Thursday, November 09, 2006

The only parade in the village

Much has been written this past week about the Gay Pride parade that is due to take place tomorrow in Jerusalem. Yet in many ways the argument is over more than just whether members of the ‘homeo lesbit community’ as they are called here, have a right to walk through parts of Jerusalem – it touches on what it means to live in a Jewish and Democratic State not governed by Halacha.

Every democracy has to be based on some sort of compromise between universalism and particularism, between the freedom to do how we please on the one hand and the importance of not harming or offending others on the other - or in Israel's case between the values of equality and traditional Jewish custom. And it leads to legitimate questions over the location of the event, whether we should use our understanding of the Torah as an objective moral compass, or whether it’s consistent that a fuss is made over an annual gay parade whilst weekly public Shabbat desecration at Teddy Stadium is ignored.

Last week someone graffitied a shul in Tel Aviv with the words ‘if we don’t march in Jerusalem, you wont walk in Tel Aviv.’ And whilst vandalising any place of worship is completely unacceptable, it raised an interesting point; because if being outwardly gay in the holy city of Jerusalem is offensive, maybe being openly religious in the secular and hedonistic city of Tel Aviv is equally unacceptable. And if a parade in November in Jerusalem can cause tyre burning and kabbalistic curses, what might Simchat Torah in Tel Aviv lead to…

But one thing is certain – the moment any event is cancelled due to fear of aggression and threats, we find ourselves on an extremely slippery slope. Because what message does it give to people unhappy with the decision making structure of the State? And if a parade can be cancelled by violence, then so can any other controversial policy – whether that’s throwing away Ethiopian (and British) blood, discrimination against Israeli Arabs or evacuation of settlements and outposts. Because the moment people think change can be affected better by crisis than by compromise, by demonisation rather than by dialogue, Israel is in danger of becoming a country that is a lot more dangerous to live in.

And regardless of one’s sexual or religious orientation, that’s not good news for anybody.


Anonymous said...

mavet lahomo'im

Anonymous said...

great post holmes, it is a very interesting point to ponder.

Anonymous said...

i'm gay and proud

Anonymous said...

then mavet to you.

APERACE said...

I love the poofs

Anonymous said...

Im also gay and proud.

Dave Preston

Anonymous said...

i'm gay and shy

Anonymous said...

There's a vast difference between a person dressed in an ordinary common fashion and walking through a neighborhood vs. choosing to organize a loud, boisterous, and shock-filled parade that is antethetical to a large number of the peoples core values in their midst. The latter, which is what the Gay community tried to do, is dripping in "davka" - in your face and I don't care. Israel is not America and constantly tries to balance sensativities like arresting someone blowing Shofar on Rosh Hashanna at the Kotel and not alllowing Jewish poeple to pray nor assemble on the Temple mount.

Calev said...

i just wonder if there is such a thing as an action that can objectively cause offence.

Is one man's davka another person's freedom fighter?

Anonymous said...

Vast information information, research and therapy has been disclosed within and from the so-called "gay community". This is good benevolence for change and the giving of more GRACE on this subject. Research says that all men are heterasexual, and that the so-called "gay" word is a myth. That men have gender identity mis-orientation in childhood development such as masculinity strength and weekness, boys who look through the window and see other boys wrestling on the lawn, because they don't feel they measure up in stature or physical strength, or there is broken families or the father was never present or missing and that these boys or men never had a father and son relationship, so they end up trying to fill that void through other men. The fathers and peers have picked on them for not being tough enough. So here we see this destructive behavior today as groups of men who never got a chance to be one of the boys, so they behave badly and become agressive through these groups of so-called "gay parades". They never got a chance to be men. This all comes from the info from therapy for change. A testimony was givin from a church that a so-called "gay man" was instantly transformed in a service. The man said "what do I do now?, a church member replied " lets go get you a hair-cut! So be it!

Anonymous said...

Intolerance lies at the core of evil.
Not the intolerance that results
from any threat or danger.
But intolerance of another being who dares to exist.
Intolerance without cause. It is so deep within us,
because every human being secretly desires
the entire universe to himself.
Our only way out is to learn
compassion without cause. To care for each other
simple because that 'other' exists.

- Rabbi Menachem Mendle


dov said...

Hmmm. Sounds like very good science. In what journal were those results published? Or perhaps these results aren't published? Is it possible they were claimed by a group with a serious agenda and no scientific credibility? I wonder.

The first thing I found when googling the subject was this:

Assert whatever opinions you like, but science is not an opinion. There's good science and fake science. Don't hide behind fake science.