Battle against holding the annual gay WorldPride parade in Jerusalem this summer heats up: Repentance Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak announced that he plans to hold a “modesty parade” in response to the gay pride parade scheduled to march through Jerusalem August 11. The event is planned to precede the WorldPride parade by a few days, and expects an attendance of over 20,000 people.
The event is being planned by the “Shofar” group and is being publicized, among other places, on their website. Shofar, founded by Rav
The Modesty Parade will also mark 20 years of Shofar’s activities. “It’s time to show the whole world that in the last 20 years we have changed the face of Judaism unrecognizably and those loyal to God and his Torah have become the leaders, against the disseminators of darkness. The fact that the Torah of Israel commands us to act modestly and self-deprecatingly has given this raucous and rebellious minority an opportunity to act out their pride and boastfulness all the way to Jerusalem, the holy city, in order to soil it.”
Rabbi Yitzhak’s website promises that the demonstration will include “pyrotechnics shows with light defeating darkness as never seen before.”
Petition against parade
Meanwhile, objectors to the gay pride parade are threatening to file a petition to the High Court of Justice against it. During a city council meeting this week, National Religious Party Councilwoman Mina Fenton introduced a petition calling for the march to be cancelled. Twenty-three out of the 31 council members signed the petition.
“I am sure that the first 100,000 signatures will prove to the High Court the position of the majority, and the risks and humiliation of letting the parade happen,” Fenton said.
“Holding the gay pride parade, especially in Jerusalem, severely harms the city’s unique Jewish character and constitutes an act of defiance, purposeful disrespect and a challenge to everything holy in the city of Jerusalem in the eyes of the whole world. This will be wept about for generations and we must prevent it now,” the petition read.
A center of tolerance, pluralism and humanity
A member of the city council from the Meretz party, Saar Natanel, said in response to Fenton’s initiative: “The delusional attempts by Mina Fenton and the rest of the Orthodox-Religious coalition members in Jerusalem won’t succeed. Gays and lesbians have a place in Jerusalem too. It is the community’s right to hold the march. This right is legitimate, legal and democratic. The pride parade is important to Jerusalem to show that Israel’s capital has other voices as well that support democracy, pluralism and equality. Jerusalem cannot be represented by religious extremists alone.”
Noa Satat, Chairman of the Jerusalem House for Pride and Tolerance, a gay and lesbian foundation in the capital, explained the importance of holding the pride parade in the city. “The World pride event will take place in Jerusalem because we believe Jerusalem should be a center of tolerance, pluralism and humanity. Unfortunately, there are those who prefer Jerusalem to be fanatical, dark, pursuing strife and hatred. Those same people ignore the Torah’s greatest rule: Love thy brother as thyself.”
“The many participants who will take place in the pride activities – from Israel and the world – will best answer this demonstration of darkness that is shaming Judaism and Jerusalem. We invite Mr.Yitzhak and his disciples to take part in the inter-religious gatherings in the framework of World pride events. Religious figures from gay, Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities will partake in the assembly and will represent a religious voice that respects all mankind created in the image of the lord, and committed to the traditional Jewish values of tolerance and love of humanity,” Satat said.