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Israel’s LGBTQ community faces #MeToo scandals

Senior people within the Israeli LGBTQ community are suspected of sexual relations with or sexual assaults on minors.
A mask-clad participant waves the LGBTQ rainbow flag as she takes part in Tel Aviv's annual Pride Parade amid the COVID-19 pandemic, on June 28, 2020.

The rumors first hit Israeli media early this November. A very senior member of Israel’s LGBTQ community was a suspect in the sexual assault of young men. An investigative report by the Kan Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation soon revealed that the suspect was Gal Uchovsky, 63, a well-known media personality and leader of Israel’s gay community. At the time, Uchovsky also served as president of the gay youth group IGY (Israel Gay Youth).

For years, Uchovsky topped the list of the most influential members of Israel’s LGBTQ community. He was known for the way he helped gay youth and his frequent condemnations of sexual assault. Within the gay community, he was known as the “Admor,” a term used in Hassidic circles to describe their spiritual leader. He was one of the first people in the media to come out of the closet, and he since took on the task of outing other famous gay people, sometimes by force and against their will. He saw this as a kind of “holy war.”

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