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Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis Curse Jerusalem Gay Pride

by Kilian Melloy
Tuesday Jun 12, 2007
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As if threats of violence and explosive devices planted along a possible Gap Pride Parade route in Jerusalem earlier this year were not enough, ultra-Orthodox Haredi Jews have gone old-school and cursed this year’s Pride participants.

Rabbis from the Eda Haredit have also said that they would mount an "anti-Pride" rally.

The UK edition of Gay.com posted the story on the Curse of the Haredis today, in which the text of the curse, issued Sunday, was published.

"To all those involved, sinners in spirit, and whoever helps and protects them, may they feel a curse on their souls, may it plague them, and may evil pursue them; they will not be [acquitted] of their transgressions from heavenly judgment," reads the curse called down by the Eda Haredit rabbis.

The text of the letter issued by the Eda Haredit rabbis continued with, "Know what happened to the evil persons who were cursed, and thus feel in your souls that your end will be bitter."

The Gay.com article made note of the fact that the Eda Haredit adherents have not traditionally waited for any supernatural form of evil to pursue Pride. Last year’s parade was disrupted by members of the sect who obstructed roadways, set garbage ablaze, and lobbed rocks at police. The result of the chaos unleashed by the ultra-Orthodox sect was that the parade was canceled and a spots stadium used to house a rally in its place.

In a 2005 incident, three Pridegoers were stabbed by a member of the same ultra-Orthodox sect.

Jerusalem’s 2007 Pride parade has won preliminary approval and is scheduled for June 21; however, it is possible that, as happened last year, threats of violence could lead to the event’s postponement, or even to its cancellation.

Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, the group that plans the annual Pride event, have already laid plans to take the issue to Israel’s High Court of Justice if their Pride parade is prevented from taking place.

"The Orthodox curses and their refusal to commit to non-violence prove that this is not just a Pride parade, but a fight for Israeli democracy, freedom of expression, and for the capitol city, which is everyone’s city," said Noa Satat, the head of Jerusalem Open House.

Continued Satat, "We call on the mayor and prime minister to immediately condemn the threats of violence and protect democracy in this country."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor, writing about film, theater, food and drink, and travel, as well as contributing a column. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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