Thursday, June 21, 2007


Pride refers to a strong sense of self-respect, a refusal to be humiliated as well as joy in the accomplishments of oneself or a person, group, or object that one identifies with. [Wikipedia]

I am full of pride. I am proud to be a Zionist. I am proud to be a Jew. I am proud to live in Israel and be supporting myself fairly successfully. Pride is a good thing, but pissing off an entire city in the name of pride does no one any favors.

The Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade has become an annual event, but it's not just the parade that gets the attention. Political arguments, court sessions and a feeling of animosity falls over Jerusalem every year as the Gay community demands their right to march, and the Ultra Orthodox demand their right to sanctity in the holy city.

I am neither Gay nor Ultra Orthodox, yet I disagree with the behavior of both camps.

The Ultra Orthodox need to realize that we live in a diverse world. We don't live under messianic rule, and Israel is a modern, western state, who citizens are not obligated to follow Jewish law. Stabbings of Gay Pride participants is wrong - no matter how you look at it, and isn't in the spirit of "love your neighbor like yourself". People must accept that the country is broader than the limited, blinkered, horizon that many confine themselves too and let it be.

Sometimes an autopsy will need to be carried out, or a parade will take place; bin-burning and hostility is not the way to show your displeasure. Grow up. There is no genuine halachic authority that permits homosexuality, but you have to remember that not everyone follows Torah Law, and that is ok too.

The Gay community need to respect their surroundings. San Fransico in the US or Brighton in the UK are known for their vibrant homosexual cultures. Jerusalem is primarily known for being the holy city of several faiths. If you feel the need to parade your sexuality, respect the majority rule of democracy and don't go out of your way to antagonize the population of a city.

It's all about a little bit of tolerance.

Aside from the "not in Jerusalem" argument, I have one fundamental problem with Gay Pride Parades. I don't need to know about anyone else's sexuality. Sex should be a private act between two (or more) people, and should stay that way. Tonight, homophobia is fueled by angry people who can't drive their cars through the city to get home. Most people don't care if you're gay or straight, and that's the way it should be. Keep your sexuality to yourself.

Jerusalem has enough problems without different sects of our own people fighting each other and the international attention that Jerusalem gets when Gay Pride is mentioned makes it embarrassing to live in this city.

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