Thursday, March 27, 2008

"Mr Strasler did not mention the recent declaration – equally remarkable in the eyes of many secular Israelis – by one of Shas's most prominent Knesset members, Shlomo Benizri, that recent mild earthquakes in the Middle East were caused by Israel's permissiveness towards gays. Unfazed by the fuss caused by his remark – which anyway he must have anticipated – Mr Benizri, himself a rabbi, stood firmly this week by his reference to the third-century Jerusalem Talmud which does indeed cite "sodomy" as one of several reasons for earthquakes. He insists that "I am not proposing to lock up homosexuals or send them to gaol for what they do at home", he explained. Instead he is against the Israeli state – which recently approved adoption by gap couples – legitimising "public acts" by homosexuals."