With all the insanity currently going on in Gaza (and now Lebanon), it’s easy to ignore domestic insanity in Israel. Haaretz reports today of a flyer circulating in an ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood of Jerusalem offering a 20,000 shekel (approx NZ$7200) reward for the murder of any queer person.
The flyer, with the heading “Death to the Sodomites”, also included instructions on making firebombs. It comes one month before an international World Pride festival is scheduled to take place in the city. The radical queer DIY Queeruption festival is scheduled for the same time period in Tel Aviv.
“This flyer is part of an incitement and de-legitimization campaign on the part of Mayor [Uri] Lupolianski and the ultra-Orthodox public against the gay and lesbian population in Jerusalem,” said Sa’ar Netanel (Meretz), a member of the Jerusalem city council and a leader of the gay community in Jerusalem.
The situation for queers in Jerusalem is already difficult. The 2006 Queeruption site states
In June 2005, during the last parade that took place in Jerusalem, the homophobic incitement by the Jerusalem municipality soared. With the support of the mayor, more than a thousand people demonstrated against the parade, cursing and throwing objects at the marchers. The day ended with a stabbing and injuring of 3 marchers by an ultra orthodox Jew (he was arrested by the police and is now facing a court case for 3 attempted murders).
The numbers who will attend World Pride and Queeruption are not known. There is a website set up encouraging queers to boycott both events in protest against Israel’s occupation of and cruel practices towards Palestinians.