Orthodox Israeli MP resigns amidst gay wedding uproar
After a bunch of furious rabbis slammed him for attending a relative’s gay wedding, haredi Knesset MP Yigal Guetta, above, a Sephardic Orthodox Shas party member, resigned yesterday.
Last week, according to this report, Guetta told Israel’s Army Radio that he had gone to the same-sex wedding of his sister’s son. His revelation caused a storm in the haredi world, with many senior rabbis calling on him to resign.
Guetta said that after he was invited to his nephew’s wedding:
I told my wife and children that we are all going … I usually don’t tell my children to come with me, but I told them that for this one, we are going. We all went, and we made them happy.
Rabbi Moshe Tzedaka, dean of the Porat Yosef Yeshiva, a top institution in the Sephardi haredi world, held an emergency meeting with prominent rabbis, and called for Geutta to resign.
We need to go to Shas leader Aryeh Deri and expel Guetta from the party. It is crazy what he is doing there. Many haredim have called me to complain. It is a desecration of God’s name.
Former Shas MK Shlomo Benizri, who heads the prominent haredi newspaper Yom L’yom, also blasted Guetta.
Yesterday I heard a recording by a senior MK from Shas who told us that he took his family to an abomination wedding of a family member. I was shocked that a Jew who calls himself haredi would do that. Not only did he go, he told everyone about it. His actions are a disgrace.
Geutta defended himself, saying that he went in order to bring people closer to Judaism.
In this report, Geutta said he told his family that:
I want you to know that according to the Torah this [wedding] is forbidden and an abomination.
The wedding took place two years ago.
Guetta refused to apologise for his attendance and for insisting that family accompany him to the ceremony, but he resigned from the Knesset before he was asked to.
A letter from Shas party head and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri’s office said:
Minister Deri told member of Knesset Guetta that he respects his decision, expressed his appreciation for him and thanked him for his valuable work and for the new and energetic spirit he introduced to Shas.
Update: The bigots are now in the line of fire. According to this report, centrist and left-wing lawmakers have condemn Shas over Guetta’s resignation.
Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid took to Twitter to denounce Guetta’s treatment by his own party.
Guetta is an excellent MK and a friend. It’s sad that in Israel in 2017, a Knesset member is forced to resign because he attended a wedding of two people who love each other.
Yael German, a former minister from Lapid’s party, called the incident:
Regrettable and shameful. Again we see that Knesset members do not make decisions based to their consciences, but rather based on political pressure.
The chairwoman of the Meretz party also criticised the ultra-Orthodox party and called for the reinstatement of the ousted lawmaker. Zehava Galon posted on Twitter:
MK Guetta made a simple human gesture and went to support his nephew at his wedding. The pressure to dismiss him is a disgrace to Shas, and I hope they come to their senses and give him his job back.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn