Peres comes out against parade

That was the headline on the Jewish Telegraphic Agency website on May 3. The article continues:

Shimon Peres sided with religious activists in opposing a gay
parade planned for Jerusalem.

Israel’s vice premier said in a statement Tuesday that Jerusalem
WorldPride 2005, scheduled for August, “is inappropriate as Jerusalem
is the center of three faiths, and such an event could offend the
sensibilities of religious people the world over.” Sephardi Chief
Rabbi Shlomo Amar, who met Peres last week, said Peres told him he
found the annual parade in the holy city repellant, something the
elder statesman hastened to deny. “He never said anything against
homosexuals,” Peres’ office said.

Leftist lawmakers accused Peres of siding with religious
conservatives for political gain.

“Kvisa Shchora” (Black Laundry), an Israeli direct action group of
lesbians, gays and transgenders against the occupation and for social
justice, has come out with the following statement:

Black Laundry and World Pride Jerusalem 2005

This is an attempt to clarify Black Laundry’s position on the World
Pride celebrations planned for Jerusalem in 2005, and the calls to
boycott the events. There is a diversity of opinions and positions in
the group about World Pride and what actions we should take during the
event. However, there is a fairly wide agreement that we won’t join
the call for a complete boycott of the events

We know that the relative freedom and visibility of some queers in
Israel is cynically used for Palestine bashing, by groups that don’t
care in the least about our rights, and we’ve been outspoken in
opposing both the occupation and homophobia in Palestine. But we also
trust the organisers and the activities of the Jerusalem Open House,
one of the only places where Palestinian gay men have any sort of
visibility and community. This is regardless of what some of us may
think of the wisdom of the decision to hold World Pride in Jerusalem.

We don’t actively encourage anyone to visit Israel to take part in
World Pride events, or in any kind of global consumerist gay culture,
but we will organise events and present radical alternatives to
international queers who do decide to visit. We hope that queers
coming to Jerusalem for World Pride will consider joining our activism
against the occupation and for social justice in Israel and Palestine.

QUIT! (Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism), a Bay-area based group, has called for a boycott of the pride parade.

  1. Controversial Gay March Draws Fire From Other Gays
    For Immediate Release From Queers for Palestine (QUIT)
    Contact: Kate Raphael-Bender, 510-381-1287
    Mindy Spatt, 415-334-4386

    Controversial Gay March Draws Fire From Other Gays

    US Gays Launch Boycott of Jerusalem Gay Pride Celebration

    May 1, 2005, San Francisco—Opposition to a controversial gay pride march is emerging from an unlikely source- other gays. The march is slated to take place in the contested city of Jerusalem, and has been dubbed “World Pride Israel” by its sponsors, who hope to bring gays from all over the world to a celebration with the theme “love without borders.”

    Critics of the event say until Israel’s borders are truly open there is nothing to celebrate. A boycott has been launched by San Francisco-based Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT!), a lesbian/ gay/bi/trans group that supports return of the territories occupied by Israel to Palestinian control. “No city in the world could have more borders than Jerusalem” commented Kate Raphael-Bender of QUIT. Raphael-Bender said those borders are constantly encroaching further and further into Palestinian territory, and are enforced by military checkpoints and cement walls. “Israel’s borders are impenetrable to Palestinians, and keep many separated from their homes, jobs and families” she added. Raphael-Bender noted that gay Arabs are likely to hit a wall if they try to join the festivities in Jerusalem. Not only Palestinians but all Arabs are routinely denied entry into Israel.

    QUIT urges gays and lesbians to observe ongoing international boycotts of travel to Israel and Israeli products through which the international community can exert pressure on Israel to withdraw its forces from Palestine. “For internationals to stay away from this event will send a very clear message to the Israeli government,” Raphael-Bender said, noting that the situation was different for gays in Israel. QUIT’s counterpart in Israel, Black Laundry, and the Palestinian lesbian group Aswat, will participate in the event but plan to use it to draw attention to the injustices Palestinians are subject to under the brutal Israeli occupation.

    The boycott has begun to pick up steam, with a spectrum of U.S. organizations quickly signing on, including Jewish, Arabic and lesbian/gay groups. QUIT recently launched a web site,, and their colorful bumper stickers were very popular at the March 19 demonstration against the ongoing U.S. occupation of Iraq.

    Groups joining the boycott call so far are LAGAI — Queer Insurrection, Queers for Peace and Justice, Jews for a Free Palestine (SF), Queers for Palestine-NY, Queers for Palestine-Boston, Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, San Francisco Chapter (ADC-SF), International Socialist Organization

    QUIT! has produced a 15-minute video to counter one produced by the San Francisco-based bluestarPR. The “Boycott World Pride: Love Without Borders?” video, excerpts of which are posted here, is available on the group’s website,