Jerusalem Hub

Jerusalem's First Drag Queen High Heel Race Takes Off: VIDEO


Jerusalem2Jerusalem had its very first drag queen high heel race over the weekend. According to the website, 35 people donned heels to participate in the 50 meter competition.

The race, which was put together by the gay organization Jerusalem Gay Cell, had been criticized by local religious groups who had previously tried to have the event banned.

Leshem Bosh, who helped organize the race, told Reuters why he thinks the race makes such an important social statement: "Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, our Congress. Its important that people of this city realize that there is a massive, major gay community as well.

The Jerusalem Post reports that the diverse participants included a drag queen named Lady Chocolate who is an Israeli soldier.

Watch a Reuters segment about the race, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Democrats Add 'God', Jerusalem Language Back into Platform Amid Awkward Vote, Booing from Delegates: VIDEO


Earlier today I reported on the removal of "God" from the Democratic platform and the fuss the right-wing was making over it. This afternoon, in a voice vote which was taken three times (in a procedure which provoked much confusion), "God" was put back in the platform, as was language declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

Watch the awkward vote, AFTER THE JUMP...

DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz released a statement:

“The platform is being amended to maintain consistency with the personal views expressed by the President and in the Democratic Party platform in 2008. Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.

“It has been the policy of both Republican and Democratic administrations for decades that Jerusalem is a final status issue to be negotiated directly between the two parties, as part of discussions to achieve a two-state solution that secures the Jewish state and homeland. Our Party platform already expresses strong support for the peace process and makes clear the steps that any Palestinian partner must take to be a part of such a process  -- recognizing Israel’s right to exist, rejecting violence, and adhering to existing agreements.”

Buzzfeed reports that Obama personally intervened to put the language back in.

Watch the awkward vote, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Extraordinary Student Film About Augmented Reality: VIDEO


You've heard that "augmented reality" is the coming thing? (In April, Andy posted a slick demo video on the potential uses of Google's extremely cool augmented reality glasses prototype.) Well -- two film students at Jerusalem's Belazeal Academy of Arts, Eran May-Raz and Daniel Lazo, have taken it as the subject of their graduation project, and come up with the following, very impressive student film.

Their vision of humanity's technofuture is pretty grim, but their filmic abilities are delightful. That amateurs can put something this advanced, this slickly CGI'd on film convinces me: We're living in the future. Watch, AFTER THE JUMP ...  

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5,000 People And Eight Donkeys Expected To Attend Jerusalem Pride

JPrideThousands of LGBT people and their supporters are expected to participate in Jerusalem's Pride Parade today. And, yes, conservatives again plan on protesting — with donkeys!

The Jerusalem Post reports that right-wingers led by Baruch Marzel hope to drag along eight donkeys as a protest against Pride's alleged "bestiality." Police, however, have yet to give them the proper permits. This kind of thing happens every year, according to Elinor Sidi, director of the local community center Open House.

In addition to general reveling, this event, the 10th annual pride parade in Jerusalem, will feature a speech by Adam Russo, a man who was stabbed during the event in 2005, when he was 18.

"We’re marking a decade of advancement in this city,” Sidi told the paper. “In the first years of the parade there was terrible violence against participants, but now it has become part of the status quo of this city. Our goal for the next 10 years is not just to be seen during the one day a year of the day on the parade, but on the other 364 days per year as well."

Jerusalem Pride Draws Thousands, Donkey Protest

Over 5,000 people are expected at a Gay Pride parade today in Jerusalem:

Jerusalem Open House Executive Director, Yonatan Gher, called Thursday a “combined social struggle,” which will have at least three distinct protests imbuing the city with the air of social fervor. Indeed, protesters will include the doctors marching towards Jerusalem, students and families camped out in tents across the city, and thousands of gay-rights activists marching downtown.

He estimated that the gay pride parade could almost double – from 4,000 participants last year to 7,000 participants this year – given the revolutionary vibe of the capital.

Police stopped a donkey procession on its way to the parade:

As if it weren't enough that three separate protests converged on Jerusalem Thursday afternoon - the doctor's march, the tent protest, and the Gay pride parade - police stopped a procession of four donkeys and a few dozen extreme right-wing demonstrators at the entrance to the city. The demonstrators were attempting to get to the route of the annual Pride and Tolerance parade with the donkeys, to protest the "bestial" nature of homosexuality.

Delayed Jerusalem Pride Parade Draws Thousands, Criticism

Israel's gay pride parade was pushed back about a month or so this year, so that it would fall on the one-year anniversary of the deadly shooting last year that claimed two lives in Tel Aviv. The gunman of that attack is still at large.

BThe parade, which was held in Jerusalem on Thursday, drew more than 3,000 participants.

There was no sign of the donkey cut-outs the city's ultra-Orthodox deputy mayor, Rabbi Yitzhak Pindrus, was allowed to bring to the march after his initial plan to march 50 real life donkeys through the streets in protest of the parade was rejected by police. There were, natch, actual human anti-gay protesters, several of whom were arrested. Some held signs that read: "sick perverts - get out of Jerusalem."

Reports the AP:

Carrying rainbow banners, several thousand demonstrators walked along the 1.5 mile (2.5 kilometer) route. A few dozen black-suited ultra-Orthodox Jewish protesters at the beginning and end of the route held signs denouncing homosexuals, with slogans like "Gay Play in Hell, Not Jerusalem." Many ultra-Orthodox Jews consider homosexuality an abomination. Marchers said such opposition has forced the gay community of Jerusalem underground in most parts of the city. "In a religious society, a lot of people still don't realize we actually exist," said Sarah Weil, 26, who helps run an organization for lesbians who are also Orthodox Jews.

Also, yesterday, even Catholic Patriarch Fouad Twal issued a statement criticizing the march: "Leave Jerusalem to her pilgrims and faithful", he began, "(the parade's) organizers and the authorities who allow it, care neither for the feelings of families nor the holiness of this city."

I've compiled several clips of the pride-full moments at the parade. Watch them AFTER THE JUMP.

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