The comments made by far-right politician Orit Strock have increased fears of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric in the region, according to The Guardian.
The 62-year-old did a radio interview where she was widely understood to have implied Israeli doctors would be able to refuse LGBTQ+ patients treatment.
Her comments also referenced legislation her party is drafting for the amendment of anti-discrimination law.
Strock said that doctors could deny treatment if it goes against their religious beliefs “as long as there are enough other doctors who can give this service”.
She later claimed that she was referring to certain medical procedures that could be viewed as religiously objectionable, not LGBTQ+ individuals.
In a series of tweets originally in Hebrew, Strock wrote: “You can calm the commotion over nothing.”
1/3 אפשר להרגיע את המהומה על לא מאומה.
אף 1 לא מתכוון להפלות לרעה להט"בים בגלל עצם זהותם או הזדהותם. לא בטיפול רפואי, ולא בשום שירות אחר. להט"בים הם בני אדם, וראויים לכבוד ולאהבה כמו כל 1. בראיון לקרן נויבך הדגשתי זאת, כמובן.
לא מדובר בכלל על זהות המטופל אלא על מהות הטיפול>>
— אורית סטרוק (@oritstrock) December 25, 2022
“No one intends to discriminate against LGBT people because of their very identity or identification. Not in medical care, nor in any other service.”
“LGBT people are human beings, and deserve respect and love just like everyone else.”
Strock is one of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s incoming national missions minister.
He called her remarks as “unacceptable” and denied his new government will pose a threat to LGBTQ+ people.
The president of Israel Isaac Herzog also commented on the situation.
“The racist pronouncements of recent days against the LGBTQ community and other sectors of the public make me extremely worried and concerned,” he stated.