By Hilary White

JERUSALEM, October 20, 2006 ( – Thousands of the Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem protested Wednesday against the efforts of a small group of homosexual activists to bring the so-called “Gay Pride” event to the city. Jerusalem is held as one of the world’s most holy places by Jews, Muslims and Christians.

The Israeli courts had ruled that the homosexual political event could go forward this summer, but just days later the Israeli/Hezbollah war broke out. The general opinion among Orthodox Jews is that the timing was a message from God. Homosexual activists have reached an agreement with Jerusalem officials to reschedule for November 10.

As the date approaches, anger over the intrusion of the homosexual festival has grown among the dominant Orthodox community. Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews protested at Jerusalem’s Sabbath Square yesterday holding signs with messages in Hebrew, saying, “J’lem is not Sodom, Amsterdam or New York.”

“The war in the north broke out as soon as the parade was announced,” a Mea Shearim resident told a local news service, Ynet.

Ynet quoted him saying that the Rabbis are “fearful of another war,” and are asking the Jews of the world to protest.

A single homosexual activist organization, Open House, has been largely responsible for putting pressure on the Israeli government to allow the events in Jerusalem that have come to be known around the world as a public display of lewd sexual behaviour.

Ynet quotes Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, head of the Eda Haredit rabbinic court, “We did not succeed in Lebanon due to the obscenity and promiscuity in the Holy Land.”

On September 19, the Jerusalem Post reported that Jerusalem’s officials had agreed to allow the event November 10 in order to forestall a lawsuit by Open House and the Jerusalem police had reluctantly agreed to provide security.

At the end of August, Open House announced that the event would begin on September 21, just days before the Jewish New Year. Rabbi Yehuda Levin, founder of the New York-based organization Jews for Morality, told at the time, “It is inappropriate, so inappropriate, for them to flaunt their disrespect for thousands of years of Jewish tradition.”

Open House organizers admitted that they had deliberately set the date close to the Jewish holy days in order to antagonize their opponents. When the police refused to allow the event for security reasons, the group vowed to go to court.

Rabbi Levin called on Jewish, Muslim and Christian faithful to physically block the parade route, “to protect the holy soil of Jerusalem against this spiritual rape.”

See related coverage: International Religious Outcry Close to Booting Gay Pride from Holy City of Jerusalem

Jerusalem Gay Pride Set for September 21

Jerusalem Loses Battle to Ban Gay Pride Parade—Court-Ordered Date Set for November 10