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Israeli Travel Group Offers First Ever Gay Tour of Auschwitz: VIDEO

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To mark the 70th anniversary of the Auschwitz liberation, Hebro Travel, a new Israeli tour company serving “gay Jews and those who love us,” is to offer the first ever gay tour of Auschwitz, reports The Jewish Daily Forward.

10616057_10152689450860552_4292009992408762534_nThe August Poland & Prague Pride Trip - which includes a Jewish heritage tour of the Schindler’s List route, visits to historic synagogues and stops at Auschwitz and Theresienstadt - will end with Prague’s Gay Pride festival.

Jayson Littman (right), the founder of Hebro Travel, says he has been asked “how can you go from touring concentration camps to celebrating Pride?”

The grandchild of Hungarian survivors of Auschwitz, Littman explains:

“I look at it the same way as Jewish trips that go from the camps to Israel to celebrate continuity.

“I knew I was touching on uncharted territory. I kept hearing, ‘Who wants to go on a trip like that?’ But many more people said it’s a wonderful idea. And surprisingly few people realize how many gay people were murdered in the Holocaust.”

With the trip still at the planning stage, he added:

“We’re working out details on the actual visits to the camps. It’ll probably involve laying a wreath, having a rabbi there from the local community, and inviting someone from the local LGBT population to speak as well.

“What’s been interesting is that every tour operator, Jewish or not, knows the Jewish stuff in these destinations. We’re having to fill in the blanks ourselves on some of the gay stuff.

“We’re showcasing how, after 70 years, Jewish life has blossomed, and gay life has gone through so many changes. An important part of this tour is appreciating the evolution of both communities, their contributions to society, and how governments around the world now welcome both minorities. Going to those places helps make that happen.”

Watch a video documenting Hebro's Israel and Tel Aviv Pride Trip 2014, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Israeli Travel Group Offers First Ever Gay Tour of Auschwitz: VIDEO" »


Israeli Gay Club Promoter Criticized for Parody Image of ISIS Beheading

Drek

An Israeli gay event promoter has sparked outrage for publicizing a party using an ISIS-inspired photo shoot, The Independent reports:

Dreck, which holds events around Tel Aviv, used pictures imitating the beheading videos showing the murders of David Haines, James Foley and Steven Sotloff ahead of a club night on Friday.

One image shows a man in a desert kneeling in the sand with a black-clad man behind him with his hand on his shoulder.

The poster has the “black flag” of Isis in the top left hand corner and text running below in the style of Isis’ brutal propaganda videos.

Drek2A second image [pictured right], which was more heavily circulated, featured a scantily clad man flying a black flag symbolic of ISIS. 

The Guardian adds:

The Israeli news website Ynet, which reprinted the photos, said the imagery had provoked an angry reaction on Drek’s Facebook page. “Disgusting! Getting a laugh off of the murder of innocent victims,” wrote one.

On its Facebook page, Drek wrote that after Isis’s rise in the region, “we at Drek have decided to give in to sharia law and cheer the stubborn Daesh”, using the Arab acronym for the group. The use of “stubborn” was a play on words in Hebrew connected to beheading, Ynet said, as it can be written as “hard-necked”.

Amiri Kalman, one of Drek’s founders, told the website that the club night itself had not had an Isis theme. He said: “We are trying to react to current events. We have been doing it for a number of years. But we reject violence in any form and that includes the videos intended to scare the world. Therefore we also refuse to participate with this fear and refuse to become hysterical. This is satire, and our way of showing our contempt of them and their videos.”


Willam and Amanda Lepore Face Off in Tel Aviv: VIDEO

Lepore_willam

In a new video for the global gay social network Moovz, drag queen Willam Belli arrives in Tel Aviv for Pride at the same time as NYC trans nightlife icon Amanda Lepore and her built, handsome posse of bodyguards.

This leads to some shenanigans when Willam catches one of their eyes and finds himself scouring the city in search of him.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Willam and Amanda Lepore Face Off in Tel Aviv: VIDEO" »


Tony Perkins On LGBT Pride Flag at U.S. Embassy: Obama is Turning America Into Sodom - VIDEO

PerkinsOn yesterday’s radio program, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins blasted the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv’s decision to fly the LGBT pride flag this month, saying:

"The rainbow flag over Israel — the last time they were flying that over Sodom and Gomorrah it didn’t work out so well. The reality is this administration is not just ignoring or indifferent to traditional values, it is hostile to them, it is hostile to the very things that made America great.” 

Later, in a chat with a listener who called President Obama “Satan personified,” Perkins speculated on whether Obama may have threatened House Speaker John Boehner and his family to keep him in check while his administration “dismantled the country morally and culturally”

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

[via Right Wing Watch]

Continue reading "Tony Perkins On LGBT Pride Flag at U.S. Embassy: Obama is Turning America Into Sodom - VIDEO" »


Billions of Insects are Having Accidental Gay Sex

Ladybugsex

Scientists at Tel Aviv University have been researching the peculiar, but extremely common practice of same-sex mating between insects. The result: bugs are just so excited to procreate that they can't tell the difference before they've mounted each other. There are, it turns out, plenty of factors that go into the randy, six-legged sex-fest, including confusing female pheromones from the bugs' previous mates. Still, some 85% of the insects in the study took part in same-sex mating practices; maybe they're on to something.

Daily Mail reports:

The study found there are no clear benefits for certain species of insects to have same-sex relationships and concluded they may be duped into thinking another is a female, either because of how similar they look or by scents they have picked up. 

Dr Inon Scharf of Tel Aviv University's Department of Zoology and Dr Oliver Martin of ETH Zurich claim mating takes time and energy and can be dangerous, which makes homosexual mating even less appealing from an evolutionary perspective because it lacks the payoff of procreation. 

'Insects and spiders mate quick and dirty,' claimed Dr Scharf. 'The cost of taking the time to identify the gender of mates or the cost of hesitation appears to be greater than the cost of making some mistakes.'

The researchers identify insects' evolutionary flaws as one cause of the phenomenon as well. These bugs are not adept to make cost-benefit analyses, and they are also unable to distinguish between other objects and their own kind. They sometimes "mate with related species or inanimate objects, like beer bottles." The benefits of same-sex coupling, if there are any, remain unclear, but researchers are not done looking into the mating practices of insects.

'Homosexual behaviour may be genomically linked to being more active, a better forager, or a better competitor,' said Dr Scharf. 'So even though misidentifying mates isn't a desirable trait, it's part of a package of traits that leaves the insect better adapted overall.'

To confirm their theory, the researchers plan to study the conditions that make homosexual behaviour more or less likely in bugs. They also want to look more deeply into male resistance to homosexual mating.


Gay Man Runs for Mayor of Tel Aviv, Hopes for Historic First in Middle East

Just yesterday, Towleroad posted about Sheka and Teka, sexually ambiguous puppets who set off a firestorm of excitement when a baby was brought into their lives. Are they gay? Should they "come out" in order to raise awareness for LGBT families? Well, Israelis will not have to second guess one of Tel Aviv's mayoral candidates, Nitzan Horowitz who, if elected, would become the first openly gay mayor in the Middle East.

It is an exciting prospect, but one that is unlikely to happen. Horowitz's bid though, much like the puppets, reveals much about gay life and culture in the socially diverse country of Israel.

Horowitz_NitzanReuters reports:

The left-wing legislator is not predicted to defeat the incumbent, the well-established ex-fighter pilot Ron Huldai, in an October 22 municipal vote.

But the 48-year-old remains upbeat, pointing to an opinion poll his dovish Meretz party commissioned last month that gave Huldai only a five-point lead.

...

"I'm going to be not only the first gay mayor here in Israel, but the first gay mayor of the entire Middle East. This is very exciting," Horowitz told Reuters.

Horowitz's prominence in Tel Aviv is not altogether surprising. In a region better known for its religious and social conservatism, it is dubbed the "city that never sleeps".

With a population of 410,000, it was also ranked in a poll by Gaycities.com last year as a top gay destination.

Huldai, Horowitz's opponent, has done much for the gay population of Tel Aviv. The city hosts an annual pride parade and LGBT film festival, as well as a cultural center accessible to older and younger citizens alike. However, Horowitz hopes that this lofty public position could end some of the lingering homophobia in Tel Aviv and the larger Middle East. 

The task of improving policy toward gays in the Jewish state is "very challenging, because this is a country, a region with a lot of problems concerning the gay community, discrimination, even violence," the candidate said.

...

Gay marriage - and civil ceremonies in general - that take place in Israel are not recognized by the authorities. Horowitz, who has lived with his partner for more than a decade, wants that to change.

"I hope once I'm elected this will contribute to tolerance and understanding, not just in Israel, but in the entire region," Horowitz said.

Good luck to Horowitz in the coming election! 


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