Liberman: I'm opposed to gay parades in haredi areas'

Following the exposure of a video in which Liberman says he's opposed to gay parades, he defends himself from calls of 'homophobe.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Hadas Parush/Flash90

Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Liberman, responded on Thursday afternoon to a video which was exposed on Channel 12 News earlier this week, in which Liberman is seen talking to the late Peleg Yerushalmi leader, Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, in 2013.

Liberman is heard in the video expressing opposition to gay parades.

In a letter he wrote to the heads of LGBT organizations who criticized him after the video was exposed, Liberman stated that he supports gay parades, but not in close proximity to haredi communities. "From its inception until today, Yisrael Beyteinu supports the principle of 'live and let live' and respects each person for who he/she is. As you mentioned in your letter, MK Eli Avidar even participated in the Pride Month events."

"At the same time, we are not against religion or against haredim. Every person should live by his faith. I have often stated that I will be the first to oppose the opening of supermarkets on Shabbat in Bnei Brak, but I will insist that no supermarkets be closed in Tel Aviv or Ashdod. I relate to pride parades according to the same logic."

The exposure of the video elicited critical remarks from both left-wing and right-wing politicians. “Liberman the homophobe has never been on the side of secular or LGBT people,” the Democratic Camp said. “The most corrupt man in the history of Israeli politics will sell out anyone who votes for him in order to sit for one minute on the prime minister’s chair.”

“Avigdor Liberman, ‘the new liberal,’ is a homophobe of the old breed,” Justice Minister Amir Ohana wrote on Twitter. “Whoever didn't realize this until tonight, now it is clear. Right-wing liberals have only one address in the upcoming elections - Likud.”