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.”

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.

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