A group of youths attacked a 34-year old man at Eilat's annual Gay Pride Parade Friday, attended by about 3,500 people. The man, a resident of Eilat, teaches boys who are at risk due to their sexual tendencies.
Protestors of the march also threw eggs at the participants, and one minimarket located on the parade's route hung a sign on its door saying, "No gays allowed". Police forced the owners to take the sign down after the Gay and Lesbian Union complained.
Israel's southernmost city has played host to the parade, which includes people from all over the world, since 2002.
One of the participants told Ynet she was shocked by the sign. "I felt for a moment the anti-Semitism exhibited towards Jews all over the world," she said. "I didn't think the gays in Israel were becoming as oppressed as Jews in anti-Semitic countries."
The Gay and Lesbian Union's representative in Eilat, Itzik Tzror, was also appalled. "I didn't think that in 2009 we'd still be seeing hate signs on stores," he told Ynet.
"I hope Eilat's public will seriously consider this issue in order not to alienate gay tourists who paint the city in all colors of the rainbow and support its citizens financially."
Chairman of the LGBT Union in Israel, Mike Hamel, said the organization would continue to protest homophobia the likes of which was demonstrated in Eilat. "A complaint has been filed and we will insist on taking legal action," he said.