While some gay left-wing bloggers are ever eager to criticize the Jewish State and some Jewish students, reluctant to lose favor with their left-of-center peers, don’t want to advertise that they’re pro-Israel, that Middle Eastern democracy remains one of the few (if not the only) nation in the region where gay people can live openly.
Even some Orthodox (Israel’s equivalent of American social conservatives) are more tolerant of gay people than is the Palestinian Authority.
This story, via Commentary Contentions via Ynet which illustrates that point. When T, a Palestinian man partnered with an Israeli, heard his father who lives in a West Bank village was ill, he went to visit him. Since “going to the village is life-threatening for him because residents there are not willing to accept his sexual orientation,” they had to meet near the checkpoint (border crossing with Israel). Denied re-entriy into Israel because of a paperwork snafu and “for security considerations,” he feared going to his family’s village.
Left with no other choice, he turned to the only person he knew in the area who could help him – a religious settler who has known him for some years. The man decided to give asylum to T. even though he knew it would not be looked upon favorably in the settlement.
So, this is how it came to be that T., a gay Palestinian, has been hiding out in the home of a religious Jewish family in a settlement.
Commentary’s David Hazony (whose post alerted me to the story) draws this lesson from the experience:
. . . there’s the touching personal story of the anonymous family of religious settlers willing to take T into their home — certainly not for the publicity (they remain unknown), and also not because they necessarily support equality for gays in society — but just because it is amitzva to save the guy’s life.
But the biggest story, I think, is that he needed shelter in the first place. For all our hopes pinned on Abbas and the rest of the Fatah-led PA crew, it’s still a fact that an openly gay person risks his life by entering a Palestinian village.
While Israel still has a ways to go on gay issues–such as according same-sex partners the same immigration benefits of married couples, this story helps illustrates how much better it is to be a gay person in the Jewish State than in any of her Arab neighbors.
It’s a shame many left-wing gays don’t acknowledge as much.