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Meet Mr. Gay International

I don't really get the point of the "Mr. Gay International" tournament (where's the "Mr. Straight International" competition), but feast your eyes upon the current holder of the crown, Mr. Nathan Shaked of Tel Aviv.   Mr. Shaked is a … Read More

By / October 30, 2007

I don't really get the point of the "Mr. Gay International" tournament (where's the "Mr. Straight International" competition), but feast your eyes upon the current holder of the crown, Mr. Nathan Shaked of Tel Aviv.

 

Mr. Shaked is a 37-year-old lawyer (Jewish mothers, he's a keeper). A little on the old-side for such a competition, but the gym-chain owner is an Iron Man competitor and makes Israel look pretty darn good.

Next month, Shaked will be touring Great Britain at the behest of the country's Zionist Federation. And what better way to show off Israel's liberal society. The status of Israeli homosexuals vis a vis their brethren anywhere in the Muslim world (save the courts of the rabidly homosexual Saudi royal family) is one of many examples proving why the whole "oasis of liberty in a sea of repression" line that Palestinian apologists love to ridicule as hyperbole is anything but. Unfortunately, however, the visit is raising some cackles from the usual, religious-right quarters.

But Rabbi Barry Marcus, who holds the Israel brief in the Chief Rabbi’s cabinet, said the “absolutely repugnant” move is a case of “an organisation that should embrace everybody alienating a large section of the community”. He predicted, and said he favoured, a boycott by the religious community of the ZF. Rabbi Marcus said that he does not object to gay individuals taking a role in communal life, but does oppose the use of mainstream communal organisations to present favourably a lifestyle which, he says, contravenes Jewish law.

It's funny how religious-types frequently say that they are being "alienated" by society for its acceptance of homosexuals, when the objective result of their own homophobia is that an entire class of people is subjected to second-class citizenship. What I really want to know is, where do these ultra-Orthodox Jews find the chutzpah to tell anyone else how to live? In Israel, they eat up huge amounts of state money, producing huge families that they can't pay for themselves, and don't contribute anything to the country's defense. In Britain, with their calls for a religious boycott of the Zionist Federation, they don't seem to lack any gall either. Mr. T at Harry's Place writes:

What is reassuring is that the Zionist Federation evidently isn't in the pockets of a small number of self-appointed, and bigoted, religious "community leaders", and isn't planning to give into their qualms.

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