Threat of violence looms as Jerusalem's Gay Pride event approaches

Troy Espera | October 23, 2006

JERUSALEM — Thousands of ultra-Orthodox protested at Jerusalem�s Sabbath Square Wednesday against the holding of the 2006 Gay Pride Parade in the city, with most of them linking the parade to the recent war in Lebanon, Ynet News reports. The parade is scheduled for November 10.

The war in [Lebanon] broke out as soon as the parade was announced,� a Jerusalem resident told Ynet News.

The parade, originally slotted in July, was canceled due to the war, but gay rights groups acted to set another date for the parade since the fighting has ceased.

�Rabbis are fearful of another war,� the resident, an orthodox Jew, told Ynet, adding that a special request has been forwarded to Diaspora Jews �so they too would protest and act for the preservation of Jerusalem�s sanctity.�

Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, the head of the Eda Haredit rabbinic court, told Ynet that during the rally, �We did not succeed in Lebanon due to the obscenity and promiscuity in the Holy Land. There is no greater disturbance than the disgraceful parade.�

Yitzhak Weiss, a journalist and spokesman for Edah Haredit, the ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionist rabbinic organization based in Jerusalem, told The Jerusalem Post that the parade should be prevented in the name of peace.

�Holding the parade in Jerusalem empties the title 'Holy City of the Jews' of all meaning," said Weiss to the Post. "Imagine having such a parade in the Vatican or in Mecca. No one is trying to deprive them of their rights or tell them what to do in their own homes.�

Jerusalem City Councilwoman Mina Fenton (National Religious Party) told Arutz-7 Hebrew radio that the nation must not be silent.

�The march is to be held "because of a compromise reached between the [gay advocacy group] Jerusalem Open House and the police – despite the strong objections of the mayor, the vast majority of the City Council, and many city residents,� she said to Arutz-7. �We must all fight to have this thing canceled – not just postponed.�

The Open House organization told Ynet that the renewed campaign against the gay parade will not deter community members or prevent the parade from taking place.

�The Pride and Tolerance Parade in Jerusalem is a human rights rally aimed at promoting freedom of expression and pluralism,� the group�s acting chairperson said to Ynet. �Therefore we respect the right of those who object to the parade to express their views in a legitimate manner; however, we warn of a renewal of the incitement and violence.� – Issued by Gay Link Content

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