Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Why are most of the English Israeli media much more homophobic than the public?

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.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To find his earlier blog posts on a certain subject XXX, among his over 1200 ones, go to the right-top corner of the Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". His second daily active less tame blog, to which one may subscribe, one may find here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/ or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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