After clicking on the title, and perhaps expecting an anti-gay message, I must immediately disappoint. I am in favor of equal rights for members of QUILTBAG community and condemn all violence/discrimination against them. My title here was click-bait, as I simply oppose all closures of public streets.
And yet, I am personally in favor of running and runners, racing-cars, and bicyclers. I support anti-racism movements and respect non-Jews who support our nation. I oppose high prices of basic foods. I love local arts-and-craftists and musicians. I oppose coercive drafting/jailing of citizens who wish not to serve in our armed forces.
I challenge anyone to list a street-closing protest whose goals I don’t support!
Why then do I oppose the Pride Parade (and other public inconveniences)? Simply because instead of choosing a large-enough venue for their demonstration they asked my city to close public thoroughfares to traffic. And on a Thursday evening when many are heading to/from the Talpiyot shopping district to prepare for the Sabbath.
Also, I’m against the closing of public roads on the Sabbath and Holidays, even though driving offends some religious people.
I believe that members of QUILTBAG, Ethiopian, Hareidi, or other minority groups are capable of crossing a street safely even when cars and buses are driving on it. The idea that instead of correctly identifying the red/green cross-walk light, Pride Paraders see only Rainbow—or that Hareidi/Ethiopian’s see only black/white— is preposterous.
One may wonder whether my opposition to public-street closures of all kinds is absolutist. In short, yes, I am always opposed to the closing of public roads. Pope Francis came to visit? Leave my road open. President Obama wants to go to Jordan? Let him use a helicopter. Does Prime Minister Netanyahu want to take a lunch break at home? Let him sit in traffic (he can order from Knesset cafeteria, anyway).
Before ending, I must acknowledge the reality of times when roads will be blocked by pedestrians who don’t warrant arrest or dispersal by police. When Rabbi Ovadia Yosef passed away, for example, or a Belzer Hassid dynastywo/men got married the crowds of mourners/revelers were so great as to overflow the capacity of already large venues. However, these are historic occasions, not planned yearly events.
Some folks may claim that these events are ‘for the greater good.’ In the real world, however, unless this event of only a few hours help more than the tens-of-thousands residents they hurt the claim lacks seriousness.
Nows the time to end the Jerusalem Pride Parade, and change it to a Pride-Gathering-at-Public-Park!