fbpx
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Knesset to Get First Openly Gay Legislator

Enjoying this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Activists in Israel’s gay and lesbian community are hailing the upcoming swearing in of the Knesset’s first openly gay member, calling it a breakthrough in their efforts for greater recognition.

When the Knesset reconvenes in November following its summer recess, Uzi Even, a Tel Aviv University chemistry professor, will become one of the Meretz Party’s 10 lawmakers. He will succeed veteran legislator Amnon Rubinstein, who is retiring from politics.

“This is a day of celebration for the gay and lesbian community, but also for the free and civic society in Israel,” said Itai Pinkas, chair of the Association of Gays and Lesbians in Israel. “Those who for years tried to push the community outside the public discourse will now get a declared homosexual as a Knesset member.”

Rubinstein was to have been replaced by the next person on Meretz’s roster, businessman Benny Temkin, who is currently in Mexico. But Temkin announced he would decline the position for personal and family reasons.

The seat then passed to Even, 61, who was next on the list. At a news conference, Even said he would focus on science, technology and education. He also promised to lobby for gay rights.

“I am proud to be a Knesset member and represent the community that sent me there,” Even told the Israeli newspaper, Ma’ariv. Labor Party Knesset Member Yael Dayan, who initiated the first Knesset conference on gay and lesbian issues 10 years ago, in which Even participated, welcomed his appointment to the Knesset.

Dayan invited Even to head a parliamentary subcommittee on gay issues that would function under the auspices of her Committee for the Advancement of Women. Legislators from fervently Orthodox parties condemned Even’s appointment.

Shas legislator Nissim Dahan called the appointment “a black day for the State of Israel.” Even dismissed the criticism. Once the media hype blows over, he said, Shas “will have no problem cooperating with me in the Knesset. My vote will be equal to that of every other legislator.”

Even, who lives with his longtime partner, has played a key role in advancing gay rights in Israel. In 1993, when the army found out that Even was living with a man, it removed him from his job as an intelligence officer.

He later was invited to address the Knesset about discrimination against gays in the army. Orthodox lawmakers walked out when he spoke, but his efforts eventually helped outlaw such discrimination. Within months, a regulation prohibiting discrimination against gays in the armed forces was signed by then-army Chief of Staff Ehud Barak.

Even later successfully sued Tel Aviv University to get the same benefits for his partner, Amit Kama, a communications professor, that the school extended to faculty spouses. Even and Kama also were among the first homosexuals to become foster parents in Israel, when they took in a 15-year-old whose family had thrown him out for being gay. The social welfare authorities and the boy’s biological parents approved the arrangement.

Previous articleJew in a Gentile World
Next article7 Days In Arts

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Latest Articles

Print Issue: Aug. 7, 2020

CLICK HERE FOR FULLSCREEN VERSION

‘Yo Semite’ Shirt Makes a Comeback After Trump Mispronounces Yosemite National Park

Trump's verbal gaffe Aug. 4 unintentionally endorsed a pre-existing “Yo Semite” t-shirt, created 15 years ago by Bay Area educator Sarah Lefton.

Is Now a Good time to Panic? Jewish Parenting in the time of Pandemic

I’ve been thinking a lot about how God must be very busy these days. His normal volume of prayers must certainly be at an...

In ‘A World Upended,’ Los Angeles Jews Gathered to Commemorate Tisha B’Av

“It was soothing to see a gallery view of  fellow Jews from across L.A. on a day that is defined by isolation.”

Jewish and Black Historical Cemeteries Vandalized in Virginia With Nazi Symbol

The vandalism consisted of graffiti stating "777," which is Nazi shorthand.

AJC Calls on Washington Post to Correct Op-Ed Calling Israel ‘Ethnically Exclusive’

"Calling Israel ‘ethnically exclusive’ is a lie and an insult to 25% of Israel’s population who aren’t Jewish but are full participants in its democracy."

Israel Offers Aid to Lebanon Following Explosions at Beirut Port

Lebanon is not expected to accept the offer.

‘Harry Potter’ Star Jason Isaacs Opens up About His Struggle With Addiction

"Every action was filtered through a burning need I had for being as far from a conscious, thinking, feeling person as possible."

Can We Save Working Moms and Our Economy?

Working moms in the U.S. already make as little as 69 cents for each dollar earned by working dads. We simply cannot afford a backslide.

Trump Pronounces Yosemite as ‘Yo Semites’

Twitter users responded with various jokes on the matter.

Culture

‘Yo Semite’ Shirt Makes a Comeback After Trump Mispronounces Yosemite National Park

Trump's verbal gaffe Aug. 4 unintentionally endorsed a pre-existing “Yo Semite” t-shirt, created 15 years ago by Bay Area educator Sarah Lefton.

‘Harry Potter’ Star Jason Isaacs Opens up About His Struggle With Addiction

"Every action was filtered through a burning need I had for being as far from a conscious, thinking, feeling person as possible."

Amazon’s ‘Hunters’ Renewed for Season 2

The hit drama from creator David Weil, executive producer Jordan Peele and starring Al Pacino and Logan Lerman, was inspired by Weil’s grandmother, a Holocaust survivor.

LAMOTH to Present ‘The Holocaust & Italy’ Film Series and Panel Discussions

The Shoah-related movies and live Zoom discussions are part of this month's “Teicholz Holocaust Remembrance Film Series: The Holocaust & Italy.”

Latest Articles
Latest

Print Issue: Aug. 7, 2020

CLICK HERE FOR FULLSCREEN VERSION

‘Yo Semite’ Shirt Makes a Comeback After Trump Mispronounces Yosemite National Park

Trump's verbal gaffe Aug. 4 unintentionally endorsed a pre-existing “Yo Semite” t-shirt, created 15 years ago by Bay Area educator Sarah Lefton.

Is Now a Good time to Panic? Jewish Parenting in the time of Pandemic

I’ve been thinking a lot about how God must be very busy these days. His normal volume of prayers must certainly be at an...

In ‘A World Upended,’ Los Angeles Jews Gathered to Commemorate Tisha B’Av

“It was soothing to see a gallery view of  fellow Jews from across L.A. on a day that is defined by isolation.”

Jewish and Black Historical Cemeteries Vandalized in Virginia With Nazi Symbol

The vandalism consisted of graffiti stating "777," which is Nazi shorthand.

Hollywood

Roy Moore’s Lawsuit Against Sacha Baron Cohen Over Being Pranked Can Proceed, Judge Rules

By the time the episode aired, it was widely known that Cohen was punking public figures.

‘Expecting Amy’ Highlights a New Comedy Dynamic of Jewish Mothers Making, Not Being, the Jokes

Jewish moms like Amy Schumer, who were once the material, have become the premier comics of this age.

Podcasts

The Mastermind Behind Netanyahu’s New Media (Topaz Luk)

Even prime ministers can’t do everything by themselves. They must surround themselves with dedicated, smart and excellent people who will help them.

Pandemic Times Episode 75: What is the Secret to Jewish Resiliency?

New David Suissa Podcast Every Monday and Friday. Reflections on the worsening times and how the Jewish approach to resiliency can guide us. How do we...

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

x