A Messianic Jewish pastor is trying to remove an LGBT teaching program from public schools in Israel’s southern resort city of Eilat. Ariel Ben-David leads the Maayan Eilat Messianic Congregation, and together with a number of other parents, he was outraged when the local municipality approved a curriculum put together by Hoshen.
Hoshen is the largest non-profit LGBT organization in Israel, and as part of its activities has developed a 33-part Civics Studies program to familiarize Israeli students with the LGBT movement’s history, activists and aims.
Pastor Ben-David circulated a petition against exposing students to the Hoshen curriculum and presented it to municipal officials. He was promptly attacked in Eilat’s main newspaper over his alleged bigotry.
He also turned to Israel’s Ministry of Education, but was rebuffed by a ministry representative who again suggested that Ben-David was simply being intolerant. “The Ministry of Education advocates a pluralistic approach…[and] places special emphasis on developing an optimal educational climate characterized by acceptance of the other, solidarity and social responsibility,” read a...