Hundreds attend Jerusalem rally in support of capital’s LGBT community

Amid markedly heightened security, a cross-section of gay rights supporters expressed their hope that the lessons of the tragedy had been learned.

By
September 4, 2015 03:12
2 minute read.
Hundreds attend a pro-gay rights rally in Jerusalem

Hundreds attend a pro-gay rights rally in Jerusalem. (photo credit: KOBI SCHUTZ)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

One month after a religious zealot stabbed to death Shira Banki and seriously wounded five others at Jerusalem’s annual Gay Pride Parade, hundreds gathered in Safra Square to call for greater tolerance of the capital’s marginalized LGBT community.

Amid markedly heightened security, a cross-section of gay rights supporters expressed their hope that the lessons of the tragedy had been learned.

Holding a sign saying “Love is Love,” David Yogev of Kibbutz Tzuba joined his wife, Yonit, at the rally to support their 23-year-old gay daughter, whom they accompanied at the parade.

“We were walking together and our daughter was holding a sign like this,” said Yonit, pointing to her husband’s rainbow- imbued placard.

“We’re here because we are proud of all our children and we believe that people should live in security and freedom, and love who they want – not just in Tel Aviv, but in Jerusalem. Jerusalem belongs to all of its citizens.”

“We don’t want people to forget,” added David, with tears in his eyes. “We want to keep it on the agenda.”

Although both parents conceded that the stabbing would not likely engender greater tolerance in the city, they said they would not lose their resolve.

“We have to try what we can anyway,” said David. “We can’t lose hope.”

Gal Fishbein, a bisexual 17-year-old, said the rally was a necessary byproduct of the attack.

“I think it’s important to support acceptance and tolerance and love after such a terrible tragedy,” she said. “It’s just common sense.”


Deeming Jerusalem a microcosm of Israeli society, Shira Katz Vinkler, CEO of the civil society NGO Yerushalmit Movement, said that positive changes must begin in the capital.

“Everything that happens in Jerusalem happens years later in other parts of the country, and we want to share space here for all sectors of society – ultra-Orthodox, secular and Arab – in order to change the discourse in Jerusalem,” she said.

Ariel Cohen, 29, echoed Katz Vinkler’s sentiments.

“For decades, and especially the last few years, Jerusalem has been a mirror for Israeli society,” he said.

“We have every group you can think of here, and what happened a month ago presented a big challenge... and most of the politicians are not speaking loud enough about tolerance – not just for the gay community, but all the minorities being oppressed. Nobody wants to talk about it.”

Asked what the solution is, Cohen cited educational reform.

“It’s all about education, so the government should expand education about minorities and equal rights,” he said.

“I want the students to be taught how to be patient and accept other people – not just in the gay community, but the Palestinian community as well.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Judy Montagu
January 16, 2019
Meet Montagu

By GREER FAY CASHMAN