Thousands join Tel Aviv gay pride parade

ben-gvir gay pride (photo credit: Channel 10)
ben-gvir gay pride
(photo credit: Channel 10)
While fur continues to fly over a gay pride march planned in Jerusalem at the end of June, Tel Aviv's gay pride parade drew some 10,000 participants on Friday, and was largely peaceful. The parade set out from Kikar Rabin at noon, passed through the streets of the city and made its way to Gordon Beach, where marchers continued the festivity with a beach party. The event was funded solely by the Tel Aviv Municipality, mainly because many sponsors of previous years declined to chip in, fearing a haredi boycott of their products. Some 20 right-wing activists protested the event, after police approved a counter-demonstration on the condition that the number of participants would not surpass 50. The demonstrators held signs that read: "This is an abominable, anti-Semitic march sponsored by the High Court against God!" An Army Radio reporter claimed to have heard one of the protesters address the paraders with the words: "It's a shame the Nazis didn't finish you off!" Right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir told Army Radio that the alleged remark came in response to provocations made by pro-gay activists, who reportedly called the right-wing demonstrators "Nazis." Ben-Gvir stressed that it would never have occurred to him to use such harsh terminology. He said the actual statement was, "Indeed, the Nazis were averse to you." Earlier Friday, Ben-Gvir was quoted as saying that "they want to spread abomination in Jerusalem; it won't hurt if we spread some holiness in Tel Aviv." Earlier this week, the Knesset passed a preliminary reading of a bill that would give municipalities the authority to prevent parades or marches deemed inappropriate, legislation that would effectively quash the planned Jerusalem march.