Daily Israel Report

Rabbis Sit With Sheikhs to Deplore Gay Parade in Jerusalem

Stopping the Gay Pride Parade: Rabbis and Sheikhs held a joint press conference, and Jerusalem City Councilwoman Mina Fenton gathered hundreds of signatures at the World Zionist Congress session.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 6/22/2006, 9:05 AM / Last Update: 6/20/2006, 3:13 PM

Fenton, of the National Religious Party faction, has also gathered the signatures of 25 city council members on a petition opposing the holding of the week-long World Gay Pride events in Jerusalem. Six councilmen, members of the Shinui and Meretz parties, did not sign.

The Gay Pride event includes a "Youth Day" at the Knesset to be held on Monday, Aug. 7. The World Pride internet site bills it as "Bringing Order to the Knesset: National and International Summit Meeting for Youth."

The Hebrew-language promotional literature for the Youth Day states, "Youth on the map! After this day, it will be impossible to ignore us. Everyone will understand and remember for a long, long time that the proud [Hebrew gaieh] youth has what to be proud of... Ages 15-25 - boys, girls, lesbians, homos, trans, bi, those who are hesitating, and friends, come to take part in this exciting youth day, a joint production of the Open House and the Israeli Gay Youth Organization, which will be held in the Knesset... Two-way transportation from all over the country... We will meet lots of pals from all over Israel and the world, and we'll sit together to work out important subjects that are very relevant to our daily lives as students, soldiers... youth with ideals and values. After lunch, we will meet with elected representatives of all stripes, and we will present them with our 'I Believe' about the life of gaieh youth in Israel. And at the end of the day: 'Good Jerusalem Children' -- the greatest youth party in Israel..."

Rabbi Yehuda Levin, of the Brooklyn-based Jews for Morality organization, is now in Israel for the express purpose of trying to stop the parade from happening. He led a press conference on Monday, together with Israeli-Arab MK Sheikh Tzartzur, Rabbi Menachem Fruman and others, calling for a "hudna" [ceasefire] in the current Israeli-PA conflict in order to fight a common battle for traditional values.

Though several international news agencies showed up, Rabbi Levin expressed great disappointment that Al-Jazeera and others were not among them. "It's important for us to get this message out to the Moslem world," he said, "for several reasons. Their enthusiastic cooperation in this matter can be very helpful in convincing the police that there is a security risk involved in allowing the parade to be held." Rabbis from Italy, Russia and Venezuela also participated, as did Sheikhs Tamimi and Hamed Bitawi by phone.

Rabbi Fruman - a resident of the Yesha community of Tekoa - later explained to Arutz-7 that allowing the parade in Jerusalem would increase Moslem hatred for the "Jewish infidels who allow the Holy Land to be polluted in this manner. I have long felt that the conflict between us is a religious one... A prominent Sheikh just spoke last week very strongly against homosexuals - the Al-Alwatim, they call them, in the name of the Biblical Lot, even though Lot actually tried to prevent a homosexual attack... I feel very strongly that having the parade could increase the risk of Arab attacks against Israel - possibly on the day of the parade itself, and possibly afterwards."

City Council members say that their signatures against the Pride March "are merely to create public pressure" but have no concrete value. Councilwoman Fenton told Arutz-7, "We, as a city, have no authority to cancel the march. The only ones who can do it are the Supreme Court and the police. If the police feel that the parade is too big of a security risk, they can call it off."

City Councilman Yair Gabbai, also of the NRP faction, agrees: "We can make decisions, but the Supreme Court in the past has nullified them on the grounds of freedom of speech."

Less than a month ago, District Court Judge Yehudit Tzur ruled that the city had set discriminatory standards in its cultural funding practices, and ordered it to pay the Open House for Pride and Tolerance - a homosexual center - 350,000 shekels in back payments. The ruling was viewed as providing impetus for the gay pride event scheduled for this summer.

Shifra Hoffman, head of the Victims of Arab Terror organization, is another activist who opposes the parade. "To flaunt something as obscene as this in our Holy City is something we cannot afford in our relationship with G-d," she said this week. "What we hope to do is to put pressure on rabbis and leaders - even though they should be pressuring us. We have to threaten to lie in the streets if this parade happens. It has to be clear that thousands of people will bodily block this march."

A grassroots group of women (click here for article) who are active in trying to cancel the parade/march notes that its correct email address for information and showing solidarity is
"yes2familyvalues@gmail.com".