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.