Thousands take part in Jerusalem pride

LGBT people welcome but donkeys are not as Israel marks pride in its capital

Thousands take part in Jerusalem pride
03 August 2012

Up 5,000 people marched in central Jerusalem on Thursday for the 10th annual LGBT Pride and Tolerance parade.

Participants marched yesterday (2 August) through Jerusalem’s city center without no major incidents, holding banners such as ‘A decade of marching in Jerusalem,’ and ‘Love thy neighbour.’

The march started at 5.30pm at Gan Haatzmaut Park and made its way through through King George Street, Paris Square and Keren Hayesod, to Gan Hapaamon Park, where there was a rally. On route, marchers passed by the spot where an ultra-Orthodox Jew stabbed three participants in 2005.

Speaking with Gay Star News, Elinor Sidi, the director of the organizing NGO Jerusalem Open House said: ‘We had quite a typical Jerusalem mix, to our delight some brave ultra-Orthodox Jews joined our march, as well as some of members of the Palestinian LGBT community of East Jerusalem.’

Despite the fact the march was routed away from religious areas, Ultra-Orthodox Jews protested against the march, albeit peacefully.

Sidi stressed that ‘this was an opportunity for us to reflect on the changes that Jerusalem has undergone in the past decade.

‘We fortunately do not have stabbing and riots like we had in some of the past pride marches, and we returned for the first time in years to march in the city center.

‘Yet there is still a lot of work to be done to make Jerusalem a more tolerant place for all.

‘In contrast to most pride events taking place in June, as a means to commemorate the Stonewall riot, we chose to mark the date of the horrendous murder in the LGBT youth club of Tel Aviv in 2009.

‘We wanted to remember this date as will celebrate the diversity of the LGBT community, its pluralism – by fighting hatred through love.’

Sidi also wanted to highlight to problems that this self-financed pride faces and beyond: ‘The municipality of Jerusalem finance religious Jewish events with millions of shekels [local Israeli currency], which is fine, but it is important to highlight it provides no funding whatsoever to events like ours, and others, that call for tolerance.

‘Jerusalem is significant more than just for us residents of the city, and therefore I hope that pressure could be brought to bear on the local government, not just for sponsorship but to highlight its rather skewed priorities.’

Baruch Marzel, an extreme right wing activist from the Occupied Palestinian West Bank, planned to march live donkeys along the parade route to draw a ‘connection’ LGBT people and bestiality.

Organizers however informed the Israel ministry of agriculture of animal abuse and the donkeys were stopped by its officers before they were allowed to participate in the ‘counter protest’.

In addition the ‘Welcome to Jerusalem’ sign was painted in rainbow colours the night before the march by undercover activists.

City officials stated that police are investigating the ‘incident’. 

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Going to Turkey? Check your papers

Do you dream of Turkey's cool buildings, amazing beaches and hot oil wrestling? The country voted as the world’s most popular destination by TripAdvisor readers is changing its visa entry rules starting 1 January 2015
No thumbnail available

‘Boy Sodomizers of America’ receive religious warning from Bryan Fischer

Religious pundit Bryan Fischer suggests the Boy Scouts of America rename their organization after lifting the ban on gay members
No thumbnail available

Long before he played gay in The Normal Heart, Mark Ruffalo's high school best friend came out to him

The revelation came along with 'basically a declaration of love attached to it'
No thumbnail available

Matt Bomer wants to play closeted screen icon Montgomery Clift but only 'if it's done right'

'We could do it tomorrow and make some salacious version of the story and that’s not what I’m interested in'
No thumbnail available

First Lady Michelle Obama to fundraise for DNC LGBT leadership council

First Lady Michelle Obama will attend fundraising event for LGBT Democrats that will be hosted by Bravo's Andy Cohen
No thumbnail available

GSN sends big love to our 290,000 readers

Big thanks to you for helping Gay Star News zoom past the quarter-million readers a month mark
No thumbnail available

Houston passes bill making it illegal to discriminate against LGBTI people and others

Texas city's lesbian mayor Annise Parker tweets: 'It's never too late to do the right thing'
No thumbnail available

Why the Republicans secretly want to lose their Supreme Court marriage fight

The five reasons why the GOP will benefit if the US Supreme Court to rule for marriage equality – even if they are fighting against it
No thumbnail available

Alleged hate-crime victim charged with making story up

An American woman who claimed men broke into her house and cut gay slurs into her skin before trying to burn the house down has been charged with making a false complaint to police
No thumbnail available

New Pope, same old prejudices

George Broadhead says despite his image as a champion of the downtrodden, Pope Francis has repeatedly attacked LGBT people