Culture Clash Reigns At Parade


Plans to host a Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem last year brought protests from Israel’s Orthodox community.

The parade was cancelled, a casualty of public concern over the military battles at the country’s northern and southern borders.

Last week Tel Aviv’s annual Gay Pride rally took place, and both gay marchers and Orthodox protestors turned out.

Thousands of Israelis marched through the streets of Tel Aviv, above, while right-wing citizens demonstrated, left, three participants in the Tel Aviv event posed in pink, inset, and haredi rabbis issued a curse on participants in the Tel Aviv parade and one planned next week for Jerusalem.

The Haredi Badatz rabbinical court also cursed the police officers who are to maintain peace at the Jerusalem parade.

“To all those involved, sinners in spirit, and whoever helps and protects them, may they feel a curse on their souls, may it plague them and may evil pursue them,” a rabbinical statement read.

Supporters of the parade say freedom of speech entitles them to hold the event in Jerusalem as a symbol of tolerance and pluralism.