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Newly Reelected Israeli Mayor Thanks God There are No Gay Residents in His City

AbutbulAn Israeli mayor is apparently taking a page out of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's playbook with his recent assertion that there are no homosexuals in his city. The Times of Israel reports that Moshe Abutbul, the newly reelected haredi Orthodox mayor of Beit Shemesh, made the claim in an Israeli talk show interview:

In a Friday interview on Channel 10, Abutbul, when asked about the presence of homosexuals in the city, said that "we have no such things...Thank God this city is holy and pure." The mayor said that he "was not involved" in the issue, and it was up to the Health Ministry and the police to "take care of them."

Unsurprisingly, the comment set off a firestorm among current and former Beit Shemesh residents:

"There are hundreds of gay men and women in Beit Shemesh and it saddens me that he thinks we should be treated by the Health Ministry and the police," said Segev Israel Afriat, a resident of the city. [...]

Elinor Sidi, director of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, and former Beit Shemesh resident, added: "As one who was born and raised in Beit Shemesh, I can only lament the transformation the city has undergone in the past couple of years. Xenophobia, ignorance, homophobia and racism have replaced the warming of hearts which once characterized Beit Shemesh."

"I studied at a religious school in a tolerant atmosphere which embraced the other instead of rejecting him. Abutbul's Judaism is not the Judaism I learned as a child. Beit Shemesh had gay residents long before Abutbul."

 The Association of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgendered in Israel has also filed a complaint against Abutbul, with the association's chairman, Shai Doitsh, saying the mayor's comment "constitutes incitement, urging attacks on and a show of contempt for the LGBT community." 

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  1. I suspect he's mistaken, much as I suspect he's an "Israeli mayor" and not an "Israli mayor".

    Posted by: Vint | Nov 11, 2013 7:57:40 PM

  2. What is it about some religious folks that makes them so damn crazy? This man is an idiot and a fool...and he was RE-elected?

    Posted by: Bryan L | Nov 11, 2013 7:58:48 PM

  3. The man only won by 100 votes and many of the cities residents are trying to have him removed for corruption. The only reason he won is several ultra orthodox families have moved to the city in recent years because of cheap housing.

    Posted by: Lee | Nov 11, 2013 8:10:57 PM

  4. i'm sure he knows exactly how many gays are in town - hell, his rent boys are hired from the next city!

    Posted by: northalabma | Nov 11, 2013 8:42:42 PM

  5. MAKE him see that we are every bit as jewish as he is. That alone may enable him to see.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Nov 11, 2013 9:02:03 PM

  6. Great, just what we need: another nutcase in the Middle East like Ahmendinnerjacket (or whatever the f*ck his name is spelled) that thinks that gays don't exist there.

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Nov 11, 2013 9:24:05 PM

  7. Whatevah

    Posted by: David | Nov 11, 2013 10:15:38 PM

  8. I'm always shocked when I hear of Jews discriminating against anybody given their past history of being severely discriminated against.

    Posted by: Craig | Nov 11, 2013 10:33:01 PM

  9. Absolute disgusting vermin. And no doubt this Pig believes God will "bless" him because he oppresses Palestinians, steals their land and hates gay people.

    Posted by: Oliver Evans | Nov 11, 2013 11:20:42 PM

  10. Oliver first of all Beit shemesh is not in juda or Samaria its in the Jerusalem district. Second while this man is an idiot the "Palestinians" (really Jordanians, Syrians, & Egyptians) are much worse and their population wouldn't just say they don't exist but will kill any gay they find. That's the sufferance between Jews as Arab Jews have few crazies and don't think twice about calling our own kind out, Arabs however are all insane and never will accept their culture needs to change or be doomed to extinction.

    Posted by: Lee | Nov 12, 2013 12:01:05 AM

  11. Jews should never forget. Even if they were not there.

    Posted by: jleo71 | Nov 12, 2013 12:23:02 AM

  12. Fundamentalist Jews and conservative Arab Muslims are just two expressions of the same culture. Woman cutting their hair and wearing a wig and women wearing headscarves are essentially the same thing. Both cultures separate women and men, with men as the superior, in worship and life.

    When it comes to gay people, of course they are pretty much the same.

    Posted by: emjayay | Nov 12, 2013 12:36:05 AM

  13. "Arabs however are all insane"

    Generalize much?

    "Second while this man is an idiot the "Palestinians" (really Jordanians, Syrians, & Egyptians) are much worse" Yeah, they're all much worse than a guy who says that the Health Ministry and police should "take care of" gay people in his jurisdiction.

    You do realize that you have zero credibility with those of us who don't have a horse in the Arab-Israeli conflict when you speak in such ridiculous sweeping generalizations, don't you? People on your side of the conflict are capable of being such as evil as people on the other side, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.

    Posted by: Patric | Nov 12, 2013 1:12:40 AM

  14. nice to know he spends a lot of his time with his head in the sand. or is it up his ass?

    Posted by: m | Nov 12, 2013 2:17:09 AM

  15. Yes, remember this story when folks like LEE and other pink washers claim Israel is paradise in their efforts to demonize Arabs.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Nov 12, 2013 3:45:35 AM

  16. God certainly gets blamed for so much! Amazing

    Posted by: L Goethe | Nov 12, 2013 4:36:43 AM

  17. i almost said it was hard to believe that someone in elected office could be so stupid, And then I remembered that

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Nov 12, 2013 6:29:54 AM

  18. Oh Mr. Abuttfull, you doth protest too much.

    Posted by: mdnc | Nov 12, 2013 7:10:26 AM

  19. German Mayor thanks Gawd there are NO JEWS in his town.......sounds lovely doesn't it? hmm, Hate never takes a day off does it????

    Posted by: disgusted american | Nov 12, 2013 7:54:32 AM

  20. Schmuck!

    Posted by: Jack M | Nov 12, 2013 8:02:15 AM

  21. Boy! Talk about a shonda in that neighborhood!

    Posted by: woodroad34d | Nov 12, 2013 8:36:21 AM

  22. Ugh

    Posted by: Fenrox | Nov 12, 2013 9:41:16 AM

  23. LOL What is this? Comedy in the morning on Towleroad?

    "...Arabs however are all insane..."

    And so are queens, but I'm not seeking any psycho-therapy, honey. I'll just keep reading Towleroad.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 12, 2013 10:04:00 AM

  24. What the hell does he mean by "take care of them"? Sounds like someone didn't learn his own history very well.

    Posted by: Ready | Nov 12, 2013 10:34:24 AM

  25. Lee - my wife is palestinian. Her family have lived in the hills surrounding Ramallah for hundreds of years. I don't know where you get off talking about "they're all saudis and egyptians" but there have been arab inhabitants of the west bank and gaza since biblical times.

    Posted by: ben | Nov 12, 2013 1:13:36 PM

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