May 17, 2009

violent protests

Who knew that there was just a Gay Pride Parade in the city of Eilat? Raise your hands if you knew it was about to happen.

The city of Eilat is thought of as an Israeli version of Las Vegas - what happens in Eilat stays in Eilat. It is thought of as being ultra-liberal in lifestyle (I don't think it is like that in its politics) - pretty much anything goes.

Today in the newspaper there was an article about the Gay Pride Parade that took place in Eilat on Friday. The article was on Page 19 of the newspaper. OK, no big deal - after all Eilat is a pretty boring seaside resort vacation city. No big deal - not very exciting news.

Yet, the Gay Pride Parade of Eilat was met with violence. A group of protestors, local residents of Eilat, went out to protest against the parade. It turned violent as the protestors began throwing stones and eggs. A couple paraders were injured and needed medical attention.

And still the article only hit about 150 words on Page 19 of Yisrael Ha'Yom. I did a quick search to see if I could find any article on Haaretz or Ynet websites - I could not find one at all on Haaretz and found one way down at the bottom of the news updates of Ynetnews. Granted, I only did a quick search - maybe a more thourough search would result in more scathing headlining articles, but even a quick search should bring up an article on the front page.

Why is it that when the religious, specifically Haredi, protest against the Gay Pride Parades, it makes page 1, it is discussed for days on end, threats of violence, assumptions of violence, etc. are all played up and the whole thing is made into a lot of noise. One time a couple of years ago a haredi man violently protested, stabbing a parader, and it was talked about in the news for days. The next year the news media went on discussing whether it would be repeated. To no end.

Yet here we had, on Friday, a Gay Pride Parade that was protested, with violence, by secular (traditional perhaps) residents. And you can hardly find a word about it in the media - and to find even a bit you have to look hard.

Makes you wonder what the media outrage was really about the other times....


  1. Are you sure the protesters weren't haredi? I am pretty sure there are a number of haredim in Eilat.

  2. the article did not say. It just said "protesters". I assume that if they were haredi it would have made bigger news...

    there are very few haredim in Eilat. Most of the haredim in Eilat are Chabad. There is a large hesder yeshiva in Eilat, and the religious community (mostly RZ) has grown in recent years, I have heard.

  3. the ynet article -,7340,L-3716525,00.html says "a group of youths".

    in addition, which I did not say in the post, a number of stores (ynet mentions one, Yisrael HaYom said a few) also had signs hanging saying no gays allowed.

  4. Apparently in Moscow during the Eurovision last night there was also a gay parade that was heavily protested and actually shut down by the police because the parade did not coincide with the morals of the city. This too did not get any press coverage here.

  5. I would assume that part of this has to do with a history of mutual antagonism between a center-left media and the haredim. It might also be that in terms of a news story, the haredim make for better "posterboys" for "anti-gay traditionalists acting crazy" due to their identifiable dress and voluntary self-exclusion from certain elements of wider Israeli culture. It's not that unlike the US media's longstanding fixation with the Westboro Baptist Church nutjobs-- there are plenty of Christians in the US that oppose homosexuality or gay culture but somehow it's always the creme of the crazy who get all the publicity.

    It's disappointing when the media shows such obvious partisanship, but at this point I'm not surprised. For better or worse, haredi activism is coming to be seen as more radicalized, particularly by secular media sources, and because the haredim see PR as beneath them, this is a pretty logical result. In a way the leaders seem stuck. If they truly believe that they should be mostly disengaged from Israeli culture (and media) then it shouldn't matter what people think of them. At the same time, I would say that they do not do their community any favors by allowing (or encouraging) them to be represented as uniformly fanatical in the non-Haredi public's eyes.

    And so the gap grows.

  6. I think therre is a common thread btwn Eilat/Moscow opposition not being reported and Jerusalem yes being reported.

    The media agenda is to legitimize the fags.

    They try to present a fait accomplit that all progressive thinking etc. etc. people 'understand' the inherent sense and advanced thinking in accepting the alternative lifestyle.

    ANy event that advances this line is hit upon and amplified and anything that detracts from it is swept away.

    When regular people - secular russians/secular/traditional Jews protest fags this undermines the image that normal people accept the faggy way of life as legit. Hence it is not reported.

    When Haredim who unfortunately are easily portrayed as primitive Hooligans protest it colors the picture very clearly - normals are on the fag side, neanderthals are against. And the easily manipulated masses make the obvious choice.

    Lesson: the Haredi worlds self created image further erodes the chances of spreading the Torah around the world. THeir 'mecho'os' have the opposite effect.

    Truly antireligiouspeople/the Sutton love having the Haredim be where they are since they provide a convenient barrier for Klal Yisroel to return to Hashem.

    Halevai Haredim would realize this and start serving Hashem (if it can be called that) w/o being neanderthals. Maybe other people will also start wanted to serve Hashem.

    What a concept.

  7. I just remembered a hilarious ma'aseh from the faggot fight that erupted over the marching fags at the Israel parade in NY a while back.

    A lot of the controversy centered around YU who threatened or some "vicious black Rabbonim who were ruining the Yeshiva" threatened not to march or something like that. And the Jewish week et al were up in arms.

    So at the parade - the MTA guys - definitely not Haredim with their girlfreind knitted kippahs etc. and not always your most well behaved and civilized bunch are walking down 5th Avenue or wherever the parade route is chanting

    "MTA! We're not Gay!, MTA! We're not Gay!"

    and nobody can control 'em.

    It was hysterical and a gevaldige shtuch if you understand the dynamics of it which I will not get into sorry either you get it or you're a square and you don't. Not surprisingly this was not reported either. (I was fortunate enough to have witnessed it firsthand).


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