Rabbi links Hizbullah violence to planned Jerusalem gay parade

"Hizbullah's ongoing attacks on Israel are the result of the planned international gay pride parade in Jerusalem."

Hizbullah's ongoing attacks on Israel and the war in northern Israel are the result of the planned international gay pride parade in Jerusalem next month and Israel's inadequate response against the controversial event, a senior Israeli Rabbi said Wednesday. "We have not protested enough against this parade of abomination and therefore we have received this warning," warned Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, the head of the extremist Eda Haredit rabbinic court, in a hand-written message to his followers. "Who knows where things will get to if we do not act further and more stringently against it." Sternbuch has previously called for massive non-violent protests against the week-long international gay festival, the highlight of which is a parade through the streets of downtown Jerusalem. Organizers of the event, who have voiced their determination to hold the parade in the city, were not immediately available for comment on the Rabbi's remarks on Wednesday. The festival, which was originally scheduled to take place last year but was postponed due to last summer's Gaza pullout, has been widely criticized by a coterie of Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders in Jerusalem and around the world. A public opinion poll released last year found that three-quarters of Jerusalem residents were opposed to holding the international gay event in the city, while only a quarter supported it. Rabbi Yehuda Levin of New York, who is spearheading an international campaign against the event on behalf of the Orthodox Rabbinical Alliance of America and the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the US and Canada, said Wednesday that more than half of the Knesset - including five government ministers - have now signed a petition against the parade. "They cannot ignore the overwhelming will of the people," Levin said, concurring that there was a "spiritual cause and effect," between the planned parade and the current violence in the North. The last international gay parade, which took place in Rome in 2000 despite the wrath of the Vatican, attracted about half a million participants, while local organizers expect tens of thousands of revelers for the Jerusalem event this summer. The six-day event, which is scheduled to begin August 6, will include street parties, workshops and a gay film festival.