Gay Zionist pride in Amsterdam


Jewish participation in Toronto’s Gay Pride parade was muted this year, after organizers permitted a "Queers Against Israeli Apartheid" contingent, but the blue and white shone proud in Amsterdam’s Gay Pride celebration this past weekend:

Alongside the 80 or more boats laden with scantily-clad partygoers and fun seekers, the parade through the city’s canals includes vessels from political and government organisations demonstrating their support for gay rights. Amsterdam’s newly-elected mayor Eberhard van der Laan is also taking part and has recorded a special filmed message to welcome everyone to the event. And this year, for the first time, a ‘Jewish boat’ will join in the festivities. It follows the first participation, last year, of a Muslim boat. …

The ‘Jewish boat’ is an initiative from Amsterdam’s Beit Ha’Chidush congregation. Representative Jelle Zijlstra said the congregation “is active in Gay Pride every year. The evening before the Canal Parade, we always hold a special Sabbath service on the theme of Gay Pride: the Pink Sabbath. We’ve wanted to sail [in the boat parade] for a long time but never managed to until now.” …

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