gay pride parade 311.
(photo credit:ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Lampposts across Tel Aviv have been flying rainbow flags for the past week in
preparation for Friday’s 13th annual gay pride parade.
The parade, to be
attended by thousands revelers from the Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender
(GLBT) community and their straight friends, will start at Gan Meir Park on King
George Street and wind its way through the city to Gordon Beach.
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spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police are not taking any wider than usual
security preparations for this year’s parade but, like every year, they will
deploy a strong police presence along the seafront with several thousand
officers from the special patrol units and the border patrol.
said that police felt that an incident last week in which a smoke grenade was
thrown at a left-wing rally in Tel Aviv was an unrelated political incident and
has not encouraged police to increase their presence for this year’s
Though it has long been an accepted and welcome celebration in
Tel Aviv, the pride parade in Jerusalem has been a matter of fierce, often
violent contention, with GLBT activists and supporters pitted against religious
“This year there aren’t any special ceremonies like the
same-sex weddings held on the beach last year,” said Mike Hamel,
chairman of the
Israeli Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Association (GLBT), also
But, he added, there will be a moment of silence held at Gan
Meir for the victims of a shooting last August at the Bar Noar, a Tel
counseling center for gay teens that left 2 dead and over 15 injured,
will be a stand where people can make donations to help the
Hamel said that a month ago a new branch of the Bar Noar
opened in Beersheva. “This is our answer to the attack.”
In regard to the
Bar Noar shooting, Rosenfeld said there are no new developments in the
that “police are absolutely investigating the case with the utmost
Hamel said he believes that this year’s parade will more or
less be the same size as last year’s, but that some people will take
part as a
response to last year’s.
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