Russian Jews, Israel, Gay Pride, and Porn

Jews in Russia have urged city leaders in Jerusalem to ban a Gay Pride parade scheduled to take place there on the day before the eve of Rosh Hashana, September 21st.

Jerusalem_1Boruch Gorin, head of The Federation of Jewish Communities in Russia told media outlet Interfax: “We believe sexual manifestation, be it traditional or not, to be inappropriate in any city of the world, while in Jerusalem, the city that is holy also for Judaism, this is a scandalous blasphemy.”

Gorin also noted the stabbing that took place the last time a Pride parade was held in that city:

“The tragic results of the last action’ when an Orthodox Jew attacked its participants with a knife is another reason why the city authorities should bar such actions. Such provocations could bring about a tragedy, and their consequences are unpredictable. We urge the Holy City’s authorities to revoke their decision permitting pride parade and consider no requests like that in the future.”

WorldPride had been scheduled to take place in Jerusalem on August 10th, but was postponed due to the war with Lebanon. Threats have been ongoing against organizers of Pride events in Jerusalem for some time, including pamphlets posted in an Orthodox neighborhood (which some have said were practical jokes) that advocated the killing of gays.

LucasGay porn producer and actor Michael Lucas, who is Russian and Jewish but now living in New York, plans to visit Israel starting today for a week to show solidarity with Israel, entertain the gay community there (with sex shows, of course) and raise awareness of gay issues. Admission to Lucas’ events will be free to all Israeli military personnel.

Said Lucas: “It will be my fourth trip to Israel, and my third time to perform there. I am very proud to be going to my home away from home and entertain gay Israelis in a time of war. People need to see the faces of war, and I plan to shed light on the world where gay Israel exists. I will expose the reality that the people of Israel face right now, especially that of gay Israelis who are targeted by the hate of Hizbullah.”

Is it any surprise that Lucas’ trip has caused a controversy? He responded several times on his blog (NSFW) to criticism of the trip:

“Look, I am one of you, my gentle readers. I have experienced a great deal of anti-semitism growing up in Soviet Russia. Like all Jews, I had a paragraph in my passport which read “Jewish”. People called it “5th paragraph”. Russians never gave me the opportunity to be one of them. Israel is my country as much as it is yours. To come to Israel is my birthright. Yes, I produce gay porn. But for the most part, I am just like you, proud to be Jewish, love my family, proud of Israel, and was glued to TV for the past month, worried for my people. The fact is, lots of people love and need porn. I do not harm anyone, I make them happy.”

Lucas has so far not announced plans to attend the Gay Pride festivities scheduled for later in September but there’s little doubt that if he did, fellow Russian Jew Boruch Gorin would have something to say about that.

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Stabbings at Jerusalem Pride [tr]