Skip to main content

HaBayit HaYehudi blocks Israeli gay revolution

Meretz Knesset member Nitzan Horowitz says the HaBayit HaYehudi Party, which was thought to be civic-minded and liberal, is obstructing legislation to prevent discrimination against gays time after time.
A participant touches his kippah, or skullcap, during the 12th annual gay pride parade in Jerusalem August 1, 2013. Some 2500 people on Thursday took part in the annual parade in Jerusalem. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun (JERUSALEM - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTX127G7

The loud argument recorded in the Knesset Dec. 4 between members Adi Koll of Yesh Atid and Ayelet Shaked of HaBayit HaYehudi focused media attention on the personal fight between the two and the analysis accompanying it, according to which the political alliance between the leaders of their parties, Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett, is closer than ever to its end. But beyond the political question, the topic of the fight has unfortunately been pushed aside, in what is yet more proof of the dream of the new politics, which promised to abandon the old political wheeling and dealing and work for social justice, being deferred.

The Lapid-Bennett coalition had an excellent opportunity to pass a bill introduced by Koll, in the spirit of the values of universal equality, which seeks to grant same-sex couples with children tax benefits equal to those of straight parents. Ostensibly, this isn’t a dramatic piece of legislation that changes the way of the world, but merely a cosmetic change to existing income tax laws that is meant to correct a gross injustice. For a moment it looked like HaBayit HaYehudi intends to be a part of this necessary correction, since it doesn’t contradict the right-wing ideological worldview of the party, and doesn’t impact the values of Jewish law.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.

Subscribe

Only $100 for annual access.