(photo credit: AP)
Jerusalem police on Wednesday evening rejected a request from Deputy Mayor
Yitzhak Pindrus to hold a “donkey parade” alongside the city’s annual Gay Pride
Parade, which is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.
While Pindrus had
hoped to greet parade participants with the animals to represent what he terms
the “bestial” nature of the pride march, police offered the deputy mayor a
compromise of carrying cardboard cut-outs of donkeys during his group’s
counterprotest. Pindrus accepted.
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While the municipality distanced itself
from Pindrus’s plans on Wednesday, the deputy mayor, who heads the city’s United
Torah Judaism faction at city hall, had made clear his intention of petitioning
the High Court of Justice if necessary to allow a counterprotest to be
Also on Wednesday, Jerusalem police announced that officers would
deploy throughout the march’s route on Thursday, backed by Border Police
officers and additional security personnel.
Parade organizers expect
around 3,000 people to participate in the march, which will begin at
Independence Park and head toward the Knesset at 5:45 p.m.
Parking in the
streets along the parade route will not be allowed from the morning until 10
p.m. and vehicles that violate the order will be towed to the Liberty Bell
Roads near the parade’s route will also be closed, including
parts of King George Street, Keren Kayemet Street and Ben-Zvi Street, as well as
streets crossing Rambam Street.
Police added that weapons would not be
permitted near the route and that the public was asked to avoid the city center
during the parade.