Tolerance is Holy
Daniel Young and Mirko Ilic
New York, NY
CSPG’s Poster-of-the-Week is featured in two exhibitions produced by UCLA students this month. Although each exhibition has a different theme—one promotes peace in the Middle East, the other explores issues around queer identity—both exhibitions promote dialogue, diversity, and acceptance. It is especially ironic that the poster used in both exhibitions to celebrate diversity, commemorates an event sparked by intolerance. In 2006, major leaders of Christianity, Judaism and Islam made a rare show of unity to try to stop a 10-day Gay Pride festival and parade in Jerusalem. The religious leaders said that the event would desecrate the city and convey the erroneous impression that homosexuality is acceptable.
In researching this event, other contradictions emerged. The most glaring was about a stabbing that occurred during the 2005 Pride Parade in Jerusalem. All references but one, said the stabbing was done by an Orthodox Israeli Jew, including Haaretz and the Israel News. In referring to the same event, Wikipedia, claims the stabbing was done by a “young Muslim man.” More detailed background of these events is below.
Kerckhoff Gallery, UCLA
308 Westwood Plaza – Kerckhoff Hall – 2nd floor
Los Angeles, CA 90024
May 13-20, 2011
ART PEACE is a student group art exhibition featuring Palestinian, Israeli and American artists dealing with the Middle East conflict from a non-violent, coexistence perspective; dealing with People, not Politics. The exhibition aims to bridge the divided political atmosphere on campus and in current media discourse by presenting works together, and creating a collaborative environment to lead by example. ART PEACE is presented by the UCLA Middle East Peace Coalition.
Because We Give a Queer
Broad Arts Café, UCLA
240 Charles E. Young Drive North
Broad Arts Center – North Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90024
May 17-19, 2011 [opens May 17, 6-9 pm]
Because We Give a Queer is a student-run LGBT art exhibition dealing with the past, present and future of the struggle of queer men and women in society. It explores various topics such as identity, forbidden love, and intolerance. The exhibition features works from student artists at UCLA.
Since the 1990s, an annual gay pride parade has taken place in Tel Aviv, the first city in Israel to have a gay pride parade and venue for the only yearly gay pride parade in the Middle East. In 2005, 100,000 people participated in the Tel Aviv gay pride parade after it had originally been prohibited by a municipal ban, later rescinded by the district court. During the parade, a young Ultra-Orthodox man wounded three parade participants with a kitchen knife.
WorldPride is an event that promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues on an international level through parades, festivals and other cultural activities. When it was announced that the 2006 event would be held in Jerusalem with a parade scheduled for the 6th of August, harsh objection from Israeli religious circles immediately began. The parade was eventually cancelled due to the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, but a week of events did take place as scheduled and included five conferences, a film festival, exhibitions, and literary and political events. When the Jerusalem Open House announced that it would hold a parade on November 10, virulent opposition came from throughout the Orthodox Jewish community, the Sephardic community, as well as from the Israeli Arab sector. Rabbis from across the Orthodox spectrum called for the parade to be forbidden. Palestinian militant organization Hamas announced that for the occasion, it would be willing to cooperate with Jews to defeat the parade, since a gay pride parade would be considered worse than Zionism.
On the night of 2 November 2, 2006, the planned gay parade in Jerusalem set off days of violence in the city's ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods. Thousands of protesters blocked roads with burning garbage cans and hurled stones at police, demanding the parade be canceled or moved to secular Tel Aviv. Police responded in force, sending hundreds of Israeli riot police and Border Police armed with batons, water cannons and horses. Seven policemen and an unknown number of protestors were wounded.
A demonstration in an Orthodox community in Jerusalem led to rioting. Thousands of protesters blocked roads with burning garbage cans, and police responded in force, sending hundreds of Israeli riot police and Border Police armed with batons, water cannons and horses. Seven policemen and an unknown number of protestors were wounded. Ultra Orthodox spokesmen strongly spoke out against the police for using an "excessive level of violence".
In the end, Jerusalem's gay community moved the event to a stadium on a university campus in Jerusalem, quelling the threats of violence and allowing 4,000 people to celebrate peacefully.
Laurie Goodstein and Greg Myre, “Clerics Fighting a Gay Festival for Jerusalem”, New York Times, March 31, 2005; [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B00E2D8133FF932A05750C0A9639C8B63]
Efrat Weiss, “Court rejects rightists' petition against Jerusalem gay parade”, Israel News, 6-23-2008 [http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3559360,00.html]
http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Israeli_man_faces_attempted_murder_charges_for_stabbing_three_gay_pride_marchers [refers to Orthodox Israeli]