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...

  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →
  • Analysis Arts and Culture Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    JNS.org – One of the most controversial operas in recent memory, “The Death of Klinghoffer,” debuted Oct. 20 at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The Met has scheduled seven more performances through November. The first staging did not occur without protest, as about 400 demonstrators—including Jewish communal and nationally recognized leaders—came to Lincoln Center to denounce the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel opera. “Klinghoffer,” the creation of composer John Adams and librettist Alice Goodman, premiered in 1991—with few additional stagings. The opera is based [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot is in negotiations to take on the female lead role in the remake of the 1959 classic Ben-Hur, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If the deal is finalized Gadot will play Esther, a slave and Ben-Hur’s love interest. Actor Jack Huston will star as the Jewish prince who is betrayed into slavery by his childhood friend Messala, played by Toby Kebbell. Ben-Hur fights for his freedom and vengeance with the help of Morgan Freeman’s character, who trains Ben-Hur how to win at chariot-racing. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    JNS.org – Baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie are the American dream. So why do two young men who have built their lives in Israel have a GoFundMe crowd-funding webpage with the urgent message that they need $3,000 to travel to the U.S. to watch the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles square off for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) American League championship? Brothers Naftali and Yoni Schwartz, 27 and 25, respectively, are Kansas City natives. Even though they made aliyah with their [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Some 3,000 years ago, King David probably never imagined cars racing at 240 kilometers per hour (150 miles per hour) through the ancient capital of the Jewish people. But on Monday and Tuesday, October 6-7, thousands of Israelis lined the streets to watch Porsche, Audi, and Ferrari race cars fly through the capital against the backdrop of the Tower of David, the Old City Walls, and other city landmarks. The second annual non-competitive Jerusalem Formula One Road Show had been [...]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James expressed interest in visiting Israel someday, local news site Cleveland.com reported on Sunday. Speaking to Israeli reporters before the Cleveland Cavaliers’ preseason debut against Maccabi Tel Aviv, the NBA star said he had never visited the Jewish state but “I want to look forward to going there if I get an opportunity to.” When asked by an Israeli reporter if there was “any chance that LeBron James and Cleveland comes to Tel Aviv,” the athlete said [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    A Florida-based Chabad rabbi put former basketball star, U.S. Congressman Curt Clawson to shame on the court when the two faced off one-on-one recently. A YouTube video, posted online on Tuesday, shows Rabbi Fishel Zaklos of Chabad of Naples shooting hoops with the Florida politician, who played basketball in high school and at Purdue University in Indiana. The game took place in the parking lot of the Chabad Jewish center run by Zaklos. During the 1-minute clip, Zaklos scores two impressive [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada David Blatt’s Cleveland Cavaliers Rout Maccabi Tel Aviv, 107-80

    David Blatt’s Cleveland Cavaliers Rout Maccabi Tel Aviv, 107-80

    JNS.org – Less than five months after leading Maccabi Tel Aviv to its sixth European basketball title, David Blatt, now the head coach of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, routed his former team in an exhibition game on Sunday, with the Cavaliers dominating Maccabi 107-80 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The 20,562 fans in attendance witnessed Lebron James’s first appearance in a Cavaliers uniform since he left the club in free agency for the Miami Heat four years ago. [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.