Jerusalem Pride, 2021
Jerusalem Pride, 2021

Jerusalem Celebrates Pride Parade

Thousands of people marched in Jerusalem’s pride parade on June 3, marking a return to the celebration of the LGBTI+ community a year after it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Thousands of people marched through Jerusalem on Thursday in the annual Pride parade, celebrating LGBTI+ rights in the conservative city amid heavy police security.

Chanting for equality and holding aloft brightly painted signs supporting LGBTI+ rights, some 7,500 people marched in Jerusalem’s annual pride parade Thursday evening.

Over 3,000 police officers secured the highly charged event, six years after a deadly attack on participants.

Pride events in Jerusalem, which is home to a large ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, tend to be less raucous than those in more liberal Tel Aviv. A radical ultra-Orthodox Jew stabbed a 16-year-old girl “Shira Banki” to death at a Pride event in 2015, an attack that was condemned across the political spectrum.

Only a few dozen people turned out to protest the parade this year, and were largely drowned out by the blaring music.

The event demanding LGBTI+ equality began with a ceremonial prayer for Shira Banki.

Many streets in the capital’s city center were closed and the thousands of police officers on duty secured the parade’s route.

Jerusalem saw weeks of protests and clashes linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that triggered an 11-day war in Gaza last month. The situation has been mostly calm since a cease-fire went into effect in Gaza on May 21.

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