Friday, November 10, 2006

GAY PARADE CANCELED

Gay Parade Canceled, Stadium Rally to be Held Instead

Israel National News
17:32 Nov 09, '06 / 18 Cheshvan 5767
by Hillel Fendel and Hana Levi Julian

In light of dozens of terrorist warnings and hundreds of thousands of expected protestors, the homosexual parade scheduled for Friday has been replaced by a rally. Only minor protests are expected.

While the Supreme Court prepares to hand down its response to four petitioners who demand that the parade be legally stopped, the organizers have essentially thrown in the towel on their own.

Fearful that the police would cancel the parade because of both increasing terror warnings and unyielding religious-community threats to actively protest it, the Jerusalem Open House - organizer of the parade - pre-emptively canceled it on its own.

Instead, it will hold a closed event in the stadium of the Givat Ram campus of Hebrew University, not far from the government complex.

Organizers of the religious protests convened afterwards to decide if and how to continue the protests. One rabbi from the Shas Party camp, Rabbi Eldad Shmueli, said that though he perceived a victory of sorts, "it is still our obligation to protest against a public display of rebellion against G-d. True, it is not in the streets - but it is in an open stadium, and the desecration is nearly the same... We cannot be concerned with public opinion, but rather with protesting against open rebellion against G-d's will.

"Speaking with Arutz-7, Rabbi Shmueli explained how he sees the "Divine hand" in evidence throughout the last few months: "The left-wing public often threatens that when they finish with the Arab problem and bring peace, then they'll start dealing with the religious problems - which means to make war with us. So we see that when they wanted to hold this international abomination parade last summer, the war in Lebanon came along to stop them. And now again, they were about to hold it - and suddenly comes this event in Beit Hanoun with the 20 dead that compels the police to have to deal with terror threats. Not to mention that some of them simply became afraid to march...

"The organizers of other protests were also convening this afternoon to decide how to respond to the victory. Yaakov Shternberg of Jerusalem, one of the organizers of the religious-Zionist protests, told Arutz-7, "Basically, we have already won. But we may still hold a dignified mass protest in Kiryat Moshe [a Jerusalem neighborhood just west of Givat Ram] in any event."

Afterwards, at approximately 4 PM, it was learned that the leaders of the largest groups of protestors - hareidi-religious sage Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Eida Hareidit head Rabbi Yitzchak Tuvia Weiss - had agreed not to protest against the planned stadium rally tomorrow. However, their conditions include: the release of all the hareidi protestors arrested this week, no parade next year, and no signs of the rally outside the stadium. It is likely that only the first condition will be fulfilled.

Meanwhile, the Komemiyut religious activist organization conducted a parade of sheep, horses, dogs and donkeys in Jerusalem this afternoon, in protest of the homosexual march. The theme of the parade is that bestiality and homosexuality are both forbidden, in consecutive verses, by the same Torah (Leviticus 18). A court petition by an animal rights' organization against the march was turned down, but the organizers were warned to treat the animals without cruelty.

In the Supreme Court
Rabbi Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, head of the ZAKA organization; Chief Rabbi of Rehovot, Rabbi Simcha HaCohen Kook; Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai, head of the Shas party; and right-wing activist Baruch Marzel of Hevron all filed anti-gay parade petitions with the Supreme Court this week. Rabbi Kook burst into tears during Wednesday's proceedings.

Despite petitioners’ warnings that allowing the event would likely result in violence and possibly bloodshed, the judges did not appear to favor any move to relocate, postpone or block the parade.

Email readers: To see photos, click here.

“The question of violence must be dropped because there is no way to 'find a balance' between freedom of speech and violence,” said Judge Ayala Procaccia. “The police will not give in to it and the court will not give in to it.

”Opposition in Israel, New York, and the VaticanIn addition to this week's daily and nightly violent protests by hareidi-religious Jews in various communities around Israel, new voices were added Wednesday to the massive groundswell against the homosexual march in the nation’s capital.

Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupoliansky told reporters that he personally opposes the parade, but noted that police would be able to protect the marchers if they go ahead with the event. The mayor added, however, that the police would not be able to stop the widespread protests, the violence, the widening chasm in Israeli society and the property damage that will result from the protests.

The leader of Jerusalem’s Eida Hareidit Rabbinical Court, Rabbi Yitzchak Tuvia Weiss, has contacted hareidi-Orthodox leaders affiliated with the Satmar Hassidic sect in New York City to coordinate overseas protests. It was decided that on Thursday at 3:30 PM, a protest would be held outside the Israeli Consulate on 42nd Street in Manhattan. The protest is expected to draw tens of thousands.

Satmar, based in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, is affiliated with the Eida Hareidit and is considered the largest hassidic sect in the world, numbering over 120,000 members.

The Vatican released a statement on Wednesday night, calling on Israel to rethink permitting the gay parade.

The Vatican stated permitting the parade will be an affront to all three religions -Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - and called on Israel to limit freedom of speech to that which is correct.

Jerusalem Police Chief Ilan Franco announced last night that he would ask Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to delay the parade in view of the nationwide security alert.

Israel police are operating on a Level 3 alert following the deaths of 19 Arab civilians in an apparent IDF mishap during a retaliatory artillery attack against rocket launching areas in northern Gaza. Palestinian Authority leaders and terrorist organizations have called for Arabs to attack Jews both in Israel and worldwide.

Police reported more than 80 terror alerts this morning, including 15 “hot alerts,” referring to credible intelligence information of specific planned attacks.

The alert status was expected to move to Level 4 Friday morning if the parade was to have been held as scheduled.

(Photos: Josh Shamsi,
Arutz-7 Photojournalist)

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Published: 08:53 November 09, 2006

Last Update: 17:32 November 09, 2006


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