Jerusalem Hub

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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As Jerusalem Pride Arrives Under Heavy Security, Police Nix 'Donkey Parade' Planned to Mock Gays

Today, 3,000 people will march in Jerusalem's Gay Pride parade under heavy security — one police officer for every two marchers.

Pindrus The security is in response to past violence and threats directed at gays by Jerusalem's ultra-orthodox Haredi community. This year, Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox deputy mayor Rabbi Yitzhak Pindrus announced plans to march 50 donkeys through the streets as a statement about the Gay Pride march.

Said Pindrus:  "This expresses what we think -- that this is a beastly act." His spokesman later said: "Donkeys also have rights to be recognised as couples. We are in favour of donkey rights."

Donkey  But police told Pindrus he would not be allowed to parade the donkeys: "Police have instead agreed that cardboard cut-outs of donkeys will be allowed to greet the marchers as a counter-protest."

More on the parade

"Organizers deliberately postponed the parade so it would coincide with the first anniversary of a notorious hate crime in Tel Aviv, when a still unknown gunman dead two people and injured 11 others at a gay youth hangout in the city centre. The parade is marking the August 1, 2009 shooting according to the Hebrew calender. Thursday's participants will be protected by one policeman for every two marchers. More than 1,500 police will cover the route, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told the German Press-Agency dpa. The Jerusalem Pride and Tolerance Parade comes weeks after its counterpart was held in more secular Tel Aviv, where attendance of the largest gay parade in the Middle East is usually massive. In Jerusalem, with a huge ultra-Orthodox population, the annual event is far more controversial than in the Mediterranean metropolis, seen by many as a gay capital and bubble of tolerance in an otherwise hostile region."

Knesset  For the first time ever, the parade will end in front of Israel's parliament, the Knesset.

In related news, check out this "Statement of Principles on the Place of Jews with a Homosexual Orientation in Our Community" which has been circulating online, signed by dozens of rabbis.

It reads, in part:

"All human beings are created in the image of God and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect (kevod haberiyot). Every Jew is obligated to fulfill the entire range of mitzvot between person and person in relation to persons who are homosexual or have feelings of same sex attraction. Embarrassing, harassing or demeaning someone with a homosexual orientation or same-sex attraction is a violation of Torah prohibitions that embody the deepest values of Judaism...The question of whether sexual orientation is primarily genetic, or rather environmentally generated, is irrelevant to our obligation to treat human beings with same-sex attractions and orientations with dignity and respect."


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