WorldPride tension spreads across Israel

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Tension is mounting between ultra-orthodox Jews and Israel’s gay community over next week’s WorldPride march as conflict spread into Tel Aviv with a synagogue being smashed in protest against opposition to the event.

The synagogue was sprayed with the words, “If we can’t march in Jerusalem, you won’t walk in Tel Aviv,” , police told the Jerusalem Post, in an attack thought to be against the religious outbursts towards gays and lesbians planning to march next Friday.

It followed arrests of 14 people who are accused of throwing stones and setting bins alight in holy parts of Jerusalem in protest against the event.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews have threatened “holy-war” against the march and have called on all Jewish people to oppose the parade using biblical punishments, prompting police to deploy extra officers to protect marchers.

Religious groups are holding regular protest against the parade and have even been seen teaming up with Islamic organisations.

The protests have been supported by Israel’s Chief Rabbi.

WorldPride organisers are still determined that the event will go ahead after having to cancel it this summer because of the Lebanon conflict and the year before due to the Gaza disengagement.

Similar protests were made earlier this year with some religious organisations reportedly offering rewards for attacking gay people.

The last gay pride march in Jerusalem two years ago saw one man jailed for stabbing a participant.