• Rotem A. Oreg

Love and Prejudice

Updated: Aug 27

This year I went, for the first time, to the Jerusalem Pride. The week before that was filled with hate, from incitement against the LGBTQ+ community to death threats, and I could'nt stay silent - and I'm glad I made it.


The Jerusalem Pride is an intense Pride: whilst the Tel-Aviv Pride is a carnaval, the Jerusalem Pride is more of a protest; the Tel-Aviv Pride celebrates the accomplishments of the community, the Jerusalem Pride emphasise its struggle for equality.

But more than everything, the Tel Aviv Pride is cosmopolitical, global and provocative; whilst the Jerusalem Pride is not only much more modest (in some time even boring), but very much Israeli: side-by-side, marching together secular, observant and ultra-orthodox; Jews and Arabs; Left-wingers, Right-wingers and Centrists; Israelis by birth, immigrants and tourists; Sepharadic, Ashkenazi, Russian- and Ethiopian-speaking Jews; and of course - members of the community and those who are not.


Shira Banki's Memorial, Jerusalem Pride
Memorial for Shira Banki, who was murdered in the 2015 Pride (qoute saying: "it is better to teach good than condemn evil")

And that's the beauty of the Pride: the struggle for justice is a mutual struggle, for everyone. The ability to combine afforts for a common value - that everyone deserve to be who they are, love who they love, and live as they live - doesn't blur the differences between the Marchers. Activists from Yesh Atid and self-declared communists, "Pride in Meretz" and Minister Yoaz Hendle (New Hope), former-observant with signs saying "God loves me the way I am" and ultra-orthodox with signs "Love Thy Neighbor".


And that needs to be our guideline regarding our relations with the United States and with Democrats in particular - we won't agree on everything, and we can't solve all our disagreements. We also don't need to ignore our disagreements, the contrary is true - we must speak about them, because when a problem isn't taken care of it only gets worse, but to do so from a perspective that acknowledge our common commitment, liberals in Israel and the United States alike, to our mutual effort: empowering the U.S.-Israel relations and making Israel and the United States better, freer and more just societies.


And to end with the two words of the U.S. Embassy representatives: Happy Pride.

U.S. Jerusalem Pride, progressive israel
Marchers in the Jerusalem Pride

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