Thousands jeer far-right minister at Jerusalem Gay Pride amid safety fears

The Jerusalem Gay Pride march saw hundreds of members, regardless of security concerns due to on-line threats and counter-protests. This was the primary march for the explanation that election of a hardline religious-nationalist government, which incorporates senior ministers with brazenly homophobic views. The occasion highlighted the deepening divisions inside Israeli society, where secular Jews have lengthy supported LGBTQ rights, but political and demographic shifts are more and more empowering the nationalist and ultra-Orthodox right-wing.
Tensions had been excessive, as in 2015, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish extremist killed a teenage participant on the march. Participants waved giant rainbow and Israeli flags, and banners accusing far-right ministers of making an attempt to force them “back within the closet”. Itamar Ben-Gvir, the far-right Police Minister, has a history of aggressively homophobic positions and as soon as attended a so-called “beast parade” opposing LGBTQ rights.
Three individuals have been arrested by the police because of threats made earlier than the occasion, and a web-based watchdog reported a surge in homophobic hate speech. Far- Censored and WhatsApp teams printed “violent and hateful messages” all through the week, in accordance with FakeReporter, which displays online extremism. Lehava, a far-right group, referred to the march as the “abomination parade” and called for protests accompanied by a message stating that it might be a “deadly Thursday”.
The event was protected by barricades, and the route was patrolled by tons of of armed law enforcement officials. Organisers reported a document attendance of 30,000 folks after warning of a “public local weather of danger” for LGBTQ individuals. As the rally started, Ben-Gvir, surrounded by his armed security team, briefly toured a avenue running parallel, inflicting marchers to rush to barricades and shout “shame” at him.
A few dozen ultra-religious and far-right protesters, organised by Lehava, had been separated by police from the Gay Pride rally. Banners learn: “Don’t let them have children” and “Jerusalem isn’t Sodom”, in reference to the biblical metropolis supposedly destroyed by God for the sin of homosexuality.
This comes in a yr marked by an unprecedented clash between secular Israelis and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s authorities, culminating in weekly protests against the coalition’s now-delayed plans to strip powers from the Supreme Court. Netanyahu has rejected claims that his coalition would erode LGBTQ rights. He tweeted during the occasion: “I am proud that Israel is probably certainly one of the most open countries on the planet in relation to the gay neighborhood and that the discourse in it has become more accepting and respectful every year.”
Elisa Gilman, a Gay Pride marcher, stood with a sign providing “free hugs” to youthful participants who “haven’t had a hug from a mother or father for a while” because of their sexuality. She advised the BBC that many homosexual individuals had been “worried” by the present coalition. Another marcher, Yuval from Jerusalem, stated, “We’re right here at present to say that we are right here to remain and that we’re going to not surrender.”
In 2006, Ben-Gvir attended a so-called beast parade towards Gay Pride, by which spiritual activists led goats and donkeys through the streets and hoisted banners calling LGBTQ folks “impure”. Two years later, he was photographed kicking a trans lady at Gay Pride in Tel Aviv. He later claimed it was in self-defence. Ben-Gvir has since distanced himself from the beast parade and reportedly described LGBTQ individuals as his “brothers and sisters”..

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