We can argue about the comparison to beasts (who are approved for slaughter,) but we can also replace one word in the organizers' message, "gays," with another word, "Jews."
After that, we can reread the words of Ohad Bart, the representative of the forum of religious educational institutions at the Yesha Council, who told Ynet: "We want to hold the beast parade because those people are committing beastly deeds."
Pride parade in Jerusalem, 2005
Yes, there's quite a bit of demagoguery in this kind of word substitution, but this is the only test of discrimination and racism: Replace the name of the slammed group with the name of a group you belong to.
For example, instead of the "Open House" gay organization, think of soccer team Beitar Jerusalem. The team plays mostly on Saturdays and in the eyes of the ultra-Orthodox causes mass desecration of the Sabbath almost every Saturday. Isn't this, in their eyes, a violation of one of the ten commandments that requires that violators be punished by stoning?
Question of numbers
Well, here in Jerusalem the hypocrisy inherent in religious zeal is fully exposed. Why attack the pride parade and not Beitar Jerusalem's victory celebrations? There are simply too many Beitar Jerusalem fans and therefore it is easier now to attack gays and lesbians, murder them in the name of God, or at least push them to their own place, to Tel Aviv, where impurity can apparently be accommodated.
It is merely a geological question (time and pressure) before the knives, curses, and incitement are directed at Beiter Jerusalem.
You're not Beitar fans? You don't even like soccer? Here are other examples: You drive on the Sabbath? Come out and march, or drive to Tel Aviv, where this impurity is allowed to exist. You don't keep kosher? Come out and march, or eat those unfit foods in Tel Aviv, where this abomination is allowed to exist.
Girl, you're wearing pants? In Jerusalem?! Abomination! Come out and march in Jerusalem. Woman, you're wearing a short-sleeved shirt in summer? In Jerusalem?! Abomination! Come out and march in Jerusalem.
I, the drag queen
When I marched last year, wearing a wedding gown, and next to me a good female friend dressed up as a groom, I marched on behalf of all those who cannot wed in our country after being disqualified by the religious establishment for various reasons. You cannot get married? Waiting for a divorce certificate? Simply want to see civil marriages? Come out and march!
Yes, it was me in the wedding gown, and I marched like this as a form of political protest, and in exchange got to see bloodstains on my dress. For the record, my two escorts were wearing pants, not a thong, and their torso was decorated by a plethora of protest and gay pride stickers.
Jerusalem's 2006 pride parade is a social test for the entire secular community in Israel and no longer represents only Jerusalem's homo-lesbian community. This is the march of all those who do not follow religious decrees in accordance with ultra-Orthodox beliefs.
During Holocaust Memorial Day ceremonies at schools, a well known song is read. The song recounts the story of how when the communists were taken away, I stood aside and said nothing because I'm not a communist, and so forth. Ultimately, there was nobody left to cry out when they came to take me away.
On Thursday evening, about 60 years ago, my grandfather and grandmother decided to flee Germany, on Kristallnacht. They realized their children had no future there.
They escaped to Palestine-Land-of-Israel and settled in Jerusalem because there, or so they thought, they will not be prosecuted just because of who they are. They will not be cursed just because of who they are. They will not be marked as targets for murder just because of who they are. Their murder wouldn't be legitimized.
For me, personally, holding the pride parade a day after marking the Kristallnacht anniversary is very logical and not a mark of disgrace, as the hypocritical religious zealots argue.
I will march through the city where I grew up and lived all my life, proudly. It is very possible that I'll be injured, or even worse. At the same time, if you open your eyes and arrive en masse without giving in to fear, whether you're gay or not, this event may end peacefully, just like Beitar Jerusalem's victory celebrations.
More on Jerulalem pride parade
- Gay pride opposition war plan