More violence erupts over Jerusalem Gay Pride event

Violence threatened

Troy Espera | November 03, 2006

TEL AVIV — Ultra-Orthodox Jewish groups torched trash bins and hurled stones at police in Jerusalem on Tuesday in protests against plans to hold a gay rights march in the holy city, reports Reuters.

According to the Middle East Times, the demonstrators condemned the gay pride march planned for November 10 as "a parade of debauchery" and said that they would do everything to stop the "abomination."

The police have told reporters that they plan to mobilize at least 2,000 border guards to protect gay marchers in view of the risk of violence and have said that they might ban the parade on security grounds.

Three policemen were hurt and five protesters arrested in what Israeli media said was one of the most violent demonstrations in the city in recent times, reports Reuters.

Protesters wore torn burlap sacks, resembling those worn by the bereaved of their community, and held signs saying "Jerusalem won't be Sodom and Gomorrah," referring to towns the Bible says were destroyed by God because of their residents' sinful ways.

They blocked a main city road, throwing stones at police who came to disperse them, according to footage broadcast by Israeli television.

According to Reuters, some ultra-orthodox Jews have vowed to disrupt the march expected to take place in mid-November, and there have also been threats of violence, in a dispute that threatens to create new tension between the Orthodox and Israel's secular Jewish majority.

The parade was to have taken place August 10 but was postponed in July because of the war in Lebanon.

Ultra-orthodox Jews have been joined in their outrage by Muslim and Christian clerics, reports the Middle East Times.

Noa Sattath, from the Jerusalem Open House, the local LGBT group sponsoring the march, told Cybercast News Service that they are "very determined" to hold the march next week. The threats, she said, have so far been expressed only through the media and not directly at the JOH.

They are "taking precautions" against any trouble, Sattath told Cybercast News Service.

During the last gay pride march in Jerusalem in June 2005 an ultra-orthodox Jew stabbed a participant, and received a 12-year prison term. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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