Ben-Gvir, the Beast Parade, and a Blessing in Synagogue

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11/07/2022

What follows is a translation of a long Hebrew-language Facebook post by Amir Ohana, the recently reelected Israeli Knesset member who formerly served in governments led by Benjamin Netanyahu. Ohana became the first openly gay person to be elected to the Knesset and the first openly gay person to serve in an Israeli government, both as Israel’s minister of justice and as minister of public security. He is a member of the Likud Party. The “Beast Parade” was a demonstration held on Nov. 9, 2006, in Jerusalem by homophobes who paraded goats and donkeys through the streets in what they intended as an answer to Israel’s annual Pride parades, the largest of which is held in Tel Aviv. The homophobes, whose leaders included two of Netanyahu’s prospective coalition partners, Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir, were responding to left-wing activists who wished to stage a local Pride parade whose route passed through religious Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem. In a rare moment of agreement, Palestinian Muslim clerics and activists of the ruling Fatah party joined their homophobic Jewish brethren in condemning the Jerusalem Pride event, calling it a “moral massacre,” a “defilement,” a “cancer,” and “an ugly, unprecedented crime.”

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