As we enter Jerusalem Pride’s final stretch, with the March taking place tomorrow,we must make a special note of why this year’s event is especially significant and unique. We are marching this year for the one-year commemoration of the shootings at Bar-Noar. And differently than every other year, we are marching to the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) to mark the end of a year of mourning and the beginning of a year of activism in pursuit of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights and the eradication of discrimination and hate. For the first time a vehicle will accompany the marchers – not the Mayor’s limo, or a float- as are customary in Pride in other places, but a van carrying wheelchair-bound youth that were shot at the Bar-Noar.
The parents of Nir Katz and Liz Terobishi z"l- the two youngsters murdered in the attack – will lead the march. Ayala Katz, bereaved mother of Nir Katz, insists “The message that will be sent on this day to all of Israel’s citizens and to people around the world is that threats of violence are not rewarded…We, as parents, will march for the benefit and the future of our children.” Dozens of teenagers whose activist spirit will lead the Israeli LGBT community in the future will also march in their first Pride. These youth are the people who will directly benefit in the coming years from the rights we are struggling to secure, and they’ll be able to say they were there to see it happen.
Tension with the police has run high during the preparation for Pride. In our previous update we told you about our struggle to overcome the police refusal to allow us to march to the Knesset. We have just now avoided another confrontation in the Supreme Court. Though the police are legally responsible to provide for the security of the marchers, they demanded an exorbitant fee of $20,000 for security at Pride. They were taken aback when we pointed out that other recent demonstrations – such as the march to free kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, were given no such demands. "But they are in the heart of consensus," they cried, "how dare you compare?! nobody wants to harm them!" This drove home our point, which is that by the police’s logic, the further you are from the consensus, the more it should cost you to exercise your freedom of speech. Our threat to turn to the Supreme Court once again, led them to reconsider, and compromise.
This is our last appeal for your help with this special Jerusalem Pride march. We now need to raise an additional $10,000 for security. This extra fee testifies to the fact that officials recognize that our community needs special protection, but they remain unwilling or unable to provide adequate security.
The security of our marchers and Pride itself depend on supporters like you and we now need your participation more than ever. If you can come to the march, come; if you can give, please give, and pass this message on to your friends and family. Use the attached graphic to promote Jerusalem pride on your Facebook profile. The bottom reads "Yizkor" (rememberance), and the top is Pride’s logo "Marching towards Equality, commemorating the shooting at Bar-Noar".
Our thanks to our many supporters who have answered our special appeal so far! If you have not yet done so, please help us continue our work for a more open and tolerant Jerusalem. All gifts made between now and the end of August will go towards our security costs.
To donate by credit card here,
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or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, please pass this e-mail on to friends or acquaintances who may wish to help.
Thank you for your generosity in supporting Israel’s LGBT community!
Chairman of the Board