LGBTQ couple’s vehicle vandalized during Shabbat in religious settlement

Written by on November 20, 2021

The vehicle of an LGBTQ couple who were visiting family in a religious settlement in the West Bank was vandalized during Shabbat, B’Sheva editor Yoni Rotenberg reported on Saturday night.

“I am shocked,” tweeted Rotenberg. “My brother-in-law and his partner were staying in a religious settlement in the West Bank on Shabbat. On Shabbat morning, they passed by their vehicle and saw that one of the tires had been slashed, two hubcaps had been removed and pro-LGBTQ+ stickers had been peeled off.”

“Apparently the vandals understood that chasing LGBTQ+ people overrides [the rules of] Shabbat,” added Rotenberg. “My conservative positions are well known, but this is crossing a very dangerous line.”

On Shabbat, a number of actions are forbidden for observant Jews, including most forms of causing damage.

The replies to the tweet were mixed, with a number of Twitter users claiming that, while they did not support acts like vandalism, the couple should have never entered the settlement.

אני מזועזע.

גיסי ובן זוגו התארחו השבת בישוב דתי ביו”ש. בבוקר שבת הם עברו ליד רכבם וראו שאחד הצמיגים מנוקב, שתי צלחות פורקו וסטיקרים פרו-להט”ביים קולפו. כנראה שהוונדליסט הבין שרדיפת להט”ב דוחה שבת.

עמדותיי השמרניות ידועות, אבל מדובר כאן על חציית קו מסוכנת מאוד.

— יוני רוטנברג (@Yoni_Roten) November 20, 2021

Berale’ Crombie, a publicist and strategist who worked with Jerusalem deputy mayor Hagit Moshe, ridiculed Rotenberg’s statement saying the act “crossed a dangerous line,” writing that Rotenberg’s brother-in-law “should not come with ‘his partner’ to a religious settlement for shabbat and should not park his car with LGBTQ+ stickers.”

Crombie added that he “of course” is against any form of violence.

Rotenberg responded that his brother-in-law is shomer Shabbat (meaning he follows the laws of Shabbat) and was visiting his family, adding that Crombie had “shown himself as a person pretty washed in hate.”

Another user called the visit by the couple to their family in a religious settlement with a vehicle that had LGBTQ+ stickers on it was “sticking their finger in people’s eyes.”

The incident comes a week after a group of LGBTQ+ youth were violently attacked by teenagers near the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem while they were on their way to a conference on transgender issues being held in Tel Aviv.

An annual report by the Nir Katz Center of the Agudah – The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel found that LGBT-phobic cases were reported once every three hours in 2020 in Israel, as 2,696 new incidents of hate and violence against the LGBTQ+ community were reported amid the coronavirus outbreak, a 27% increase compared to 2019.

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