Israel: Netanyahu Allies Reject Anti-LGBTQ Stance

JERUSALEM (HPD) — Israel’s largest medical center and health workers at hospitals across the country have spoken out against comments by Benjamin Netanyahu allies calling for a law allowing discrimination against LGBTQ people. in hospitals and businesses.

This was part of a series of calls made this week by Religious Zionist politicians calling for legal discrimination against LGBTQ people.

The new government of the prime minister-designate, the most religious and intransigent in Israel’s history, is made up of ultra-Orthodox parties, an ultra-nationalist religious faction and its Likud party. The new government will be sworn in on Thursday.

Earlier this week, two Netanyahu allies from the ultranationalist Religious Zionism party said their faction is seeking to change an anti-discrimination law in a way that allows companies and doctors to deny service to LGBTQ people on the basis of religious beliefs.

Orit Struck, a Religious Zionism lawmaker, said her party is seeking a change to the anti-discrimination law that would allow religious health care providers to refuse to treat LGBTQ patients, “as long as there are enough other doctors to provide care.”

On Monday, Sheba Medical Center posted a video on Instagram of healthcare workers from across the country saying “we serve everyone.” Doctors and administrators at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa and the Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon made similar statements.

Netanyahu chastised Struck for his comments and said LGBTQ rights would not be diminished in the new government.

Yated Neeman, a newspaper affiliated with one of Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox coalition parties, published an editorial against Religious Zionist politicians, saying they were “slandering Judaism throughout the world” and calling the future government “one that persecutes against Arabs, minorities and discriminates on the basis of religion and more.”

Several Israeli companies said they would not work with companies that discriminate against customers on religious grounds.

Bank Discount, Israel’s third-largest bank, said Monday that its board “will not grant credit to companies or organizations that discriminate against customers based on religion, race, sex or sexual orientation.”

Wiz, an Israeli cybersecurity company, expressed “grave concern” over comments by Religious Zionism politicians and said it would require companies that hire its services to pledge not to discriminate against their clients.

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