From legalizing discrimination against queer people to promoting conversion therapy, Israel’s new coalition is looking to the American far right for cues.

by Shiri Eisner, +972 Magazine

It seems there hasn’t been a single day since the beginning of the coalition negotiations to establish a new Israeli government that has not seen a horrifying new policy proposal from the people who, as of last week, rule our lives. Between handing over the police to Itamar Ben Gvir, placing the economy and the Civil Administration into the hands of Bezalel Smotrich, and extracurricular programming in the hands of the LGBTQ-phobe Avi Maoz — it has been hard to keep up.

Over the last week, much of the media’s focus has surrounded one of the newest decrees: an amendment to Israel’s anti-discrimination law, allowing business owners to deny service and doctors to deny treatment for reasons of “religious beliefs.” While the law appeared in the coalition agreement between Likud and one of Israel’s Haredi parties, it was MKs Orit Strock and Simcha Rothman from the far-right Religious Zionism Party who spoke openly about applying the law to the LGBTQ community.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in Jerusalem

All of these appointments, plans, and declarations are terrifying, especially when considering that the real avalanche of legislative horror is still ahead of us. What has been lost in the local and international furore over these latest policy proposals, however, is the extent to which the Israeli far-right is borrowing from the American far-right in its crusade against LGBTQ identities.

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