Friday, November 03, 2006

My Beloved is Beautiful Like Jerusalem

But apparently only if that beloved is part of a heteronormative relationship.

For those who have been living under a rock, the Israeli government has opted not to give a permit to the organizers of a gay pride parade in Jerusalem. The One Jerusalem blog compares this year's parade (or not) to that of 2002 when Olmert "seemed to regret his country's system of government" because democracy allows for gay pride parades. Interestingly, he gives the rationale for calling off the parade as a straight numbers game: "The police have admitted they are considering calling the parade off, in essence admitting that the ratio of 250,000 religious fanatics to 10,000 cops is not a great ratio. There are supposed to be 5,000 participants in the parade and so that puts the ratio at 2:1, Police to participant."

Jameel claims that he won't be blogging about the gay pride parade (among other issues) but gives a few good links to sources that discuss the issues in detail. Grandmuffti of Jewlicious does talk about the parade, but in the context of Nathan Shaked, Mr. Gay Israel. Another blogger who sidesteps discussing the parade in detail is Ariel of Jvoices, who focuses on what can be done to support the parade, and the steps to take in the even that it does not occur.

The Gay Religion Blog points out that Muslim, Christian, AND Jewish fundamentalists are uniting against the parade (for the record, Grandmuffti also addresses this point). Aside--it worries me that we can unite against a common "enemy" but not for a cause. For once I do NOT agree with David Kelsey, in his post on the subject he suggests that the parade should be moved to Tel Aviv so that they don't push "[their] secular, liberal, or alternative lifestyle on traditional and fundamentalist communities."This comment assumes that the entirety of Jerusalem is a fundamentalist community; a statement with which I do NOT agree.

Also on the side of the protesters is Mystical Paths, who does not advocate dropping everything to go protest the parade, but does advocate (non-violent) civil disobedience in order to halt the parade, or at least protest it. The more moderate Asher Abrams supports LGBT people, but doesn't think that a parade in Jerusalem is neccessary. According to YudelLine the Charedi protesters are also trying to prevent heterosexuality, by keeping the protesters segregated by gender.

On the other side is Orthoblogger DovBear, who hopes that the parade will become "institutionalized as an annual event." And although I sympathize with the beleagured LGBT community of Israel, I do not sympathize with the vandalism of synagogues in Tel Aviv (hat tip to Adam Lawson), even though it does provide some sort of parallel structure. Jerusalem is a holy city, and anything that doesn't fit with that character should be banned; Tel Aviv is a secular city, and anything that doesn't fit with that character should be banned.

Marc Parent has a fairly balanced discussion of the issue, including a quote by Anat Hoffman (who I've met) who "argues that this is not the Jewish way: 'The religious incitement against the Gay Pride parade should be a source of shame to every religious person. Every decent person should fight the incitement against the marchers."

1 comment:

Benjamin J. Cooper said...

Why do so many Jerusalem Orthodox have to be such jerks? From the crazy aggressive panhandling to the immediate turn to violence when their view on behavior is challenged in a public (but non-violent) way, they really do a disservice to non-jerk Orthos, and Jews in general.