mean really, if honest, productive dialogue is at all what you are after, then you just don’t say things like this:

    I’ve seen people like you at these parades – people so full of themselves and their self-righteous COOLNESS – using the gay people around them as markers of their own PC status. Oh loook, there’s a guy in a dayglo jockstrap gyrating on top of a car – look how COOL and HIP I am for not being shocked by all this…

    That’s not meant to do anything other than insult and provoke.

    Lets try to be a little more fair here.

    And don’t get your panties all in a ruffle just cause someone refuses to engage you endlessly on a specific topic. Especially when they have already engaged you ad nasueum on that same exact topic.

    Now one last thing – and please don’t ignore this point – where exactly have ck or I brought up these so-called “vicitmology politics” you keep bringing up? I really don’t know what you are talking about.

    So now, what about ck’s dinner proposition?

  35. SP

    6/27/2006 at 1:07 pm

    laya, do you really believe that if someone was brazenly mechalel shabbos, most people would stand for it? If they did it in a synagouge?

    Any person that would flaunt a sin in a public should be ostracized. It’s one thing to be a sinner (we all sin), its another thing to flaunt ones sinfulness. Though an interesting counter take on this is gezeilah vs. geneivah. where gezeilah (hidden) is worse than geneivah as geneivah means you aren’t afraid of man or god, while gezeilah indicates you are only afraid of man.

  36. laya

    6/27/2006 at 1:36 pm

    so i guess by your rationale, we should simply ostracize most of tel aviv, nay, much of Israel for brazingly attending clubs, driving, chatting on cell phones or sitting in coffee shops on shabbat. Many people in Israel regularly eat in or – gasp!- even run non kosher restaurants. They are flaunting their sinfulness and in public no less! Shall we ostracize them too?

  37. Shy Guy

    6/27/2006 at 1:48 pm

    SP, read up on the Halachot of Tochacha (rebuke). It ain’t so, especially for individuals. The Chafetz Haim wrote much about the laws of rebuking a fellow Jew. Not at all simple.

    Laya, one would hope that a Jew wouldn’t rub their hands together with glee when mentioning the non-Jewish behavior of fellow Jews.

    Indeed, we should seriously gasp that there are Jewish run non-kosher resaturants and Jews that eat non-kosher in Israel or anywhere else.

  38. SP

    6/27/2006 at 2:21 pm

    my point was focused on your comment of We don’t scream at sabbath breakers that they are “losing there place in olam haba” (which, shy guy, i hope you don’t mean all gays go to hell. Hell isn’t even a Jewish concept) or ostracize them from the community because they are “a disgrace and committing immoral acts”, but rather we embrace them and encourage them to come into Jewish community to the extent that they can.

    There’s a difference of a sin l’teyavon and l’chachis. I can deal with someone who sins l’teyavon, I can encourage them to do what they can. However, its much much harder (if not impossible) to deal with someone who sins l’chachis. And that’s what this parade is about in many peoples minds. sinning l’chachis.

  39. SP

    6/27/2006 at 2:42 pm

    Oh, and shy guy, I chose my words carefully. I didn’t say rebuke, I said “ostracize” for a reason. Just because its difficult to rebuke someone correctly, doesn’t mean you let the behavior continue without remark.

  40. laya

    6/27/2006 at 2:55 pm

    Who’s rubbing their hands together with glee?

    listen, you said people who flaunt a sin publicly should be ostracized. So should we begin with the city of tel aviv, most of which is open on shabbat?

  41. SP

    6/27/2006 at 3:57 pm

    there are two individual things.

    1) should we be pained by the fact that people don’t observe that sabbath? yes. But is there anything that we can do about it today? No.

    Homosexuality, on the other hand, is an ongoing thing and the more increased acceptance it gets the more people will chose to behave in that manner (yes, I do believe for many people it’s a choice, as they do feel attraction to bothe genders, sometimes in equal degrees, some times in different)

    2) If someone came to the city of jerusalem with the idea of celebrating “Jewish Pride” by marching onto the temple mount, the city (and state) would refuse. why? because it’s “provocation”. In the same way that this outpouring of jewish pride would be a provocation to the muslims, even more so the glorification of homosexual acts (which is what these parades do) is a provocation against judaism. If an individual wants to do an act, ok, I can’t stop it, I feel bad about them sinning but that’s their choice. But when an organziation comes together to glorify an act that judaism finds immoral, one can’t just ignore it.

  42. laya

    6/27/2006 at 4:28 pm

    dude, you think there’s nothing we can do to change shabbat un-observance? I guess you don’t work for chabad or aish hatorah, huh?

  43. Ofri

    6/27/2006 at 4:34 pm

    Man, all this talk of sinfulness makes me miss Tel Aviv. At least there people mind their own fucking business.

  44. SP

    6/27/2006 at 7:28 pm

    laya, I think things can be done on an individual level, but I find it difficult to believe that with the way the world is constructed today to make massive changes.

    however good chabad and aish hatorah are, and however strong the “Baal teshuva movement” is, we are losing more people from frumkeit than we are gaining.

  45. Ben-David

    6/28/2006 at 8:58 am

    CK and Laya –

    Thanks for your offer – but surprising as this may seem, I already have gay coworkers and professional acquaintences. And I had them in previous jobs as well – both in the States and here in Israel.

    Can you wrap your minds around the notion that people equally knowledgeable as you about the gay subculture still disagree with you?

    That I (and the others who’ve commented here) don’t need to be (re)educated so as to hold correct opinions?

    Look through the posts, CK – the only person talking about gays having cooties has been you. It’s your projection on those who disagree with you – just like Laya is projecting hatred and ostracization on anyone who questions the party line on gay normalcy and the advisability of this march.

    Can either of you wrap your minds around the notion that those who disagree with you have valid points – about how the march was imposed, about what the type of behavior at the march says about the gay lifestyle, about how Jews should parse that lifestyle?

    Let’s call it “an exercise in tolerance for diversity, shall we?

    Thanks for further confirmation that the driving force on your folk’s side of this conversation is the blinkered condescension of youth and political correctness.

    Regarding victimology: I and others repeatedly discussed the inappropriate imposition of this parade on people in Jerusalem, and the clear history of cultural/political bias that this Court has displayed in selectively defending basic freedoms.

    You both have repeatedly reframed the discussion away from those points to the totally unrelated topic of how gays are accepted on a personal level in the Jewish community.

    (Big Hint #1 – flouting a community’s every notion of decency will not garner you respectful treatment.

    Big Hint #2 – people who organize such an in-your-face event are not interested in communal acceptance, they’re interested in imposing their view on others.)

    This is a classic technique of victimology politics – focusing away from objective facts or the larger political picture, and instead using an emotional frame to negate valid criticism.

    like this:
    My question to you was, in light of the commandment i posted (which, according to our sages is one of the most important commandments in torah), what would be the correct conduct for a mitzva loving Jew in an encounter with people who are unwilling or unable to fulfil one of the commandments?
    – – – – – – – – – – –
    As if the march is made up of otherwise knowledgable, committed Jews who are just torn up inside over their moral failing – instead of a worldwide consortion of gentiles openly challenging Torah morality.

    In context, this is non-sequitir. It is a classic ploy of victimology politics.

    CK, Laya, I’ll be happy to meet with you if you need more “guidance” on this issue – and maybe it would do you good, you know, break out of your own closed little circles and actually meet modern, thinking people who – gasp – actually disagree with PC opinion… while agreeing with every other human culture’s take on homosexuality…

    You know – really BEING a free thinker, instead of just buying the T-shirt and faking it…

  46. Ben-David

    6/28/2006 at 9:42 am

    CK wrote:
    I’d be happy to enjoy dinner at your home and I’ll bring along a real live gay person.
    – – – – – – – – – – –
    tinyurl.com/bh...

  47. ck

    6/28/2006 at 10:42 am

    Come on Ben David. Me? Politically Correct? Do you read Jewlicious at all? Of course you are free to disagree with me. Lots of people do. And I respect that. I am not at all surprised that you have found yourself acquainted with homosexuals – one in every minyan as they say.

    I am not trying to educate you, or change your mind at all. I just, as I tend to do, would like to try to reduce the acrimony perhaps and meet with one of our regular commentors and chill over a beer.

    Look for the record, I don’t think homosexuality is “normal.” Pretty much every homosexual I have ever spoken to has stuggled against it. But there it is. So what are you going to do?

    So the parade was improperly imposed upon us, the tax paying residents of Jerusalem? The Supreme Court doesn’t think so. I mean I hate friggin Jazz and it seems everywhere I go, the city I live in is shelling out cash for a Jazz Festival. So if a particularly awful freestyle scat band is scheduled to play, I don’t attend – my offense at the existence of scat being mitigated by the tax revenue that will be earned by my city.

    The route of the parade will be well publicized – why not just not go?

    As to your big hints:

    “Big Hint #1 – flouting a community’s every notion of decency will not garner you respectful treatment.

    Big Hint #2 – people who organize such an in-your-face event are not interested in communal acceptance, they’re interested in imposing their view on others.”

    Do you think non-acceptance of homosexuals by jews only began after Stonewall? And what is it that the Gays are trying to impose on us with their parade? The notion that anal sex is fun and we should all try it? I think all they want to do is let people know that they exist and that they are not about to become straight any time soon – that they don’t want to have to hide and be closeted – that they want to take their place alongside all other Jews none of whom are without sin.

    I dunno – hate the sin, love the sinner? Sounds good to me. So yeah. Let’s do it Ben David. Send an email at jewlicious [at] gmail dot com nd I will gladly set it up. First beer or whatever is on me! come on… it’ll be fun!

  48. Ben-David

    6/28/2006 at 1:13 pm

    ck wrote:
    one in every minyan as they say.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    But the “one-in-ten is gay” myth has long since been exploded. Only 2-3 percent of the population is gay. So maybe it’s “one in every medium-sized shul”.

    ck wrote:
    And what is it that the Gays are trying to impose on us with their parade? The notion that anal sex is fun and we should all try it? I think all they want to do is let people know that they exist and that they are not about to become straight any time soon – that they don’t want to have to hide and be closeted – that they want to take their place alongside all other Jews none of whom are without sin.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    … OK, so which of these messages require faking copulation on a car roof in rhinestoned g-strings?

    And which of them require marching in Jerusalem instead of Tel-Aviv?

    I think you’re being purposely obtuse here.

    ck wrote:
    hate the sin, love the sinner? Sounds good to me.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Since when does the Jewish notion of “loving the sinner” mean enabling them in their sin, or ignoring their distress to avoid momentary discomfort?

    Is that how you would “love” a relative who had a problem with drink drugs, bulimia, or cutting?

  49. John

    6/28/2006 at 3:57 pm

    Ben-David – Alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, and self-injury may be defined as diseases and are at the very least unhealthy coping mechanisms. Homosexuality is NOT a disease. When you lump it into the same group as these other issues, I think that’s part of what CK means when he says you are talking about gay cooties. Also the idea that just by being exposed to gay people via parades will encourage people to become gay is also part of the “gay cooties” idea – homosexuality is not contagious.

  50. SP

    6/28/2006 at 4:06 pm

    Alcholism is contagious? self injury is contagious?

    If you view homosexuality as a bad thing, even a sin, one who is therefore “afflicted” with it (as in he has the urges) is just as much diseased as someone who is predisposed to alcholism and cutting. But just like alcholism can’t be “cured”, just controlled, one’s homosexual impulses can’t be cured, just controlled.

  51. John

    6/28/2006 at 4:28 pm

    SP – that was my point. Alcoholism and the other things that Ben-David mentioned are not contagious. Homosexuality is not an affliction; it’s not a disease like alcoholism.

  52. SP

    6/28/2006 at 7:22 pm

    Uh, if you believe the homosexual act is a sin, then yes, homosexuality is an affliction.

    Heck, teenage hormones are an affliction in the same vein (presuming one views premarital sex as a sin).

    I would say the same thing about someone who suffers from kleptomania.

    You probably don’t view it that way, but i don’t think the argument is invalid.

  53. Ben-David

    6/29/2006 at 2:31 am

    John –

    1) As SP has pointed out, NONE of my examples fit your assumptions about my opinions. The notion that those opposed to this parade are afraid of “getting cooties” is entirely a fabrication of those in favor of the parade.

    It’s a claim used to sidestep our very real critique of the march and how it was imposed on Jerusalem’s residents.

    2) Your assertion that “Homosexuality is not a disease” is a freshly-minted opinion that is still being debated – and whose pseudo scientific “proof” has been debunked here on previous threads.

    It’s still very much a judgement call based on values – no doubt people that we label as schizophrenics would be considered prophets or shamans by many aboriginal tribes.

    I am judging based on my first-hand observations of the gay “lifestyle” and “community” and weighing what I see using the scale of traditional Jewish values.

    And I’ve reached the same conclusion as the majority of humans, and the majority of human societies – that homosexuality is not normal, it’s a maladapted pattern of behavior.

    The burden of proof is always upon the innovators – and the imposition of the march, and the tone of this thread, are both classic examples of how a small minority is attempts to impose its opinion without engaging in rational discussion.

  54. laya

    6/29/2006 at 7:59 am

    aww, ben david, are you really not gonna respond to my comment number 34? Does this mean we can’t be friends?

    ;(

  55. Ben-David

    6/29/2006 at 8:42 am

    What haven’t I responded to?

    1) We both overreached in impugning each other’s motives. OK.
    I’m sorry too – mwah-mwah, kissy-kissy.

    2) I am not interested in repeating previous arguments about homosexuality – I’d be happy if either you or CK addressed my comments about this particular march, and the problems it raises.

    3) I do not need to be introduced to gay people, or educated about their basic humanity. Nor do I need lessons in compassion.

  56. laya

    6/29/2006 at 9:18 am

    re: 2) Not interested in repeating arguments, wait a minute, now you’re stealing my lines! As far as addressing your points, please refer to this post as the issues are no different than last years.

    Oh, but PS, something not being normal is not the same as being morally wrong. And as far as “reach[ing] the same conclusion as the majority of humans, and the majority of human societie” as some kind proof goes, pretty much every society has also hated the Jews, so what does THAT tell us?

  57. SP

    6/29/2006 at 10:19 am

    Oh, but PS, something not being normal is not the same as being morally wrong.

    correct. If someone has schizophrenia, he’s not normal, but there’s nothing morally inherently wrong about it.

    On the other hand, if one believes that one aspect of the Torah is about teaching us morality, then yes, homosexuality is both abnormal and immoral. That doesn’t mean we should treat homosexuals in an immoral way as well, but it does mean we shouldn’t enable that behavior or condone it, just like we wouldn’t enable or condone a kleptomaniac’s stealing urges.

  58. michelle

    6/29/2006 at 11:58 am

    Ok…SP etc., it’s time fore me to start backing Laya.

    1. Comparing homosexuality to kleptomania? first of all…klepto…ILLEGAL! Homosexuality…not illegal. Kleptos harm others by their habits. When was the last time a homo harmed you? Right…that’s what I thought.

    2. If you don’t like it, don’t condone it! No one is forcing you to show up at that parade. You can choose to stay in that day. Or…if you want to look like an ass, you can go protest. It’s your choice.

    You can fight until you’re blue in the face, and it’s not going to stop the parade from happening.

    As a Jewish Lesbian, I will forever back Laya’s, ck’s and John’s views on this topic. However, I refuse to fight idiots since they are so typically closed minded. I know what’s right, I know my place in this world.

  59. bartholomew fraunhofer

    6/29/2006 at 12:57 pm

    michelle, sp was talking from a torah perspective. from that vantage, keptomania and homosexuality ( at least for guys) are equal evils, although one is between man and man and one is from man to g-d.

  60. Ben-David

    6/29/2006 at 1:21 pm

    Laya:
    And as far as “reach[ing] the same conclusion as the majority of humans, and the majority of human societie” as some kind proof goes, pretty much every society has also hated the Jews, so what does THAT tell us?
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    … that Jews have nothng to learn from Gentile notions of “progressive” morality…

    … that only foolish Jews throw over their own longstanding, proven moral code to fit self-indulgent, shifting Gentile values…

    …such as the modern fashions for sexual dissolution and amorality…

  61. Ben-David

    6/29/2006 at 1:39 pm

    Michelle, I’m not sure Laya needs help – at least, not of this caliber.

    Michelle:
    . Comparing homosexuality to kleptomania? first of all…klepto…ILLEGAL! Homosexuality…not illegal. Kleptos harm others by their habits. When was the last time a homo harmed you? Right…that’s what I thought.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    a) Homosexuality has been considered abnormal throughout most of human history, and was illegal until recently.

    b) legal systems express a community’s values, they are not limited by the schoolyard question “did I hurt anyone”? That’s why suicide and drug use are illegal in our society.

    Michelle:
    2. If you don’t like it, don’t condone it! No one is forcing you to show up at that parade. You can choose to stay in that day.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    a) Why must the citizens of Jerusalem be subjected to curfew/house arrest by foreigners?

    Tens of thousands of foreign nationals will be marching – with the express purpose of thumbing their noses at the values held by most of Jerusalem’s residents, and the moral code that Jerusalem represents.

    The city government – using laws meant to keep the already fragile peace in this divided city – decided not to let the march proceed. That decision was overridden by a Court representing an elitist, minority view of Israeli culture.

    Since when do the opinions of foreigners take precedence over the values of citizens?

    b) Are you aware that our ancestors were forced to “just stay in their homes” during period “marches of the cross” through Jewish ghettos?

    Do you really consider that a solution – or are you so used to heavy-handed PC coercion as a way of imposing your views that you REALLY don’t see what’s wrong with your blithely bolshevik suggestion?

    Michelle:
    I refuse to fight idiots since they are so typically closed minded. I know what’s right –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    – and no doubt you “refuse to argue” because you’re so darn open-minded, eh?

    Can you say HYPOCRISY?

    Get a clue.

  62. Jamie

    6/29/2006 at 6:13 pm

    Ben-David,

    “Homosexuality has been considered abnormal throughout most of human history, and was illegal until recently.”

    Lets go back to the Greeks shall we? They considered the ideal relationship to be between two men, not a man and a woman. Women were considered no better than animals.

    And you want to talk about things no longer being illegal? What about women having the right to vote? What about non-property, non-white males being able to vote?

    Suicide isn’t illegal in every society. Look at fuedal Japan. Drug use? Anyone remember the 60s?

    There are a number of things that change in a particular society’s values.

    You want to discuss hyprocrisy, let’s talk about the Holocaust, shall we? Jews were not the only ones persecuted. Gypsies, Germans, Poles and homosexuals were all sent to the camps. To sit here and condemn homosexuality is just as horrible as Hitler blaming Jews for Germany’s problems after WWI and then attempting to erridicate them.

    You ask for these foreign nationals to be considerate of your views and your lifestyle, can’t you see it from their side?

    I don’t want to change anyone’s views about homosexuality. If you don’t support it, fine. I understand that, but I wish more people could just look at things from each other’s views.

  63. Ben-David

    6/30/2006 at 1:40 am

    Jaime –

    1) Let’s look at Ancient Greek attitudes to Homosexuality – shall we?

    The exclusive homosexual who never married was an object of ridicule. Most homosexual relations were exploitative and involved two people different in age and social power – in other words it was pederasty sanctioned as a means of social advancement.

    2) Women received the vote after articulating why it was consonant with the society’s values. That certainly involved public protest, but they didn’t get the vote by getting the Supreme Court to impose their opinion upon others.

    3) Suicide may very well be legal in Japan. Each nations’s laws and social strictures describe its own values.

    The values of my nation are clear – sex is a powerful human force that can elevate or debase the individual and society. Sexual activity must be accompanied by emotional and social commitment, and fidelity.

    Yes, secular society’s values do change – but the burden of proof is always upon the innovators. Not many people would cite the drug culture of the 60s as an example of successful progressive thought… do you think it so?

    An increasing number of people are learning that the carefully-groomed Talbot’s lesbians the media display are not at all representative of the gay “community” – The Rest of Us have a right to judge this community, applying our values to its observed behaviors.

    Regarding foreigners – they are certainly entitled to their opinion. In this case they are being used as a club and a stalking horse by a small elite that is culturally oppressing its own people.

    While modern democracies preserve the rights of CITIZENS to assemble and say unpopular things, no foreigner has a right to flout a people’s deeply held values on those people’s own streets.

    Since nobody’s mentioned the Holocaust, I will leave your comments as they stand – an example of the emotionally-charged sloganeering that passes in PC circles for mature discussion.

  64. Dor

    6/30/2006 at 3:46 pm

    Ben David,

    I’m afraid you keep avoiding the simple argument for the Parade. It is called FREE SPEECH. Here is how the argument goes:

    As you may have noticed, quite a few of us disagree with your opinion of gays. This is fine. Such disagreements exist over many other controversial topics. We may try to convince each other. But it’s not easy. People believe in different sources of value, they have different life experiences, different interpretations of sacred texts, to say nothing about having different sacred texts altogether! So the truth is that in large, diverse societies disagreements will persist, no matter how long you will engage in “rational argument”.

    So here we are: people in a society disagree about values, beliefs, practices. What are we to do? One option is that the powerful silence the weak, or that the majority silences the minority. The other option: we allow everyone to express their beliefs and values, peacefully. Israel belongs to the second kind of society, called a democracy that believes in equal rights to all. I shall assume that it’s a good thing.
    If you disagree, I will present the reasons supporting free speech to all.

    Free speech to all means free speech even to those who disagree with us. Those who believe that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish People and that we should therefore keep it all must listen to those who support a two state solution, and vice versa. Etc.

    Having established free speech, let’s talk about the Parade. Suppose you think homosexuality is bad and shameful. Suppose I think it’s great and nothing to be ashamed of. Free speech means you may say what you think, and I may say what I think. It also means that you get to march with a sign saying what you think, and I get to march with a sign saying what I think. Finally, free speech means you and your friends get to march with signs saying what you think, and me and my friends get to do the same.

    Now, my friends and I marching with signs saying homosexuality is OK is also called a Pride Parade. I know that in your mind the parade is something much more horrible. Indeed, in many other cities they often involve nudity and are overt and sexual. The parades in Jerusalem have never been like that. They are modest demonstrations of very ordinary people saying what I just said – that we believe homosexuality is just fine and not something to be ashamed of. I have marched in Jerusalem before, and I can tell you that the marchers are peaceful and modest. It’s really just people marching. (You may not believe me. But at least you will have to support a march that IS modest and peaceful?)

    End of story. Of course, free speech always IMPOSES ideas and values on others. That’s the whole point of it. Just like the demonstrations in Jerusalem last year against the disengagement (in which people from all over the country, not only from Jerusalem, participated) “imposed” on me ideas and values I deeply reject.

    Enough about rights. Let’s talk about sensitivity. I may have a right to free speech, but there is something to be said for being considerate. And I know that the Parade in Jerusalem offends many people. On the other hand, for us, it is extremely important that it happens in Jerusalem. Partly because we too live here, and like living here, and want to be able to be who we are without shame. And partly becaue – as you said – it IS part of a “culturekampf” over Jerusalem and its values. But now we are back to free speech: why isn’t it ok for US to engage in the cultural battle? You may disagree. But that’s what makes it a battle, doesn’t it?

    (And your stuff about foreigners – come on… are we going to check and see that all demostrators in Jerusalem actually live here? People come here from all over the world to demonstrate on other issues. It’s not a very good argument. But if you think it’s a great argument – that’s fine too. Let us then agree that a Pride Parade only for those who live in Jerusalem (and their friends?) is OK. Agreed?

  65. SP

    6/30/2006 at 6:45 pm

    dor, israel doesn’t have free speech. look at the baning of kach.

  66. Dor

    7/1/2006 at 12:41 am

    SP,
    1. You cannot infer from one case of a violation of a right that the country is not committed to the right.
    2. Kach was not silenced. It was banned from running to the Knesset. And it was not done just like that – it required a special amendment to Basic Law: The Knesset. If the Knesset passes a basic law saying gays don’t have free speech, I will (sadly) agree that the Parade can be banned.
    3. now let’s leave legalistic issues aside and get to the matter: I personally don’t think Kach should have been banned (btw, it only happened once. Baruch Marzel was allowed to run to the Knessset). I think racist ideas and speech need to be heard and addressed “in the marketplace of ideas” just like any other idea I find deeply objectionable.
    4. Finally, and most importantly, there is no comparison between silencing Kach and the parade. even if you accept that you can silence speech that is intended to humiliate and denigrate another group of people, this is of course not the message of the Parade. Quite the opposite. It is an attempt of a minority group to overcome the humiliation and shame that others attempt to impose of it.

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