Thousands of people packed the main streets of Jerusalem on Thursday for the annual Jerusalem March. The parade, organized by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, led from Sacher Park to the Old City through the center of town. The march takes place each year during the Jewish festival of Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles.
Southeast Asians blow the shofar as they march through the streets of Jerusalem in the annual parade on the Jewish Festival of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles.
Israel Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld had no estimate on how many people were at the parade — there really were that many — with dozens of countries represented in the march.
Christians from the Gipsy Nation in Hungary also participated in the 2016 Jerusalem March in solidarity with Israel.
Every group proudly waved its nation’s flag, expressing solidarity with Israel in obvious defiance of the clearly odious resolution on Jerusalem passed earlier in the week by the Executive Board of the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The resolution, advanced by the Palestinian Authority, obliterates in its language the historic link between Judaism and Jerusalem’s holy sites.
Christians from Bolivia participated in the 2016 Jerusalem March.
Many of those who marched were visiting as members of Christian delegations to the Holy Land. Among them were groups from Thailand, the United States, Hungary, Bolivia, China and Brazil. A group from the United Kingdom sang, “We love you, Israel!”
Philippine Christians parade in the Jerusalem March dressed as priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant.
Christians from the Philippines expressed their solidarity with the Jewish People dressed as priests from the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, marching with a model of the Ark of the Covenant. At least 3,500 police officers were deployed across the capital city to protect the marchers and others, according to Rosenfeld.
Christians from around the world participated in Jerusalem March 2016, which led from Sacher Park through the center of town to the Old City of Jerusalem. Israel Police did not give an estimate of how many thousands were present for the festivities.
A year ago this month, Ishai Schlussel, a known Haredi criminal who had just been released from jail after serving time for attempted murder in the 2005 gay pride parade in Jerusalem, was allowed by a negligent police to attack the 2015 gay parade, where he finally managed to murder a teen girl, Shira Banki, and six others. And so the 2016 Jerusalem gay pride parade has naturally become a kind of Selma march to condemn hate and violence, attracting thousands. But Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced that he would not march in this likely the most publicized gay parade in Israel’s history.
Barkat told the media on Wednesday that he supports the rights of gay people to parade in his city, and that he plans to “lay down a flower” on the spot where young Shira Banki was murdered, because he fiercely objects to anyone using violence in a political debate. But at the same time Barkat still feels that the gay pride parade is a bad idea in Jerusalem, because it needlessly offends hundreds of thousands of religious people in the city.
It was a complex decision by the mayor of the most important city in Israel, in the midst of a political environment that does not tolerate complexity and nuance. And, obviously, Mayor Barkat’s move has already been added by many to the long list of “homophobic” political acts by “hating” Israeli public servants. But Barkat should be admired, not condemned, for his sensible decision to facilitate and provide security for the parade which he openly admits he’d rather not have in his citry.
Unlike the Tel Aviv gay pride parade, which ravenously takes after New York City, Rio and New Orleans in its all-out explicit gesticulations and exhibitionism — the Jerusalem parade is more about people walking in an orderly fashion with rainbow flags, singing and yelling out anti-hate and pro-tolerance slogans. Still, Barkat argues that he would hurt many of his residents’ feelings were he to associate himself directly with the march which promotes acts specifically prohibited by scripture.
Meanwhile, Schlussel’s mother and five of his brothers were detained on Wednesday by police, as were 11 rightwing activists. They were all warned to stay away from the parade’s route, and then released. According to Walla, as is usually the case in such business, most of the rightwing activists were not aware there was going to be a parade Thursday and thanked the cops for keeping them informed.
The fact is no one is allowed to stand where the parade is going, the sidewalks will be kept deserted by heavy police guard (of whom, presumably, 3 to 10 percent are gay). According to Jerusalem District Commandeer Major General Yoram Halevy, there will be only two points where the marchers will experience contact with the non-marching public — at the beginning and at the end. Participants will have to report to the start point, undergo security check and receive an ID tag. But the controls will be in place even earlier on: participants from outside Jerusalem will be arriving in buses and will be checked before boarding. And so, as is often the case in our self-protecting democracies these days, what was meant as a lively, vivacious exchange of ideas and, yes, insults, between excitable people, will be reduced to a safe, but quite zombie-like affair.
Which, to some extent, means that Ishai Schlussel actually defeated the gay pride parade with his despicable attack, making it less gay and less proud.
President & First Lady Rivlin on Sunday hosted at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem the family of Shira Banki, along with representatives of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance (JOH), ahead of the gay pride march scheduled for next week, which marks a year since Shira was murdered in the same march.
“Shira was murdered for the freedom of every woman and man to express themselves and their sexuality freely,” said the President and continued, “The right of every man and woman to be who they are, to love as their heart desires, love that can be expressed openly. We must promote a safe public space in which even if there is disagreement, there is respect for each and every person. We must differentiate between disagreement and violent, hurtful, and destructive dialogue that at times also incites hatred.”
The President stressed, “We must end the incitement against the LGBT community, and any support that such views receive. I must say that the statements heard from the mouths of rabbis, leaders, and faith leaders have pained me greatly. I want to reiterate and remind everyone, that ‘Beloved is man created in God’s image’, any person, regardless of religion, race, or sex.” He added, “I am certain that the rabbis whom so many pupils look up to — some of them members of the LGBT community themselves — will also find a way to clarify that they don’t think otherwise.”
He continued, “Since Shira’s murder, I have initiated meetings between secular and ultra-Orthodox, right and left, men and women, so they will get to know one another, and come together united to learn, pray, and work in partnership in Shira’s memory. Political or religious differences, or differences in sexuality do not justify violence an incitement. This is not our way, not the way of Israeli society. We still have much work to do. Shira’s murder and the horrific terror attack in Orlando show that there needs to be a true effort to teach tolerance, and that a great struggle still lies before us. I congratulate the representatives of Open House for their work on behalf of the LGBTQ community, for an egalitarian, inclusive and tolerant discourse in Israel.”
Uri, Shira’s father, thanked the President for the meeting: “Such a clear, strong, firm, and public official statement calling for moderation, tolerance, and acceptance of others is something that the State of Israel needs today maybe more than anything. This is not a simple statement and it has a price as we have seen from time to time. It is a statement lacking in many places, and the words coming from this house are clear and consistent. For this our thanks go to the President and his office.”
The President responded, “Nechama and I are simply representing Shira.”
The Jerusalem District Court on Sunday sentenced Yishai Schlissel, who murdered teenage girl Shira Banki and attempted to murder others at the Jerusalem Gay Pride parade last August, to life in prison with an additional 31 years. The court also fined Schlissel about $530,000 as reparations to the Banki family and to the rest of Schlissel’s victims.
Judges Nava Ben-Or, Arnon Darel and Rafi Yaakovi wrote in their sentence: “We are dealing with a man who does not recognize a human before him, a cruel, dangerous and heartless man. A man for whom the Judaism of darchey noam-pleasant paths and roads of peace, which teaches that man—every man—is beloved because he was created in the Image [of God], is foreign.” Instead, the judges wrote, the defendant views himself as “He who kills and gives life, in the name of principles he appointed himself to enforce.” The judges ruled that “this dangerous man may no longer roam the streets of Jerusalem or anywhere else.”
The judges also wrote that “in his few days of freedom between arrests, the defendant extinguished the life of a young woman who was so life loving, Shira Banki z”l who was about 16 when she dies… He did not see her as a human being at all, he did not care a hoot whose body would absorb his knife.”
Schlissel’s sentence is comprised of a life sentence for the premeditated murder, 30 year for his six convictions of attempted murder counts and inflicting injury under aggravated conditions, and one additional year which is the suspended sentence for his previous sentence.
The judges were severely critical of police for failing to learn the lesson from the 2005 Gay Pride parade in which Schlissel had been arrested for attempted murder. They blamed police for failing to stop him from carrying out the same crime only a month after his release from serving ten years for the attempted murders.
The judges also criticized the legislator for failing to provide police with the legal authority to follow and supervise dangerous criminals who have served out their sentence.
Overcast skies and sporadic showers failed to dampen the enthusiasm of tens of thousands of marchers and spectators at this year’s Celebrate Israel parade in Manhattan.
The parade, which kicked off Sunday at 11 a.m. and made its way up Fifth Avenue from 57th Street to 74th Street, drew a heavy contingent of political leaders, celebrities, and Israeli dignitaries.
Among the elected officials present were New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who that very morning ordered state agencies to divest themselves of companies and organizations aligned with the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement; Mayor Bill de Blasio, who declared that New Yorkers “believe in Israel and we have a deep love for the people of Israel”; Senator Charles Schumer; State Assemblyman David Weprin; State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli; City Comptroller Scott Stringer; New York City Public Advocate Letitia James; and representatives Charles Rangel and Kathleen Rice.
Israeli officials at the parade included UN ambassador Danny Danon; consul general Ido Aharoni; Beersheba mayor Ruvik Danilovich; and members of Knesset David Bitan (Likid), Yoel Hasson (Zionist Union), Yakov Margi (Shas), and Yoel Razvozov (Yesh Atid).
Among the celebrities showing their support of Israel were honorary grand marshal Kathie Lee Gifford (the television personality told reporters she visits Israel every year) and renowned therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who turned 88 on Saturday. Westheimer, who served as a sniper for the Haganah during Israel’s war of independence, has become a fixture at the Celebrate Israel Parade.
As always, though, the heart and soul of the parade were the marching bands, singing groups, and hundreds of day schools and organizations representing virtually all segments of the Jewish community.
Even the wet weather was seen by many as a net positive. “Let the world see that rain or shine, we come here to rally for Israel,” said a teenager marching with Brooklyn’s Yeshiva Derech HaTorah.
“Our support for Israel Doesn’t Stop for the Rain” read a sign along the parade route.
Yocheved, a 15 year old waving Israeli flags with her parents and two younger sisters, said this was her fourth Celebrate Israel Parade and it was the weather that made it special.
Before you watch the video below, please read! (From the Facebook post)
Yesterday was awesome! I mean really awesome!
There were tens of thousands of Jews who gathered in Jerusalem to sing, dance and celebrate the Jewish return to Zion. Something we dreamed about for 2,000 years. After you watch it, please share it. It is important for all to see!
While so many joined the festivities of Jerusalem Day, left wing organizations attempted to ruin the party. Many left wingers curse the day we liberated Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. They actually treat this day with disdain. It is heartbreaking to see Jews siding with our enemies instead of focusing on rejoicing with the gift we were given; Jerusalem. It is horrible to hear Jews accepting historical lies our enemies are using to justify the murder of Jews.
In past years, there have been incidents of vandalism as individuals used the celebration to vent their anger at the Islamic terror and they inexcusably took it out on random Arab people. This behavior has nothing to do with the tens of thousands of others who were there to celebrate, but facts like that do not have any importance to the left wing activists I met.
The first activist I met was Sarah Tuttle Singer. For those who don’t know Sarah, she is the head social media person at the The Times of Israel.
She did not come to march, she came to stand against the march and when I asked if she was here to celebrate, all she could do was let out a gag as if to say, “you must be kidding me!”
She was there to report on what she was hoping to see, the vandalizing minority that people like Sarah thrive on. The problem is, she did not find them! NOT ONE!
While she must have been disappointed that she was unable to justify her rabid anti Jerusalem Day parade attitude, she was unable to admit it as she wrote her status that evening and said that others were saying this was one of the most calmest Jerusalem Day Parades. What do you mean others said, YOU WERE THERE SARAH! Can’t you admit you were MISTAKEN!
I asked her several questions about her political views which she had a hard time explaining and then I shut off the phone per her request. We did continue talking and as she usually does, she began to use profanity and sexual innuendo. She proudly told me how the Muslims in the area are her friends and I explained to her that is because she shares the same views as they do. I challenged her to go into the market and ask the first Muslim why they built a mosque on our Temple Mount and see how friendly they react. I offered to join her in the market as we challenge any Arab shop owner to give a date when Israel occupied Palestine from them or when such a country called Palestine ever existed. At first she agreed and then she said that she does not want to cause incitement…
CASE CLOSED! She did promise we would do so in the future…ya never know.
Next I met people from an organization call Tag Meir. This is an organization that fights Jewish violence and says absolutely nothing about Islamic terror. This is not a charge I am making, this is their charter.
The problem is not that this organization is opposed to random acts of violence by Jews, the problem is the Muslims they were giving flowers to are the ones who believe they are justified in attempting to destroy Israel and murder Jews. The leftists claimed 4 Arabs have been murdered by “Tag Mechir” over the last 68 years. I do not know who those 4 are but even if the number is true and unfortunate, not sure 4 murders justifies an organization to give flowers out to those who encourage the murder of Jews or focus on Jewish acts of vandalism while ignoring the thousands of Jews murdered by radical Islamic terror.
The bonus round was the Young Arab lady who was there and who claimed we occupied Jerusalem from the Arabs in 1984!!! When asked when an Arab Palestine country existed pre-Israel, she really lost it. Unfortunately my phone shut off and I did not get the Israeli women who claimed that Israel was the one who refused the partition plan because we wanted war with the Arabs. I tried to get her name to have her repeat her ludicrous claims afterwards but she naturally refused.
I then met a guy with another left wing, self hating organization that was there specifically to catch any Jews who bangs on Arab doors. The problem is not that they wanted to catch these vandals, the problem was they were spreading libels against the tens of thousands of people there as if they were involved in a crime that simply did not happen yet! They were there not to cover the event but to cover the person who is misbehaving and they made it perfectly clear that they were indeed generalizing.
Why is this important to see?
It is important to see because today’s war is an information war and it must be known that we have people from within who are simply misinformed and causing tremendous harm to Israel. We must not be silent! We must stand up and shout the truth.
Talking about shouting, my blood was boiling! How could Jews act like this and side with our enemies?