ADL to Beit Shemesh Mayor: Apologize for Insensitive and Hurtful Remarks

Jerusalem, Israel, November 12, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today strongly condemned insensitive and hurtful comments regarding Beit Shemesh’s LGBT community made by Mayor Moshe Abutbul, and called on the Mayor to issue a public apology.

During a television interview on November 8, Mayor Abutbul was asked about Beit Shemesh’s gay community and responded: “We have no such things…thank God this city is holy and pure,” and added that the Ministry of Health and the police “should take care of them.”

“We strongly condemn the insensitive and hurtful comments made by Beit Shemesh’s mayor about his city’s LGBT population,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  “Expressions of intolerance have no place in Israeli public discourse, especially coming from elected officials.”

Mr. Foxman added, “We call on Mayor Abutbul to issue a public apology to the residents of Beit Shemesh, and for all communal leaders to respect, both in actions and words, the city’s diverse demographic character.”

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

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