Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade to march on the Knesset

March moved to July to coincide with one-year anniversary of Tel Aviv youth center shooting.

May 5, 2010 05:14
2 minute read.
The Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade.

jlem pride parade 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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Leaders of Jerusalem’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community have postponed this year’s annual Gay Pride Parade to late July, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the shooting attack in a Tel Aviv gay and lesbian youth center that left two dead and 15 wounded.

Police still have no leads in the shooting spree, which claimed the lives of Nir Katz, 24, and Liz Trobashi, 27. A masked gunman stormed into the Bar-Noar youth center on Nahmani Street last August 1 and opened fire with what is presumed to have been an assault rifle.

Fifteen others, most of them minors, were wounded by gunfire before the attacker fled.

The Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance – which together with a number of other LGBT groups organizes the annual parade – announced on Monday that it had decided to hold this year’s march in a “unique way, dedicating the coming year to the promotion of the LGBT community’s rights, especially in light of political declarations made at last year’s remembrance rally [after the attack].”

The parade is usually held in June, but this year it will take place on July 29, pending police approval. The march will also feature a new route that leads to the Knesset, where participants will issue a formal request that the murder case be taken up by the government in an effort to finally catch the killer.

The march will also mark the launch of “LGBT Community Rights Year,” in which community members will demand that the Knesset, government ministries and Israeli society significantly progress in promoting equal rights for the LGBT community as well as eradicate incitement and violent discourse against them, the Jerusalem Open House said in a statement.

Politicians who spoke at the solidarity rally in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square a week after the Bar-Noar attack will be invited to speak at a rally in the Wohl Rose Garden, near the Knesset, at the conclusion of this year’s parade under the banner “What has changed?”

“The LGBT community is discriminated against in countless laws and suffers from discrimination at the hands of government ministries,” Yonatan Gher, the executive director of the Jerusalem Open House, said in a statement.

“The Jerusalem Pride March, commemorating the anniversary of the [Bar-Noar attack], will focus on the community’s place in Israeli society and will delineate a work plan for the coming year, to which we hope public figures, leaders and opinion-makers will enlist. Only a significant change – starting with legislation and reaching into public discourse – will constitute a fitting legacy for those who have been murdered because of their sexual identity.”

Nir Katz’s mother, Ayala Katz, who heads Tehila, a support organization for parents of LGBT community members, was quoted in the press release regarding her hopes for the march and the initiatives that will follow it.

“Almost one year after the murder in Tel Aviv, in which my son Nir and Liz Trobashi were murdered and many others were physically and mentally injured, the homophobia in Israeli society that led to this atrocious act still exists,” she said.

“I hope that the march on the Knesset will signal the launch of promoting open dialogue, a year of promoting tolerance and openness in the multi-faceted Israeli society, a year of promoting the love of our fellow man or woman, whoever they may be. Such a reality will constitute the most appropriate tribute to which I could hope for.”

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