Thursday, June 03, 2004

Rabbi compares Gays to Rabbits

From Al

The Shin Bet security service ordered the Jerusalem Municipality to increase its security detail around Mayor Uri Lupoliansky after threats were received on his life for allowing today's Jerusalem Pride Parade in the capital. A leading ultra-Orthodox rabbi said that as a punishment, homosexuals would "in their next reincarnation, come back as rabbits and bunnies."

Jerusalem's hosting of the annual Gay Parade has caused controversy in the city with members of the ultra-Orthodox community trying to stop the celebration, calling participants names and claiming that their actions are against God's laws.

In the city's ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods. signs have been posted and pamphlets have been distributed, warning children to stay away from the "sinners" and not walk near the streets where the parade is to go through. A recent gay parade in the city was called an "abomination."

Jerusalem Police said hundreds of security forces would be stationed along the main streets in the city center, including the Ben-Yehuda Pedestrian Mall, King George Avenue and Keren Hayesod, to try and prevent provocations and confrontations.

Kabbalah expert Rabbi David Batzri, who recently blew shofars at an IDF tank base to ward off the "evil eye," attacked the gay community in his weekly lecture, media sources reported.

"There is no place in the Holy City for this kind of procession," he said, according to a ynet report. Batzri called for the establishment of hostels to care for youths who had fallen under the spell of "this group of obscenities," and said that homosexuals should be imprisoned.

The Jerusalem Open House, which is hosting a week of events based on the theme of love and tolerance, said the municipality was refusing to allow it to place its flags along the parade route.

In October, Jerusalem was selected to host the 2005 InterPride international gay and lesbian parade, an event that could potentially bring hundreds of thousands of tourists to Israel. Lupoliansky said at the time that the issue of permits for such a parade was a police, and not a municipal, affair.