A rabbi who is a leader of the Jewish Home Party has threatened to leave the party because a spokeswoman for its leader, Naftali Bennett, is a lesbian.
Rabbi Yisrael Rozen, the head of the Zomet Institute, which researches how technology can be used under Jewish law, on Wednesday resigned from the party’s presidium, and on Thursday threatened to leave the party altogether.
“I have nothing against her or against them (homosexuals), but I think that this community is wrong and defiant and that outwardly expressed homosexuality is an impossibility in a party that purports to represent religious Zionism,” Rozen reportedly wrote to the leaders of the Jewish Home Party.
“Anyone who thinks I need to discriminate against a person because of his sexual orientation, gender or skin colour will encounter a total refusal from me. Beloved is man — every man — who was created in God’s image,” Bennet said in a tweet, which quoted from the Jewish text Ethics of the Fathers, after Rozen’s objections became public.
מי שחושב שעליי להפלות אדם על רקע נטייתו, מינו או צבע עורו, ייתקל אצלי בסירוב מוחלט.
חביב אדם, כל אדם, שנברא בצלם. pic.twitter.com/2Wh22ydOB8
— Naftali Bennett בנט (@naftalibennett) August 17, 2017
Bennett also serves as Israel’s Education Minister.
The Israeli Hebrew-language daily Yediot Acharonot reported last month that Bennett’s media advisor Brit Galor Peretz is married to her female partner Adi, and that they are raising two children.
Adi Galor outed Peretz in a post on Facebook after the state told the country’s Supreme Court in response to a petition that the government remains opposed to allowing same-sex couples to adopt, though it currently is legal for such couples to adopt if a heterosexual couple cannot be found for a child.
The post on Facebook read: “My name is Adi, and my love is called Brit. We have two children, one born exactly a month ago. Two children we chose to bring to the happy and good world. Two children we chose to build a family with. Two children can show you what a happy childhood looks like when you look into their eyes. When you look at them you see a home filled with smiles and confidence, a home filled with love and respect, a home filled with warmth and good words and optimism.”
The Jerusalem Post reported that Rozen has threatened to quit the party three times in recent months, including after Bennett recruited a secular soccer star to run on the party’s Knesset candidate list, and after the party adopted a hard line on conversions.