Last edited: December 17, 2004

Rabbi Says Gays Should Die

Rainbow Network, February 7, 2002

A leading Jewish cleric has called for homosexuals to be killed. The statements have come in the week that members of leading lesbian and gay groups are to meet Israel’s prime minister Ariel Sharon.

Rabbi David Batzri told the Israeli Ma’ariv newspaper that homosexuals should be "put to death" according to Jewish religious law.

Batzri added: "Homosexuals and lesbians are not only a sickness, they are an abomination which should be removed from every city in the country, also from those districts where they feel protected, like in Tel Aviv."

Batzri’s comments have caused outrage.

Reform Rabbi Uri Regev said, "the only abomination here are the words of Batzri, and not the existence of homosexuals and lesbians, who are part of the world created by the will of God".

Batzri’s remarks follow news that members of the Political Council for Gay Rights in Israel will meet with prime minister Ariel Sharon next week. It is the first time such a gathering has taken place.

The meeting follows a discussion with president Moshe Katzav last year. PCGRI representative Menahem Shizaf said: "We see those meetings with the president and prime minister as an accomplishment and an important message to the public."

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