Thousands join Tel Aviv’s conservative Jerusalem pride parade Benjamin Netanyahu
Thousands of people marched through Jerusalem on Thursday in the annual pride parade, celebrating LGBTQ rights in the conservative city amid heightened police security.
Pride events in Jerusalem, home to a large ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, tend to be quieter than those in more liberal Tel Aviv. A radical ultra-Orthodox Jew stabbed a 16-year-old girl to death during a pride event in Jerusalem. 2015, an attack that was condemned across the political spectrum.
Only a few dozen people came to protest the parade this year and were largely drowned out by the blaring music.
“I think we are getting better and better,” said one of the walkers, Fabio Abulafiya, while acknowledging that more needed to be done. “It is very important to come to parades like this, not only to party … but also to protest for our rights.”
An alliance of far-right parties including openly homophobic candidates performed surprisingly strong in the March parliamentary elections and was expected to be a key part of a new government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
But his efforts to form a majority coalition failed, in part because far-right parties refused to join a small Arab party that emerged as some sort of kingmaker. A coalition opposed to Netanyahu is now on the verge of ending his record 12 years in office.
Jerusalem has seen weeks of protests and clashes linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that sparked an 11-day war in Gaza last month. The situation has been rather calm since the entry into force of a ceasefire in Gaza on May 21.