The Left is not the group to look to for intellectual and moral consistency. Despite being the only democracy in the Middle East and Maghreb -- and the only one that affords rights to women and minorities including members of the LGBT community -- the Left still continues to condemn Israel.
Members of the Left also decry the policies of current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Yet the PM marked his Knesset's first official "LGBT Rights Day" with full support and a moving speech in which he said that "every person was created in the image of God."
The Jerusalem Post reports Netanyahu broke from his routine Tuesday schedule, in which he typically refrains from appearing in legislature, to take part in LGBT Rights Day.
The day included plenum and committee discussions on topics pertaining to Israel's thriving LGBT community. Netanyahu stated:
“I know that there were important and lengthy discussions today, and I came here in the middle of my schedule, which was no less busy, to say one sentence to the members of the LGBT community: ‘Every man was created in the image of God.’ That is the idea brought by our nation to mankind thousands of years ago, and it is the principle that must guide our national lives today.”
Of course that isn't enough for some people, reports JPost:
MK Amir Ohana, the first gay lawmaker from Likud, said the LGBT community is 10 percent of the population and is discriminated against under law.
“They cannot get married in their country, bring children into the world [via surrogacy] in their country, be their partners’ heir if he or she dies, and not because they are hostile to the state, do not serve in the army or pay taxes, rather, because they are gay or lesbian,” Ohana said.
What's more, Israel does allow for LGBT couples to adopt, particularly if the a child is related in some way to the adoptive parent(s). Members of the LGBT community enjoy full rights under Israel's Law of Return, in which anyone living outside Israel with a Jewish parent or grandparent can make Aliyah - or immigration -- to Israel. And members of the LGBT community freely serve in all branches of the IDF without restriction.
When members of the LGBT community here in the US were not allowed to marry, they fought and achieved legislative victories. They were free to wage those battles. With regard to its LGBT community, Israel is experiencing the kind of "rights problem" gays and minorities in Islamic countries wish they could have.
JPost also reports the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Subcommittee on IDF Manpower held a committee about LGBT IDF soldiers:
During the meeting, the IDF Chief of Staff’s Adviser on Women’s Affairs Rachel Tevet pointed out that 18-year-olds are enlisted without regard to sexual orientation and thus the IDF does not know how many gay soldiers there are.
Tevet gave an overview of gay soldiers’ integration, and former LGBT soldiers talked about their experiences, which were a mix of positive and negative.
“We do the maximum, but remember, education doesn’t start at the IDF, it starts in people’s private lives,” Tevet said.
Subcommittee chairman Yoav Kisch (Likud) asked the IDF to hold more workshops on the subject for commanders and to improve its work to integrate transgender soldiers.
“I was glad to hear the conditions in the army are good [for members of the LGBT community], as it should be,” Kisch said. “At the same time... the improvements must continue.
“The IDF is the army of the people and everyone must feel comfortable and certainly not have concerns based on their gender identity,” he added.
The point many dismiss is that there is a difference between human prejudices and institutional discrimination. It is within human nature to judge, and for some to even hold prejudices again certain groups of people. This is not to condone those prejudices, but rather to acknowledge they are a reality of life. That does not mean that the society itself is not free.
The fact that the LGBT community hasn't gotten everything it wants legislatively speaking in short-order is not proof it is victimhood. If anything, it proves members of LGBT communities in the West and in Israel are free to wage their respective legislative battles -- which is much more than can be said for LBT communities in other parts of the world.
Nonetheless, the Left will surely continue to condemn Israel despite the country's liberalism and its record in upholding freedom, dignity and human rights for all its citizens.