The gay pride parade that was to take place this Thursday in Jerusalem was cancelled, pursuant to a Jerusalem police announcement that forces would not be able to secure the event due to the situation in the north and the fear of violent altercations during the parade.
Members of Open House, who are organizing the pride events, claim that this is the result of deliberate prejudice. Last week, Jerusalem police did not object to a mass rally marking the one year anniversary of Disengagement that took place at the Western Wall.
Additionally, according to Open House representatives, police are considering approval for anti-parade protests, such as that planned by followers of Rabbi Yosef Elyashiv, exactly on the same day as the pride parade was supposed to take place.
Hagai Elad, Open House CEO, and Noa Sattath, Open House chairperson, said: "This is an unacceptable policy of double standards, which restricts the freedom of expression of the law-abiding public and gives in to violent threats which the police ignore."
"If there is truly such a severe personnel shortage in the police district, how can they manage to secure an event, occurring simultaneously, with tens or even hundreds of thousands of expected participants?" they asked
Pride abused, not trampled
"This is anti-democratic policy, which embodies the attackers and punishes the victim, at a time when opponents of the pride parade threaten the government and parade participants in Jerusalem. The duty of the police is to protect freedom of expression and democracy, not to surrender to violence in advance," they declared. They called upon to the police bring the full force of the law to bear upon "those inciting violence."
This week, a variety of World Pride Events are taking place in Jerusalem. Although the parade is cancelled, the Open House promises to conduct it at a later date and is laboring eagerly on other events this week. Thursday, a protest watch will be held in the Jerusalem "against hatred and incitement targeting homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals."
"We decided to conduct the protest watch in order to say to instigators who oppose us that we will not break, not be silent, and we will fight against the dirty waves of hatred, incitement, and prejudice." Elad and Sattath explain.
"The pride parade will not take place at this time due to the fighting in the north, but it will take place immediately upon the cessation of the conflict. The struggle for human right, equality and a sane Jerusalem is critical. We call upon anyone who identifies with these values to take part in the watch," they announced.
Following the protest watch, the week's main event will take place: a live performance in the Jerusalem club, HaOman (the artist) 17. Performers will include Korin Alal, Dana Berger, and Funkenstein, featuring Hadag Nahash soloist, Sha'anan Streett. Other World Pride events are a health summit focusing on health issues among the LGBT community, a gay film festival and an art exhibition.