Being gay in Israel (with two Jews)

You certainly wouldn’t be seeing this on mainstream TV in most of the Middle East (but then again, if Israeli and Palestinian women wanted to appear, the racism towards the Arab would be massive):

In identical net costumes and with matching long, blonde tresses, a television presenter and a professional dancer will tonight glide on to the set of Israel‘s Dancing with the Stars to become the first same-sex couple to perform in the global television dance phenomenon.

Gili Shem Tov, an openly-gay anchor on one of Israel’s main TV channels, made a female dance partner a condition of competing in the show, which pairs celebrities with professional dancers.

Based on the UK’s Strictly Come Dancing, the Israeli show is now in its sixth series.

“This is my way of life and this is my agenda, and I wanted to express it,” she told a press conference today at television studios in Newe Ilan, near Jerusalem.

“If even just a few people become more tolerant and open-minded as a… result, then I have achieved something.”

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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