Tel Aviv embraced Israel’s GLBT community Friday as it hosted the 13th annual gay parade.
Dozens of policemen and civilian police watched on as thousands marched, dancing and waving rainbow flags.
Kadima and opposition leader Tzipi Livni spoke at the event, urging
Israelis not to give in to hatred and xenophobia. “As a country which is
proud of its values, justice and unique society, Israel must denounce
hatred,” Channel 10 quoted her as saying.
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Homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and sympathizers marched
through many of Tel Aviv’s most famous streets, among them King George,
Ben Yehuda, Allenby and Sderot Nordau.
Though it did not diminish the colorful exuberance of the march, the
trauma of last year’s fatal attack on a counseling center for gay teens
in Tel Aviv was not forgotten even during the festivities. A moment of silence was held at Gan
Meir for the victims of a shooting last August at the Bar Noar that left 2 dead and over 15 injured. Parade organizers also set up a stand where people could make donations to help the
week, MK Nitzan Horovitz (Meretz) issued a criticism of the government
for failing to aid the community in light of the violence and
discrimination against it.Ben Hartman contributed to this report.