Thousands of LGBTQ Israelis have received an anonymous text message warning them to “repent” for their lifestyles.
The Jerusalem Post reports that the message went out on December 20 without explanation.
“You are LGBT and an apostate,” the message read. “You deserve severe punishment, death and deportation from Israel. Come to Yeshiva Ohr Elhanan in order to repent. We would be glad if you undergo conversion to faith.”
The message also included a telegram and phone number for Rabbi Chaim Aryeh Hadash, the rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Ohr Elhanan. Ironically, it was Hadash himself who first notified police of the message. He denies any connection to it.
Related: Gay couple beaten by mob in Israeli city of Jaffa; hundreds stand and watch
Meanwhile, the director-general of the Israel Internet Association, Yoram Hacohen, has called on the Israeli government to investigate the message. He suspects that it could be linked to a terrorist attack by hacker group Black Shadow, which leaked private information from an Israeli dating website in October.
“These are, on the face of it, elements who have grossly violated the Privacy Protection Law – I call on Israel Police to act immediately to locate the perpetrators. They have the tools to do that,” Hacohen said in a statement.
LGBTQ rights groups have also called on Rabbi Hadash to publicly condemn the attack to “prevent the further great desecration of God that has already been done.”
Though Israel is considered a bastion of LGBTQ equality within the Middle East, queer people there still face a good deal of social stigma. 2019 saw a 54% rise in homophobic incidents as well as a public denunciation of queer people by Shlomo Amar, the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem.
Just like the U.S. Israel is allowing it’s religious nets to gain more influence.
So true. I just read the other day that the women’s volleyball team wasn’t allowed on court unless they were wearing sheitels and dresses that fall below the knees and cover the arms down to the elbow.
the most true thing I have ever learned is that RELIGION IS VIOLENCE. ALl the major religions on this planet call for violence against non believers. They will swear they hate violence and they dont offically call for violence but there are ALWAYS sub groups in the religion that promote and call for extreme violence against anyone who doesnt believe their particular made up belief system
Come on Queerty. This story is very important but you discredit it with your sensational headline. There is a big difference between “face” and “deserve”. And for those who can’t read and comprehend, the headline indicates that thousands face “death and deportation” which means they are imminently going to die or be booted out of the country, while the actual text states that they “deserve” death and deportation. The text is bad enough by itself, but the headline sensationalizes the truth and softens the impact of the actual statement.
There’s nothing grammatically wrong with the headline. We would “face” those things IF certain extremists (who think we “deserve” them) took over. Pretty clear I think. If anything it’s less sensational this way than it would be your way.