Gay Activists Call to Cancel Tel Aviv Pride Parade Over State’s Preferential Treatment of Tourists

A Wider Bridge broke this story in America in March, now with new developments: Backlash follows Tourism Ministry’s $2.9 million investment in campaign to attract tourists coming to Israel to participate in the parade.

A Wider Bridge supports the Israeli LGBT community in their struggle for full equality and for the resources needed to effectively meet the needs of the community. The Tel Aviv Pride Parade has become an important symbol of both the city embracing the LGBT community, and the LGBT community embracing the city. But one day of celebration is not more important than the quality of life for the community in the other 364 days of the year. We think the issues being raised by the community are very important, especially regarding the difference between the large sums of money being planned to be spent on promoting tourism as compared with the smaller amounts available to support the important work of the organizations serving the community.

The Tourism Ministry’s announcement caused outrage in the gay community. In a popular Facebook post, gay activist Netanel Azulay asked of the community to unite and announce that “it would not allow the government to profit at its expense and won’t allow the government to use it and lie to everyone that LGBTQ people have it good here.

“Once and for all we’re setting conditions and fighting for what we really deserve: If there won’t be fully equal rights here then there won’t be profitable gay tourism,” he wrote.

The Tel Aviv municipality, which organizes the parade, clarified that it will take place as scheduled on June 3, and will mark the empowerment of women in the LGBTQ community. The municipality estimated that 180,000 people will take part in the parade, among them 30,000 tourists.

Read the full story in Haaretz

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Leaders of the Agudah – The Israel National LGBT Task Force met on Saturday night with Tel Aviv city council members Yaniv Waizman and Efrat Tolkowsky to discuss the situation, Channel 2 reported Sunday. (The Times of Israel / April 17, 2016)