Israel set to launch 2023 Gay Pride Month

Organizers expect Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade to be the largest ever; claim the importance of the annual event this year while rights are under threat from the government and violence against LGBTQ+ members on the rise

Hadar Gil-Ad|
Israel is set to Launch Gay Pride Month on Thursday, with a record-breaking 100 events planned around the country and parades will take place where they had not before.
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הפגנה מול הרבנות בתל אביב
הפגנה מול הרבנות בתל אביב
A protester holds an Israeli and rainbow flag during a demonstration outside the Tel Aviv rabbinate
(Photo: Nadav Aves)
This year the LGBTQ+ community's rights are under threat from the most right-wing and religious government in the country's history including the presence of homophobic deputy minister Avi Maoz who has branded LGBTQ as deviants.
"Gay pride events are seen as a protest and call for equal rights, personal security and the advancement of tolerance in Israeli society, " the LGBTQ+ association said in a statement. The association is supporting 70 events in communities around the country including some that were refused funding from their mayors.
On Sunday, a transgender youth was violently dragged out of a book launch after interrupting the author of a book titled "Irreparable Damage – How transgenders are a Danger to Girls." " We are not a disease." the youth shouted out while he was dragged by his legs. " We are people who should have a right over our bodies.", he said as he was kicked out of the event.
Outside hundreds of demonstrators protested the book launch by a publishing house that also released books by the architect of the judicial overhaul Religious Zionism member Simcha Rothman.
Pride month events are especially important this year, Chairperson of the LGBTQ Association Hila Pe'er said. "This is the time for the entire Israeli public to participate and demand that Israel be democratic, egalitarian and tolerant. On the year when our rights and freedoms are under threat from the government, the gay community will demonstrate, protest and celebrate our culture, identity and love with pride," she said.
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הפגנה נגד המהפכה המשפטית, תל אביב
הפגנה נגד המהפכה המשפטית, תל אביב
Protesting the judicial overhaul in Tel Aviv
(Photo: EPA)
The month's events will begin with a pride parade in Jerusalem on Thursday, which organizers expect will be one of the largest ever to take place in the capital.
Many of the achievements of the past year are in danger and the political climate has already caused violence towards members of the gay community, and an increase in calls to psychological and emotional hotlines, " activist and chairman of Jerusalem's Open House for Pride and Tolerance Jonathan Valfer said. "The parade, because it takes place in Jerusalem is a symbol of the importance of freedom of expression and equality before the law and of the right of any one of us to live in security and pride in who we are," he said.
Tel Aviv's parade considered the largest in the Middle East, will take place on June 8 and will mark the 25th anniversary of the city's celebrations. On Friday, Tel Aviv will host a party at Yarkon Park featuring some of Israel's most known and loved artists.
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