With the gay pride parade scheduled to take place in Jerusalem this coming Thursday, July 29, it seems that in contrast to the counter-protest that was held the first time the event was held in Jerusalem, the event is more or less ignored as the years pass.
Right wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir has in the past led public moves against the pride parade, including running educational programs in several schools last year explaining the issues of homosexuality, holding protest vigils outside the Open House, and distributing gloves to policemen protecting the march in a provocative move to "protect" against “contracting” the condition. On July 6, he commented on the permit given by Jerusalem police to organizers of the parade to march near the Knesset and said that police should be criticized for “assisting provocateurs.” Ben-Gvir spoke to Arutz7 Radio on Sunday about the low key atmosphere regardingf the continuation of the pride parades.
At the beginning of the interview, Ben-Gvir agreed that indeed during the last few years the pride parade has received a much less severe reaction. “What is routine is not always good and positive. It seems as though people accept this as obvious,” he said. Some educators feel that less public outcry puts the parade back into proportion as representing a miniscule portion of Israeli society that received media overexposure in past years which can have a negative effect on youth..
Despite this general feeling, Ben-Gvir said that he intends to be on the scene of Thursday’s parade in order to protest. “There should be a protest and an outcry and that’s why we’ll be there,” he said and added that he refuses to accept any disregard even for a relatively small demonstration of about five to ten people, as has happened previously during protests he organized. “Even small demonstrations have a value. We are preparing to ask the police to approve a demonstration by a few dozen people. We also have a duty to the heavens. We cannot accept a situation in which provocation takes place in Jerusalem and words against the Torah are uttered. This is Hilul Hashem, a profanation of G-d's name, something about which we cannot be silent.”
One of the claims being made by some who oppose protests such as Ben-Gvir’s is that demonstrations such as his arouse more media attention towards the pride parade than there would have been if there were no counter-protests. These sentiments were echoed last year by at least one pro-gay activist who said: “The gay community is now reaping now the fruits of the noise that the hareidim made over the past three years. The hareidim gave [us] more publicity and awareness than ten marches could have brought. When the noise surrounding the marches stops for good, then we will know that they are no longer necessary.”
Ben-Gvir dismissed these claims, saying that he is aware of it but does not really believe it. “Even without protests such as our the media gives a voice to such phenomena,” he emphasized and concluded his words by clarifying once again that “there will be a protest, even if it is small, it is our duty.”
The Torah explicitly forbids homosexual relations. There are Jewish organizations that counsel and help people resist or overcome such tendencies. It has not been proven, although it is often stated, that homosexuality is innate rather than acquired.
(Translated from Arutz7 Hebrew)