“In America you have some tolerance and appreciation and understanding of what it means to be gay and to be a Palestinian. We’re discovering the hard way it’s not so acceptable here.”
So said one of a group of nine gay Palestinian-Americans who had travelled to Jerusalem to attend World Pride. They didn’t get to march in the end.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that they were driven from their hostel by knife-wielding thugs, one of whom said they were from the Waqf Muslim religious authority.
Later, when one of their group returned to the hostel to retrieve their posessions, he was ambushed. The attackers asked if he was with ‘the homos’ and then started beating him. The man who said he was from the Wagf beat him unconscious.
Last year, three men were injured when they were attached by a knife-wielding orthadox Jew.
The Papal Nuncio to Israel, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, seemed to egg this sort of reaction on: “No one can assure that this parade will go on in a peaceful way and will not provoke reaction from the faithful,” he said, denouncing the march as “a provocation”.
Peter Tatchell (who is still scribbling away on Comment is Free at an impressive rate of knotts) observed:
Jewish and Arab gays have pulled off the biggest diplomatic coup in modern Middle Eastern history. They have managed to get warring Christians, Jews and Muslims working together for the first time since the foundation of the state of Israel.
Time Magazine has more on this theme:
In a Holy City fissured by faith, finding a consensus on anything among Jewish, Christian and Muslim clerics is a near-miraculous occurrence. Yet Jerusalem’s rabbis, priests and imams have united, however briefly, to stop the city’s Gay Pride parade.
Whoever said that ‘love’ had more potential to unite than ‘hate’?