Defying a police veto, a group of 200 gay pride activists held a silent protest vigil in a Jerusalem park on Thursday, after their long-planned international city parade was canceled due to the war in Lebanon.
The heavily guarded demonstration, which was ignored by the city’s haredi community, was allowed to take place after organizers adhered to the police conditions for the gathering.
The evening event was marred after a group of far-left anarchists joined the gathering and began waving placards against the war in Lebanon and shouting slogans against the IDF. Police forcibly prevented them from approaching the sidewalk on the edge of the park, and detained a protester who unfurled a PLO flag on the scene.
The event, which was one-fifth the size organizers had planned, came near the culmination of six-day World Pride Event in Jerusalem, which was overshadowed by the war in Lebanon and the police decision to bar their planned parade through the streets of Jerusalem.
A huge red banner at the protest read “Jerusalem is for all,” while rainbow-colored placards included such slogans as “The Path to God is not always straight” and “Senseless hatred.”
“We believe that the holiness of Jerusalem is increased by this city being the center of tolerance and coexistence,” said Rabbi Ayelet S. Cohen, 32, who lead a delegation from New York City’s Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, which is the world’s largest gay and lesbian synagogue. [via The Jerusalem Post]