Israeli Rights Group Demands Criminal Probe of Anti-LGBT Party Over ‘Blacklist’ of Gay Journalists
A leading LGBTQ rights organization in Israel has asked the attorney general to probe reports that the far-right Noam party prepared lists of gay and left-wing journalists, entertainers, and media personalities. The Aguda – Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel, a nonprofit organization that works to protect and advance LGBTQ rights in Israeli society, requested that Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara open a criminal investigation against the Noam party, asserting that its alleged preparation of “blacklists” constitute illegal harassment and incitement.
The lists “show that the party conducted surveillance and marked civilians based on their sexual identity or their political positions,” Aguda said in a statement. “We stand by the men and women of the media who saw themselves marked as targets for harm just because of their identity. … We will not be silent and will do everything for justice against those who incite against us,” Aguda said.
The lists of dozens of gay reporters, anchors, hosts and other media and entertainment professionals were part of an internal Noam party document from 2019, according to Ynet, the news website operated by Israel’s Yedioth Media Group, whose columnist Nadav Eyal first reported the story on Thursday. The same internal document also reportedly identified “extreme left-wing women” in a number of nongovernmental organizations that, the party said, participated in research led by the Israeli military unit in charge of gender affairs, and claimed that this unit, as well as the Education and Justice ministries, had been taken over by “radical feminists” and “leftists.”
The explicitly homophobic, anti-pluralist Noam party ran as part of the Religious Zionism list in the November 1 legislative elections, electing a single candidate, Avi Maoz. He is expected to serve as a deputy minister in charge of a new “Jewish identity” portfolio in the Prime Minister’s Office in the incoming government led by Binyamin Netanyahu.
Meanwhile, as Netanyahu finalizes his government ahead of its expected swearing-in on Thursday, his Likud party has announced that it is unanimously backing MK Amir Ohana for the position of Knesset speaker. Ohana was the first openly gay person to hold the position of minister in an Israeli government, having been appointed as public security minister in 2019. He was recently touted as a candidate for foreign minister, but that position is now expected to return to Likud MK Israel Katz, who held the foreign affairs portfolio in 2019-2020.