Let me first say that I can’t promise to have an answer. But even if I can’t figure it out, we still should keep pondering this accusatory question.
For starters, any of the generalizations should not make us lose sight of the fact that in any group, there good and bad people. That’s very important!
The Israeli public is quite tolerant, on average. Maybe, that’s because Judaism stresses to be more critical of oneself than of others?
Also, the Sages say that Jews, 80% of Israel’s population, are characterized by being humble, compassionate, and nice.
The exception, sadly, seem the Rabbis. So, a major question is: why?
The religious parties, led by rabbis, are the only ones who, as a group, stop Gay marriage in Israel. But, back to our main spotlight, on journalists.
Why are the Israeli media so hostile? (Include: indifferent.) Persecution of Jews and Gays is similar enough.
Forget about Left or Right. Haaretz is not much better. Nor is the TOI.
This public/press discrepancy is not unique. So are a major part of the US news outlets anti-Israel, but the population and the Senate are with us.
The Jerusalem Post, a far cry from the quality paper it once was, is the only one that always takes a news story with an LGBTQ angle. Is that because of its British roots? The UK was the last Western country to decriminalize being Gay. And Jews from there still feel their deep shame about it? (Once, I talked with one of the most senior journalists of the JPost and she was an absolute homophobe. But that’s years ago and her paper is not anymore.)
Take this moving story from the JTA about a US cantor who pleaded for a successful athlete disgraced for being Gay over half a century ago. As a result, the Catholic school and the officials of then retracted their shameful behavior, moving the victim to no end. Only the JPost ran the item. I even asked the TOI to publish the now 3-day-old piece — to no avail. Why?
Beats me. Also its almost 10,000 bloggers are typically silent on LGBTQ-issues. I don’t get it. So, I call upon you, the reader, for suggestions.
My best guess is that the Israeli English press is mainly populated by secular Jews from English-speaking countries. They somehow can see that Jews need their own place under the sun but not LGBTQs. But why?
Maybe their assimilation causes this? Not holding on to much of the tradition, being anti-Gay became a last relic of their Jewish identity? UK Chabad Rabbi Chaim Rapoport in his book on the subject suggests such.
For those who think that this is a rather marginal issue: If (conservative estimate) 5% in every community are Lesbian or Gay, then at least a third of the population has a first-degree Gay relative (0.95 times 0.95 times 0.95 times…). Also, there must be at least 1 million Lesbian or Gay Jews.
Some people may dislike the calling out of Homophobia. Would they also object against standing up against Racism? LGBTQ-hatred is a form of Racism too. Under the false argument of a different body (visible skin tone vs. invisible brain gender preferences), regarding others less because they threaten the comfort of the White/Hetero-normative privileged.
I’m going to repeat myself for all clarity. Not every person in the groups I mentioned above (chronologically: Israelis, Jews, Rabbis, the Israeli and US journalists and populations, the Left, British, bloggers, secular Zionists) fits the same mold. I’m only describing a general trend in these groups. But if you’re the exception, please use that to your and everyone’s advantage.
And, as with any oppression, while hurting the target group, the people who act as agents of the bigotry hurt mostly their own humanness.
Whatever the cause, this must change. Hostile media are a mighty enemy.
Meanwhile, in slightly related news, International Women’s Day, March 8, has turned into a week (much like a yearly Pride Parade turned into Pride Month). The JPost started past Friday with dozens of articles in which women take center-stage and the TOI has joined the parade of articles.