Of the 13 ministers who did participate in the poll, eight opposed the parade, two approved it, and three – including the prime minister – refrained from voting. A dozen other ministers did not particapte.
The two ministers who sided with the parade were Education Minister Yuli Tamir and Pensioner Affairs Minister Rafi Eitan. Among those opposing the parade were four Shas ministers – MK Eliyahu Yishai, MK Yitzhak Cohen, MK Meshulam Nahari, and MK Ariel Atias.
Joining the opposing team were Vice Premier Shimon Peres, MK Gideon Ezra, MK Jacob Edery, and MK Yacov Ben Yizri. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter, and acting Justice Minister Meir Shitrit refrained from the vote.
The prime minister’s office received a request from the “Open House” Sunday to allow the parade to take place, however replied that the prime minister “isn’t interested in influencing the professional forces, so that they could come to a decision based on facts in the field”.
Dichter replied in a similar way and said, “In my position as internal security minister, I prefer not to comment until the police’s assessment of the situation is complete.”
'Jerusalem is a special city'
Yishai explained that he opposed because “the parade in Jerusalem would defile the city. There is no such thing as half defiling. Defiling is defiling”. Nahari said, “Democracy is the possibility of live and let live. A gay pride parade in Jerusalem doesn’t allow haredim to live in the city.”
The environment minister said he opposed the parade “mainly because of the security problems involved in having the parade in Jerusalem”.
Edery said, “I oppose and think the gay pride parade should be moved from Jerusalem. I personally tried to reconcile the two sides and it did not happen. We must keep in mind that Jerusalem is a special city and everyone’s feelings should be considered.”
Tamir on the other hand disagreed with such stances and said, “A surrender to violence means we’ve learned nothing from Rabin’s murder.” Eitan also said he was for the parade, as long as it was modestly conducted through a compromise of all sides.
Ben Yizri said, “I oppose the parade because the issue is loaded and controversial. We must do everything to prevent the unnecessary divide of the people.”