January 16, 2019

City Councilman Becomes Israel’s First Gay Mayor

Eitan Ginzburg, who had been serving as a councilman for the Israeli city of Ra’anana for the past 15 years, was selected to serve as the city’s mayor on Mar. 16, making him the first ever gay mayor in Israel.

The Jerusalem Post reports that Ginzburg was appointed by the Ra’anana city council, which included members of the Orthodox community, to the position after the prior mayor, Ze’ev Bielski, was tapped to lead the National Housing Authority in the Finance Ministry.

“I am happy the fact that I am gay did not stop me from getting elected with the support of the Bayit Yehudi,” Ginzburg told the Post. “I was chosen not because I am gay and not in spite of it, but because of the work I have done.”

He also said “that another glass ceiling was shattered, showing the progress in Israeli society.”

Additionally, Ginzburg is the youngest mayor in Israel at 41 years of age. He has been on the city council for 15 years; during his first term on the council he was also serving as an aide to former Labor Party MK Matan Vil’nai.

October’s nationwide elections in Israel will determine if Ginzburg will be able to serve a full term as mayor. In the meantime, Ginzburg is planning “to run the city in a stable and responsible way” to earn that full term. He doesn’t have any plans to seek higher office than mayor.

It’s worth noting that, as Erielle Davidson of The Federalist pointed out on Twitter, Israel is the only “country in the Middle East where this would be possible,” a blow to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) narrative.