Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Israeli ‘LGBT Strike’ Begins As Protesters Block Highway To Blast Surrogacy Law

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Protesters marched through Tel Aviv and blocked the main Ayalon highway as day-long demonstrations kicked off across the country to protest a new surrogacy law that does not include gay couples.

Thousands of marchers waving rainbow flags blocked the Ayalon in central Tel Aviv. At the same time, hundreds of protesters in support of the LGBT community launched a demonstration near the official prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem.

Major demonstrations also were planned for Haifa in the north and Beersheba in the south. Protests also were planned in smaller Israeli cities.

The day’s main protest is a rally scheduled for Rabin Square in Tel Aviv at 8:15 p.m.

The strike was announced shortly after the Knesset vote by the Aguda, the umbrella organization for the LGBT community in Israel.

The surrogacy law, which expands those eligible to hire surrogates in Israel to include single women, but excludes single men and gay couples, passed early Thursday morning in the Knesset by a vote of 59 to 52, part of a flood of votes before the lawmakers recessed at the end of the summer session.

Following the vote, the local divisions of several international companies, including Microsoft and Apple, announced they would support financially any employees who want to start a family though surrogacy.

Dozens of companies also offered a paid day off to employees who want to join the Sunday demonstrations. Many of those companies, and others throughout Israel, already were offering Sunday as an optional day off for employees in order to observe the solemn fast day of Tisha B’Av, marking the destruction of the Holy Temples in Jerusalem.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.