Israel Elections: Voters must take stock of LGBTQ-phobia in parties

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03/14/2021

Fighting for its political survival, with the polls pointing to it precariously hovering around the 3.25% electoral threshold, the last thing Meretz needed last week was for Ghaida Rinawie-Zoabi to alienate potential LGBT voters, one the key constituencies the candidate’s party represents. For as long as Meretz has been in existence, the promotion of equal civil rights for all the country’s citizens regardless of race, religion or sexuality has been at the forefront of the party’s identity, alongside its consistent and vocal opposition to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. In a car crash of a political interview, the number-four candidate on the Meretz slate told the Kul al-Arab website that while Meretz supports the right of every person to live as they please, she planned to take into account the society she comes from. Therefore, Rinawie-Zoabi said, out of consideration for religious sentiments in the Arab community, she would abstain from supporting a bill banning the use of the controversial “conversion therapy” that aims to change the sexual orientation of LGBTQ people.

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