Two astronomers. Separated by only 22 degrees, 58 minutes of latitude, 33 degrees, 29 minutes of longitude, yet seemingly worlds apart. Their common goal: figure out the very nature of the Universe and its womenfolk.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A proud rally?

Friday’s Pride parade went off without a hitch. Well, technically speaking that’s not really true, but everything in Israel is relative. The “Parade” was actually more of a rally, after organizers compromised with security concerns following the country’s “highest security alert in years” due to the Beit Hanun stray mortar shell. Instead of marching to the Knesset, the event was held at the universities stadium, with a 1 km perimeter guarded by 3000 border guards, police men and soldiers. Only about 2000 people showed up – the low number being due to the very real fear many felt about attending. But that didn’t stop me, Mr. Rights Activist Extraordinaire! Nor did it stop a casually dressed haredi man from rushing the stage yelling obsenities. For me this event wasn’t only about gay rights. It was about the democratic right to freedom of speech. It was about protecting a discriminated minority. All in all it was a small event. Some transvestites, some MK’s, some authors, some bands. It made me sad: these people don’t pose an existential threat to society! They’re not neo-nazi’s, communists, radical muslims! All they want to do is love someone, and they are hated for it.

As is usually the case with these events, the rally served as a magnet for a wide variety of left-leaning organizations: Amnesty International, B'Tselem, Peace Now, Legalize Marijuana, etc. I was impressed at the number of skull-cap wearing people that showed up. Israel is a wierd place.


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