Who Canceled An Israeli City’s First Pride Parade? More Than 2,000 Protest.

 

 

The very first Pride parade in the Israeli city of Be’er Sheva will no longer occur after courts ruled that the route proposed was not the best route for all participants, the city, and the police force.  The reports are that it has been canceled, but by whom?

More than 2,000 persons demonstrated on Thursday evening outside the Be'er Sheva City Hall building instead of marching in the city's now-cancelled first ever Pride parade.

The protest came following the Supreme Court's rejection on Wednesday of a petition submitted by the Israeli National LGBT Taskforce (also known as the Aguda) and Pride House (a local Be’er Sheva LGBT center), requesting that Be’er Sheva’s first ever Pride parade be allowed to march through Be’er Sheva’s Rager Boulevard, which acts as the city’s main artery.

"Revolution; the community wants support," and "They won't silence us" the protestors chanted. They also pointed blame at Be'er Sheva's mayor, Ruvik Danilovich, directing some of their chants at him personally and at the police ("Policeman, policeman, whom are you protecting?").

"We want to show that we're here, and that we're staying here," said Allen Bestacker, 18, who came from Dimona to participate in the protest that was decided on late the preceding evening.

"There's a large bitterness here after everything that happened with the High Court of Justice and after the difficulties that the municipality and the police piled onto us," he continued. "We want to show that we're not second-class citizens. There are teachers here, nurses and professionals from every field, students. We're part of the country. The goal is that next year, we'll march on the route that we wanted, on the main road."

Meretz Chair MK Zehava Galon condemned the court's decision: "The Supreme Court gave in to the political deal between the (chief) rabbi of Be'er Sheva and the mayor, and it got a protest from people who weren't ready to be shut up. You won't put us back in the closet."

MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) also came to the protest. She said, "The municipality should have thought of the young men and women, the gays and lesbians who live in Be'er Sheva, that the parade is a place of expression for them. There was excess conciliatoriness; the scales tipped in the wrong direction, and that's a shame." – ynetnews.com

 

Was canceling your own Pride parade the right thing to do?  If I am reading this correctly, it was not canceled by the High Court, just the requested parade route was not approved.  Another route was suggested.  An alternative news source mentioned why the parade route was altered.

Responding to the petition, police said they decided to divert the parade from the main road not only due to concerns about the participants' safety, but also because the event could "deeply hurt religious sentiments" in light of the numerous religious institutions in the area. Other considerations included disruption to traffic and the restriction of access to Soroka Medical Center.  – haartetz.com

So do you cancel your own celebration because you were not given the route you desired?  Do they not believe that the police are looking out for the pride parade participants? Do they believe the High Court has sided with religious groups to divert the parade somewhere else? 

I guess it goes back to playing with my Legos.  If my brother didn't want to share for some odd reason.  I didn't pack up my Legos and pout in the corner.  I said too bad brother and I made the best Lego cars imaginable.  To cancel your Pride parade, is not the right move in my mind.  Have the best damn pride parade out there!  Show them why you have pride.  Show them that even though you are not given the best road in town to march down, you will not go home with your tail between your legs.  You will fight forward.  Street by street.  Neighborhood by neighborhood.  Year by year.

Of course, this is all so easy for me to say, sitting here in America. What are your thoughts Instincters?  Should Pride parade planners have canceled its own celebration because they did not get the route through the center of town?

What do you think?