Israeli Education Minister’s Lesbian Sister Comes to His Defense After Anti-Gay Comments

June 29, 2014 10:58 am 0 comments

Screen shot of Israel's Education Minister Shai Piron. Photo: Youtube.

The lesbian sister of Israel’s Minister of Education, Shai Piron, on Sunday defended her brother after comments he made last week saying the state should not recognize same-sex marriages, infuriating LGBT leaders.

While stressing that she doesn’t “identify” with what he said, his sister, Hagit Rimon, said “the libel against him” pains her, according to Israel’s Walla News site.

Calling Piron’s statements “a mistake,” Rimon also expressed support for her sibling, who is an ordained orthodox rabbi, and ranks second in Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s secularist Yesh Atid list.

“I wasn’t offended. I don’t get offended by general statements, and I trust his intentions,” Rimon said, stressing that “he does work for many different communities, and he is a pluralistic guy.”

Rimon, who is openly gay, and an attorney, said, “if only more rabbis were like him. He’s a man that does know how to listen to others.”

Last Thursday, Piron told a national religious magazine that “the Jewish state’s right, perhaps its duty, to say to homosexual couples that decide to live their lives that way — ‘this is not a family,’ but economic rights, a mortgage, parental rights, etc. — yes,” according to Israel Hayom.

Piron himself backed off the remarks, saying, “I am grievously convinced that such remarks are contemptible. It is not up to me to decide what is a family and what is not,” according to Channel 10 News.

Piron should “internalize the fact that among the students he is responsible for are children from different families and backgrounds,” the Israel Gay Youth Organization said in a statement, and called for him to “prove his intentions in the education system and society in general.”

Hagit Rimon, sister of Israeli Education Minister Shai Piron

Hagit Rimon, sister of Israeli Education Minister Shai Piron. Photo: Hagit Piron.

But while some LGBT groups are furious over Piron’s statements, others have been muted in their criticism, due to Piron’s acknowledged practical assistance with some of their needs.

“We are witnessing major changes over the last decade in the way society treats homosexuals and lesbians… Rabbi Piron has become one of the greatest leaders of this change,” read a statement by Hevruta, Bat Kol and Shabal, three gay and lesbian support groups.

“You can disagree with my comments,” Piron said in his defense on his Facebook page. “But it reflects the reality of the situation in Israel and the difficulties of the religious community with changes in the family structure,” according to the Times of Israel.

Piron went on to say that “Every day I try to build a bridge between different groups and communities, the first step of the bridge is to accept and understand. I apologize if my words were misunderstood and hurt [anybody].”

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Personalities How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    JNS.org – What would you do if you found out that you had only three more months to live? Gordon Zacks was a successful businessman, a leader of Jewish life, and a confidante and adviser to President George H.W. Bush. He knew that he had prostate cancer, but doctors advised him that it was very slow-growing and nothing to worry about. Then came the day when the doctors told him his cancer metastasized to his liver, and that he had [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Theater 10 Things I Learned From My Play About Holocaust Denial

    10 Things I Learned From My Play About Holocaust Denial

    Last month, my one-man show Hoaxocaust! Written and performed by Barry Levey with the generous assistance of the Institute for Political and International Studies, Tehran ran in the New York International Fringe Festival, where it won an Overall Excellence Award. The play has now been selected to run in the Fringe Encores Series at Baruch College’s Performing Arts Center, for four performances which started on Thursday, September 11. Getting the play to the stage was not easy, however. Here are [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel Israeli Music Producer Racks Up Over 535,000 YouTube Hits – in Two Days

    Israeli Music Producer Racks Up Over 535,000 YouTube Hits – in Two Days

    Phenomenon: Tel Aviv-based musician and “sampler” extraordinaire, Kutiman (aka Ophir Kutiel) has hit another one out of the park with “Give It Up,” a fully-functioning song in its own right, assembled from hundreds of ameteur and instructional music videos. The Jerusalem-born musical prodigy is best know for his diverse online musical projects. In the latest video, uploaded to YouTube on Sept. 12th, Kutiel thanked most of the musicians and individuals he chose to include in the meticulously-edited clip, which opens with [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada Behind-the-Scenes Reel of Ridley Scott’s Moses Epic Shows Scenes Using 4000 Extras (VIDEO)

    Behind-the-Scenes Reel of Ridley Scott’s Moses Epic Shows Scenes Using 4000 Extras (VIDEO)

    A recently released behind-the-scenes reel of Ridley Scott’s upcoming film Exodus: Gods and Kings shows just how far the director has gone to portray one of the Bible’s most famous narratives. In the clip, which shows scenes involving up to 4,000 extras, the visionary director discusses what drew him to the biblical tale of Moses. “The Moses story was a massive challenge, which I really love. I wanted to explore the complexity of his character and I was stunned by [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Turner Classic Movies Showcases ‘Broad Sweep’ of the Jewish Experience on Film

    Turner Classic Movies Showcases ‘Broad Sweep’ of the Jewish Experience on Film

    JNS.org – Since 2006, the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable and satellite TV network has hosted “The Projected Image,” a month-long showcase examining how different cultural and ethnic groups have been portrayed on the big screen. At last, after previously covering African Americans, Asians, the LGBT community, Latinos, Native Americans, Arabs, and people with disabilities, the annual series is delving into Jewish film this month. “The Projected Image: The Jewish Experience on Film,” whose first segment aired Sept. 2, runs [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity An Inside Look at the Hasidim (REVIEW)

    An Inside Look at the Hasidim (REVIEW)

    The sight of young girls in pinafores and young boys wearing peyos – sidelocks – dangling over their ears is a sure sign that you have entered the enigmatic precincts of the Hasidim – the pious ones. Veteran New York Times journalist Joseph Berger’s new book, THE PIOUS ONES: The World of Hasidim and their Battles with America, takes the reader on a journey into the enclaves where various sects of Jews live a seemingly outmoded way of life in [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    JNS.org – Today’s comedy superstars, especially those whose careers are driven by television, may very well owe their success to pioneering Jewish entertainer Milton Berle. Born Mendel Berlinger in Manhattan in 1908, Berle became America’s first small-screen star. Aptly nicknamed “Mr. Television,” he influenced and helped promote the work of hundreds of younger comics. “Milton Berle was deceptively successful and very Jewish,” says Lawrence Epstein, author of The Haunted Smile: The Story of Jewish Comedians in America, published the year [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    JNS.org – Idan Ravin’s friends chipped in to buy him a humble but life-changing bar mitzvah gift—a basketball hoop his father attached to the roof of his garage. Little did his friends know that years later, he would be the personal trainer of National Basketball Association (NBA) stars Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, and Stephen Curry. Ravin’s new book, “The Hoops Whisperer: On the Court and Inside the Head of Basketball’s Best Players,” details his rise from a Jewish upbringing [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.