Israeli celebrities slam Knesset surrogacy decision

A range of Israeli celebrities – including supermodel Bar Refaeli – have spoken out after the Knesset Wednesday declined to extend surrogacy rights to gay couples.

MKs granted such rights to single women, in addition to married couples, but vetoed adding single men and gay couples in the bill.

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Several public figures criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for speaking out in favor of the amendment earlier in the week, and then voting against it.

Refaeli addressed an Instagram post to her LGBT friends: “Who are they to tell you what you can and can’t do – it is the basic right of every human,” she wrote. “To love and to build a family!” Refaeli, a mother of two, added that the vote made her “embarrassed and sad – and I can’t even imagine your feelings. I have no words to express my anger.”

The supermodel added a video clip of Netanyahu’s earlier support of the proposal, writing: “See you at the ballot box.”

Some of the personalities who spoke out against the vote have close ties to the Netanyahu family.

Celebrity chef Moshe Segev, who has cooked for the Netanyahu family on special occasions, wrote on Instagram, “Everyone human being deserves the right to be a parent and to raise children. I have no doubt that the situation will change.”

Segev, whose wife Sandra Ringler is close to Sara Netanyahu, added, “I just hope for the good of all of us, that this sad state will change very quickly.”

In an op-ed in Ma’ariv on Thursday, TV personality and interior designer Moshik Galamin opined “Netanyahu’s decision is disappointing. I’m sick of a country where backward opinions succeed in affecting the law. At the end of the day it is our daily lives and our fate as citizens which are screwed by this.”

In 2015, Galamin taped a tour of the Prime Minister’s residence alongside Sara Netanyahu, during which the pair pointed out the run-down interior in a bid for sympathy.

Pop singer Ben-El Tavori of the duo Static and Ben-El – which recently signed a huge US record deal – wrote after Wednesday’s Knesset vote, “Everyone deserves to build a family wherever he is, in particular if he’s a Jew living in the Holy Land!” The singer shared a photo of Yanai Fryszer Guttman – the widower of singer Amir Fryszer Guttman – and their son, who was born through a surrogate in India in 2013. Guttman died last year while saving his niece from drowning, during a celebration marking his one-year anniversary of being cancer free.

Assi Azar, the ubiquitous host of a slew of Israeli reality TV shows, shared several posts slamming the prime minister.

“Dear Mr. Prime Minister,” he wrote underneath a portrait of Netanyahu, his wife and their two sons. “I also want to have a family photo like this.”

A publicity launch slated for Sunday for Azar’s newest show, Ninja Israel, was postponed until Tuesday in order not to conflict with a strike planned across Israel in , Keshet announced Thursday.