Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Democracy Hijacked

Ultra-religious Jewish terrorists, determined to silence thousands of gay, lesbian, trans, and bisexual voices in Jerusalem by force, recently posted fliers in Jerusalem offering a reward of NIS 20,000 (about $4,500 US) for "anyone who causes the death of one of the people of Sodom and Gemorrah." According to reports, the flier recommended using firebombs and included instructions on how to make them.

Ultra-religious Jewish zealots, with their threats, are attempting to hijack democracy in Israel's capital city. Due to the threat of violence (which they have demonstrated that they are capable of - stone throwing at cars on Shabbat, burning of non-Kosher businesses, kidnapping of dead babies!) the police are now debating their ability to secure the democratic right of free speech of thousands of marchers.

These religious terrorist have started their Jewish jihad in an attempt to force their views on thousands of Jerusalem residents. Some surveys have indicated that a large percentage of Jerusalem's population doesn't support the Pride Parade in Jerusalem. If just 20% of Jerusalem's population of 600,000 (1996 figure - it's closer to 700,000 now) support the parade, that's 120,000 people - if just 5% support the parade - that's still 30,000 people! The numbers shouldn't matter though. If I want to go and protest something as a parade of one, then I have the right of free speech in a democratic society. Our government is entrusted with the responsibility to uphold the laws that protect this right.

What is not protected by free speech is hate speech. Calls for death and personal injury should be taken seriously. Democracy must be preserved in the face of this challenge.

Inadequate police response to other Haredi rioting and law breaking has given this ultra-religious gang the permission to hand out vigilante justice as they see fit. It's time for the rule of law - democratic law - to be affirmed as the governing power in Jerusalem not gang enforced codes of behavior.

Even if these fliers turn out to be a prank, the over excited evironment created by religious incitment must be addressed by religious leaders. They must join together and condemn any form of illegal incitement and violence.

The LTBTQ community in Jerusalem - and Israel - will not give in to violent threats, and on August 10th we will peacefully march in Jerusalem, as part of the week of Jerusalem WorldPride 2006 events, for tolerance, inclusion, and equality.


At 7/12/2006 1:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Been reading your blog for a while now.

First off, I don't stand by the threats of violence. I think that the gay parade is a terrible idea, but it must be combated within the rule of law. Unfortunately Israel is ruled by the supreme court rather than elected officials, so there is no hope of bringing true democracy without reforming the system.

But if this parade is anything like the gay parades they throw in San Francisco or Los Angeles, then I wouldn't be surprized if people lose their tempers (no, that's not a threat.)

Comparing this parade to a peaceful march like the Ghandi's democratic movement, or comparing yourself to Rosa Parks refusing to sit at the back of the bus, is disingenuous.

Rosa Parks was not protesting for her right to shave her body, dress up in leather and grease, and perform simulated sex acts in public.

It is an act of extreme intolerence to charge into one of the only places left in the world, Jerusalem, which is truly Jewish, and to try to force these obcenities on others.

At 7/12/2006 4:51 AM, Blogger Sam said...

I'm of two minds (maybe more) on pride parades. The shock value of drag queens and leather dykes gets the attention of complacent media. Still, I wonder what a pride parade would be like if all participants marched in the clothes they wear to work.

I hope this goes off peacefully. I remember your writing about a stabbing last year at some pride event.

At 7/12/2006 9:30 AM, Blogger John said...

Anonymous: Thanks for your comments and keep reading! I am glad that you agree that the way to work those these interesting cultural debates is through democratic process and within the rule of law.

I want to address some of your other comments as well, but I am swamped at work today. So, check back again soon - I might discuss them in their own post.

Keep coming back - I think that blogs are a wonderful way to learn more about each other and I think that we'll both learn that we share many more similarities than differences.

Sam: Hope your feeling better! The pride parade in Jerusalem is much more conservative than any other Pride event that I have ever been to - even the onces back in NC! In the past in Jrslm there have not been the hundreds of partying queens that make other pride events so much fun. Jerusalem's pride parade really is a political march/demonstration. There aren't floats, loud music in the streets or anything like that. That said, there is *some* exposed skin.

To me, pride parades are not about being accepted by others. It is one time during the year where we get to celebrate our differences and not be repressed into the LL Bean approved, respectable uniform by "the man". It's similar to people that don't have problems the blacks that "act white" - you know blacks that aren't "too ethnic". Why should black people, or any person for that matter, have to change anything about themselves to be accepted by the majority? Humanity should accept people for how they are and what they are simply because they are people too.

At 7/12/2006 11:40 AM, Blogger RR said...

I was hopping mad when I first heard about that flyer on the news. I was a bit relieved later when I read that it was an anonymous prank, not even widely distributed, but still....it makes me sick that a "Jew" would advocate murder.

I sincerely hope that there are lots of extra police around to protect the marchers, so that no one has a chance to repeat what that murderous dumbass did last year. How sad that people must be protected from violence by Jews. JEWS, of all people!

To anonymous, I don't think you can call Jerusalem "truly Jewish." Plenty of Christians and Muslims live there as well. And I understand that the parade route doesn't enter any religious neighborhoods. I'll let John tackle your Rosa Parks comparison.

At 7/12/2006 11:14 PM, Blogger Udge said...

John, I looked back at the date to see whether I'd somehow landed on April 1. Sad, even if it has turned out to be a particularly sick joke. (here via Noorster)

Anonymous, thank whichever God you choose that the supreme court has the final say: otherwise the elected politicians could pass whatever laws they wish. The court protects you, tomorrow if not today.

At 7/14/2006 4:38 AM, Blogger Adam said...

You and your partner have my support and my thoughts will be with you on August tenth. Be safe, be loved, BE PROUD!

At 7/14/2006 8:01 AM, Blogger Adam said...

Hope you both are safe and things are not too crazy for you right now with all thats going on there in addition to the world pride event. I didn't have a chance to read about all the stuff going on with Hezbollah and I am just shocked and hope you both are safe.


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