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Conservative author warns Israel about transgender ideology

Opponents of free speech force book launch out of Tel Aviv.

From left: Leora Levian, chief editor of Sella Meir; author Abigail Shrier; and publisher Rotem Sella at the launch in Ramat Gan of the Hebrew edition of Shrier's book "Irreversible Damage," May 28, 2023. Source: Twitter.
From left: Leora Levian, chief editor of Sella Meir; author Abigail Shrier; and publisher Rotem Sella at the launch in Ramat Gan of the Hebrew edition of Shrier's book "Irreversible Damage," May 28, 2023. Source: Twitter.

Trans activists failed in their efforts to cancel a talk by U.S. journalist Abigail Shrier to promote the Hebrew-language translation of her 2020 book “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.”

Activists’ threats did succeed in driving the May 28 event out of Tel Aviv.

Sella Meir, the Hebrew publisher, first intended to hold the book launch at the ZOA House cultural center, then moved it to Social Space, another Tel Aviv location, before transferring it to the city of Ramat Gan on Tel Aviv’s eastern border.

LGBT activists “bullied the two larger venues in Tel Aviv to cancel my talk, threatening to boycott those venues for all of PRIDE month [June] if they allowed me to speak,” Shrier tweeted on May 30.

Hundreds of people had purchased tickets and a hundred had to be turned away from the smaller venue, she said.

Abigail Shrier. Source: Twitter.

Shrier took issue with Haaretz‘s coverage, particularly an article titled “‘America Sent Gender Ideology Here’: Anti-Trans Author Shrier Finds Admirers—but Only a Few—in Israel.”

“Leftist media declares: ‘only a few’ attended,” she tweeted. “It’s a technique totalitarians have always used to make their opponents appear small and marginal. It’s an optical illusion. It’s shameless, it’s false, and a situation the Left worked to create—which they now report on as if it were an organic result.”

Although the Hebrew publisher tried to keep the Ramat Gan venue secret, activists discovered the location and protested outside.

“Attendees had to walk through a throng of hundreds of enraged protesters screaming, blaring horns and banging drums. Attendees knew there might be disruption inside, and there was,” Shrier said.

One protester approached the stage in a threatening manner before two men from the audience stopped him.

Haaretz, describing the incident, said a “ticketholder, leaped toward the stage, bellowing: ‘Hello Mrs. Shrier, I was wondering if you would…,’ before being grabbed by several men.”

Shrier’s book faced censorship efforts in the U.S. as well when it first appeared in 2020. Amazon refused to allow Regnery Publishing to run a sponsored advertisement for the book. The book was temporarily removed from Target stores.

There were calls for “Irreversible Damage” to be banned, including from an ACLU director and a University of California English professor, who said it should be burned. A group of Spotify employees demanded that a Joe Rogan podcast featuring an interview with Shrier be censored. (The company ultimately decided against doing so.)

Rotem Sella, the founder and owner of Sella Meir, tweeted on Wednesday, “One of the most interesting things about the publication of Irreversible Damage is the huge gap between the thuggish silencing attempts of a handful of radicals, and the broad consensus in the public regarding the insights found in it.”

“Irreversible Damage” has won praise from the Times of London and The Economist.

Shrier argues that gender dysphoria, in which individuals feel a disconnect between their biological sex and gender identity, is “absolutely real” but “also exceedingly rare, afflicting 0.1% of the population.” Historically, it was overwhelmingly young boys affected by gender dysphoria. Left alone, more than 70% outgrew it, with most ending up as gay men, she said.

Now it’s mainly teenage girls claiming to have gender dysphoria, something Shrier says can only be explained as “social contagion.”

“Today, we don’t just leave kids alone who say this and just let the chips fall where they may, letting some kids outgrow their gender dysphoria and others to transition when they reach adulthood,” Shrier said in a speech to a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in 2021.

“Today, we say the moment a child does not seem perfectly feminine or perfectly masculine …, ‘I know what this is. This is a trans kid.’ We take them to a therapist or doctor, nearly all of whom practice so-called ‘affirmative care,’ that is, nearly all of whom have accepted that it is their job to immediately affirm or agree with the patient’s self-diagnosis and to immediately help them medically transition.”

Children are given puberty blockers and other “transitioning hormones,” Shrier said, in some cases without their parent’s knowledge. There are thousands of “detransitioners” whom the legacy media refuses to talk about—girls who underwent this process and later came to regret it, she noted.

Although Shrier has only positive things to say about those who actually suffer from gender dysphoria, she has been attacked by gender activists as “transphobic.”

“You are exporting murderous bigotry,” yelled a 16-year-old trans activist outside the Ramat Gan book launch in a typical such attack.

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