Tel Aviv gay parade draws thousands

Livni: Israel must denounce hatred of those who are different.

gay parade condoms 311 (photo credit: Tsofit Gotliv)
gay parade condoms 311
(photo credit: Tsofit Gotliv)
Tel Aviv embraced Israel’s GLBT community Friday as it hosted the 13th annual gay parade.
Dozens of policemen and civilian police watched on as thousands marched, dancing and waving rainbow flags.
Kadima and opposition leader Tzipi Livni spoke at the event, urging Israelis not to give in to hatred and xenophobia. “As a country which is proud of its values, justice and unique society, Israel must denounce hatred,” Channel 10 quoted her as saying.
RELATED:Tel Aviv prepares for gay paradeMother of slain counselor tackles homophobia
Homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and sympathizers marched through many of Tel Aviv’s most famous streets, among them King George, Ben Yehuda, Allenby and Sderot Nordau.
Though it did not diminish the colorful exuberance of the march, the trauma of last year’s fatal attack on a counseling center for gay teens in Tel Aviv was not forgotten even during the festivities.  A moment of silence was held at Gan Meir for the victims of a shooting last August at the Bar Noar that left 2 dead and over 15 injured. Parade organizers also set up a stand where people could make donations to help the survivors.
Earlier this week, MK Nitzan Horovitz (Meretz) issued a criticism of the government for failing to aid the community in light of the violence and discrimination against it.
Ben Hartman contributed to this report.