During a demonstration held outside the Sela Meir publishing office in Ramat Gan, a suburb of Tel Aviv, a transgender teenager was forcibly restrained and ejected from the venue where the Hebrew translation of Abigail Shrier’s book, “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters,” was being launched.
The incident took place on Sunday (28 May) as hundreds of LGBTQ+ activists gathered to protest against the publication of the book. Originally published in 2020, the book puts forth the controversial notion that gender dysphoria in young individuals is influenced by their peers and social factors, a viewpoint not supported by reputable medical institutions. The American author has faced criticism for her stance on this subject.
The event faced numerous cancellations and venue changes due to activists informing the hosting locations about the content of the book. Eventually, ticketholders were informed of a private venue in Ramat Gan, but the information was leaked once again.
Outside the venue, protesters displayed Pride and Israeli flags, made percussive sounds, and voiced slogans and phrases in opposition to the book. Inside the event, a 17-year-old trans individual named Ayelet approached Abigail Shrier and was forcefully tackled and removed from the premises. Addressing the room, the teenager proclaimed, “We are not a disease, we are not a contagion, we are people.”
This statement elicited derogatory remarks from some members of the audience, who referred to the teenager as “a disease” and a “freak.” Following the incident, Ayelet, who reportedly uses they/them pronouns, spoke to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, expressing their reason for attending the event as a protest against the importation of bigotry from the United States to Israel.
The teenager stated, “Israel has its own bigotry to deal with. Within that room, there were about 50 people, mostly Americans. Why? Because no one here cares about it. It’s an entirely manufactured outrage. I am a trans person, and as someone who is 17 years old, I have the right to make choices about my own body. Despite Abigail Shrier’s best attempts, my parents love me and accept me for who I am.”
Protest organizer Amy Roseman The Times of Israel condemned the book, stating that it disseminates misinformation and encourages parents to reject their transgender children. Roseman asserted, “It’s a book full of lies. It attempts to introduce foreign ideas into the Israeli political dialogue. Such content has no place here and is driven by hatred.
The book promotes the misguided belief that transgenderism is a condition that can be cured. We often talk about the harmful effects of conversion therapy, which leads to depression, suicide, mental illness, and significant pain that can be prevented if parents accept their children.”