The Jerusalem gay pride march that I've written so much about is scheduled now for November 10th. This site reports that several different groups of anti-gay Jews and Muslims are planning to protest and disrupt the event:
The haredi sector is organizing mass protests to sabotage the gay pride parade which will be held in Jerusalem on November 10.
United Torah Judaism is leading the campaign with plans to hold a protest on King George Street where parade will pass.
These include followers of Meir Kahane, the late American rabbi with fanatical followers. And heck, these people are moderates compared to nuts like Yehuda Levin. This could get ugly. Several men were stabbed by an anti-gay loony at last year's event; this year may be a lot worse.
Israel seems to me to be increasingly middle-eastern in its culture. (Although the group you mention as being one of the most virulent is Western - funny, that.) I bet a large group there who is anti-gay also would include the newer Russian immigrants, much like what happens here (I think you blogged about that a week ago or so?).
The Middle East is very weird about gays. Of course it has them like everywhere else does but there is a lot of denial, fear of them, and rhetoric against them a lot like the extreme right-wingers in the US that you quote here. In practice they are often persecuted based on class - those who are wealthy can get out of bad situations with the police (in Egypt e.g. gay sex is against the law so people can be held / prosecuted for it) by bribing them but the poor ones have no such way out.
It always left me feeling kind of like I just could not understand people - I would ask what exactly the threat was, and they could not ever give a coherent answer.
Born again Jews are just as bigoted as born again Christians and born again Muslims. What else is new.
I think -- and hope -- that the danger is being exaggerated, that there will be protests, but they will be relatively minor.
We tend to forget how basically secular Israeli society is. The 'ultra-Orthodox' have far more political power -- due to the 'messiness' of Israeli Parliamentary Democracy -- than they do social power. (Kahane Chai has even less. Remember, Kahane was stripped of his political rights because of his racism. They still exist, and have more potential for violence than most groups, but they are also relatively small in numbers.)
Most Israelis are tolerant in this area, and they will tend to be more tolerant simply to go againt the orthodox who are viewed as interfering busybodies. Gays have served openly in the Israeli army, and when Jim McGreevey's lover hid in Israel, numerous reports came out that his relationship was considered 'no big thing.' So I think and hope that getting permission will be more troublesome than actually having the march.
Prup aka Jim Benton | October 27, 2006 12:38 PM
We tend to forget how basically secular Israeli society is.
This is true in Tel Aviv and the coastal cities, but it is not true--or certainly not as true--in Jerusalem.
I thought we had you on the mailing list. Didn't you get the memo?
"In the wake of 9/11, the objective now is to place Israel among the coalition of the moderates, facing off against Islamic radicalism," Gissin said.