Politics, Sex & Gender

Jerusalem Pride March: it just keeps getting worse by Ariel

Posted on behalf of Ariel: (As Mobius has done in the past, I’m posting this of the writer who’s asked me to do so since it’s not being covered in the US press)
(again, disclaimer: i work for CBST; the parts not expressly from them should be assumed to be from me):
To quote from the press release:

To protest this year’s planned march, several hundred Ultra-Orthodox Jews rioted in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood, lighting fires, overturning trash bins, and pelting police and motorists with stones, over the past week. Religious bigots from other faith traditions have expressed support for these protesters and voiced similar sentiments denouncing the JOH march. Over the weekend, the Israeli attorney general announced that the march will go one, regardless of threats of violence and death threats against parade organizers.
According to CBST’s Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, who was the North American Co-Chair of WorldPride, “Once again, hatred of gays and lesbians is uniting a group of people who usually have nothing good to say about each other. Religious leaders from fundamentalist Orthodox Judaism, Islam and Christianity are finding common ground in homophobia. They have turned a gay pride march into a war against gay people.”

There is a Bet Din mulling a pulsa danura (a Kabbalistic curse that is evidently something of a rite of passage for Israeli politicos, essentially calling for the death of the person against whom it is chanted, although per Wikipedia it is of course controversial as to what it really is), there are riots, there are death threats on the head of the JOH staff. It is, in short, a mess of homophobia. So far, Israeli courts have continued to defend the march’s right to exist, but obviously, that will only do so much. 12,000 members of the police and the army are being called up to protect this; it is expected to be all out war.
CBST is spearheading a nationwide fund drive to help JOH defray costs — costs that include funding some percent of those 12,000 security workers, food and water in case the rally is surrounded, and field hospital arrangements. If you are interested in more information, or giving, go to their website: http://www.cbst.org; it’s right there on the front page.
Relevant articles:

(I am constantly forced to wonder what would happen if it was any other group making this kind of threat, but that’s another post in the making.)

12 thoughts on “Jerusalem Pride March: it just keeps getting worse by Ariel

  1. And this is why the heradim are The Biggest Threat to Israeli democracy in our times; They are an extremely dangerous fifth-column that should be watched by shabak — and that they are, increasing magnitude each month.

  2. Wow… “hatred of gays,” “homophobia,” “a war against gay people.” These liberal, open-minded activists are using the same scare tactics as the US governement in the war against terrorism.
    As I was sitting in yeshiva today, close enough to the riots that I could smell the smoke, my ultra-orthodox, haredi rabbi gave our class a talk on the importance of not being homophobic nor hating gay people.
    Obviously, there is a difference between respecting a gay person as an individual and allowing a parade into Jerusalem which is completely opposed to a whole community’s values.
    And clearly there are ulterior motives here… I’m not yet sure what they are. Are gay people around the world really disrespectful enough of the culture and way of life of many Jerusalemites to do what they plan to do?

  3. Being gay, and being open about being gay, is a matter of pride!
    G-d created homosexuality; It should (clearly) be celebrated.
    Homosexuals are part of your culture.
    Learn to accept (and love) those who do you no harm.
    Stand up and be proud of what G-d has given our culture.
    Stop hating. Stop fearing. Stop rioting.
    [email protected]

  4. G-d SQUAD,
    I’m glad your rabbi spoke out against homophobia.
    But I don’t see the difference between “respecting a gay person as an individual and allowing a parade into Jerusalem which is completely opposed to a whole community’s values.”
    Both oppose your values. Do you only respect gay people when you can’t see or here them?
    If you respect one person, why can’t you respect thousands of people?
    Keep in mind that the closet is a dangerous place to be. Keep in mind that gay people as individuals often face threats of violence just as this parade does.
    Why are they marching, in Jerusalem of all places? Maybe because they’re tired of being called filth by many people in Jerusalem. I suspect if there was less homophobia in Jerusalem, they’d have less reason to march.
    The riots and violence outside your window are a bigger threat to our values, both yours and mine.
    Why do you assume ulterior motives?

  5. Rob…God gave me two hands…the desire to use ’em…and knock out two of your teeth. Which you’ll glady accept because God gave me these things, and the Godly motivation to smack you in the mouth…right?
    Stop being silly. And since we’re on the topic of God, God provided us with various sources to understand His will. And His will is very, very, very, very (jeez, can the Torah be any clearer on this issue?) clear on gay relationships.
    On a final note…m’gay friends like nothing more than to recieve an anonymous hand job in a movie theatre in their hood. Nothing against ’em, but that’s their gig. And they’re quite satisfied to live this way. Super duper. But please, keep it out of Jerusalem.

  6. “The riots and violence outside your window are a bigger threat to our values, both yours and mine.”
    Sarah do your research (See Sethi and Seligman…or Koenig’s work). Ultra-Orthodox communities, whether Amish or Haredi, have lower incidences of violence, theft, divorce, depression, anxiety, suicidality…they also report higher levels of satisfaction in all areas of life as compared to secular folks. So trust me, we’ve got WAY more to learn from them than they from us.

  7. streimel,
    I’m referring to the riots happening NOW, caused by people with their panties in a bunch over the Open House march. Do your own reasearch right here: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/784883.html
    or here: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1162378341533&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
    or here: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/?p=3585
    P.S. for extra cerdit, look into whether charedi communites really have less problems, or have the addtional problem of hushing up anythign that doesn’t sound good.

  8. Haredi society is not non-violent to queer people, nor are queer haredi folks or their families ‘satisfied” with their lives, in my experience, living in a community where no one wants to know they exist. Shtreimel’s comments erase the existence of Jews who are living within the Jewish community and engaging with Torah and are also gay, bi, or transgendered. While this kind of erasure isn’t the same as putitng up wanted posters, it hurts people a great deal.
    Even making a comment about the “clarity” of the Torah on this issue shows that Shtreimel hasn’t thought much about what it might mean to be a queer Jew. Religious Jews who have actually bothered to listen to LGBT people’s pain, struggle, love , and spirit often no longer find the Torah or God’s will so clear, and even if they do not change their views, they still express a great deal more empathy than Shtreimel’s post shows.
    It’s also very common to stereotype the queer community as all having one kind of sexual practice. And really, it’s beneath comment.

  9. Striemel, if I wanted to talk about domestic violence, divorce, depression, in teh charedi world I would read up on it. But we’re not talking about that. WE’re talking about riots, violence, threats of future violence. All of these are currently happening in Mea Shearim, Bnai Brak, etc. I assume you’re not disputing that people who call themselves religious are beating people up and planning to do more of it on friday.

  10. Thanks, Cole, for the repost.
    Jerusalem doesn’t belong to the Haredi Jews. The GBLT citizens have as much right to the city as the straight ones, and part of that is the right to exist openly. This silencing is ridiculous, no different than what we seem to condemn in other religions. Fundamentalism on this level is fundamentalism — what’s the difference between the threats being made right now and the threats fundamentalist Islam make on the Jews at large?
    The leaders of JOH have been personally threatened. The chief of police has been falsely accused of being descended from a member of the SS.* There is nothing holy about what is going on; this is the arrogance of humans having the audacity to stand in judgement. They ought to be swinging a lot of chickens next Rosh Hashana.
    * this should be in the linked articles, but if not, look around for the cite on the Haaretz website — everything’s moved around and I can’t find what I am looking for with this.

  11. I also attend a yeshiva where, outside our windows, all of the dumpsters are on fire. It’s quite a scene.
    Yesterday, amidst it all, one of my rabbonim, in a bekeishe, with peyot tightly curled down to his chin and a beard to his belly button, turned to us in shiur and asked if any of us were homophobic or anti-homosexual, and proceeded to chastise anyone who might harbor those views.
    It’s not nearly enough, but it was a small glimmer of hope in my universe, anyway.

  12. i have nothing against gay people. in fact alot of my freinds are gay openly. thats fine. but why the parade in holy city? maybe they should do it on the temple mount? and because we are a democracy and are tolerant of all life styles, should allow it. i’m sorry and dont mean to offend any gays, but thats pushing it, dont you think? in other words where’s the limit? i know alot of chareidim and lived amongst them for a while and never heard them speak badly about gays. or about gays at all. for the most part i think they keep to themselves. but i definitly understand their outburst now. we should only hear good news. shalom

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