Ultra-Orthodox anti-gay nuts, frustrated with not being able to stone homosexuals to death as the Mosaic law demands, decided instead to try and stone the mayor of Jerusalem:
Mayor Uri Lupolianski had gone to an Orthodox neighborhood for a blessing service at a community hall. Haredi protestors gathered in front of the building and began throwing stones.
The mayor, a local rabbi and others were trapped inside until police came to their rescue.
Surrounded by police the mayor was pelted as he was taken to a waiting car and spirited out of the area. The Haredi believe in the strict observance of the Bible. Stoning in an ancient biblical punishment for sin.
And get this: Luplianski is Orthodox himself and is anti-gay! But apparently not anti-gay enough for these lunatics. By the way, the parade has been rerouted to afford better police protection:
The parade now will be held on the street linking the Knesset and the Prime Minister's Office rather than through central Jerusalem - an area that police can tightly control.
The sect has said it still intends to disrupt the parade.
And frankly, I hope the Israeli police have loaded weapons and snipers on the rooftops. Last year there were 3 men killed during this march and this year will be much worse. Anyone threatening a marcher should be taken out before they can hurt those who are merely exercising their rights.
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"Surrounded by police the mayor was pelted "
So despite being surrounded by police they still hucked stones at him. Did the police do anything? Was anyone arrested for assault on the mayor? If not then it really doesnt bode well for the people who are going to march.
The Open House has compromised with the police and this will no longer be a parade, but a rally in the Hebrew University Stadium, and in exchange there will be no violent demonstrations by the crazies. This came after the "phenomenal" deeds of the Israeli army yesterday, and the tons of terror alert now flooding in from everywhere (and for which I can't really blame them) would have led to a cancellation anyway.
The rabbis also want all detainees of the riots released and a statement saying that no other such parade will be held this year, but the police has not said yes to this.
Thoughts from Israel:
My friends and I are extremely pissed at the compromise and the mayhem around it, but are still going. We can understand why the compromise was made, but it is still nauseating.
Nitpicking, but I don't think an Orthodox Jew believes in "strict observance of the Bible".
Can you explain in more detail? What did the Israeli army do yesterday?
Yeah, I never understood why news agencies always refer to the Torah as the Bible. It's missing a testament and has a significantly different tone afterall. Maybe the AP just thinks that all Jews are for Jesus?
Rather interesting editorial
That's right, the election coverage drowned out the incident (polite way to call a slaughter).
Yesterday morning, in response to yet another volley of "Kasam" rockets from Gaza into the Israeli town of Shderot which usually hit nothing, the Israeli army replied with 11 rounds of 155mm artillery. The firing computer had some technical failure and instead of hitting the rocket operators (which never works anyway, according to a report compiled by the army instead) seven of the eleven rounds hit a residential neighborhood in Beit Hanoon (in Gaza) and killed 20 people while they were sleeping, a third of them children. As a result the informal ceasefire prohibiting terrorist attacks in Israel was lifted, and everybody here (especially the police) is on edge with more than 80 different terror alerts issued.
For that reason, the chief of police announced that he wouldn't be able to secure the gay rights march since he had to deal with planned violent protests by ultra-orthodox Jews, expected riots following the Friday prayers at the main Masques following the slaughter in Gaza, and all the terror alerts and extra security needed.
As a compromise the Open House for Gays in Jerusalem agreed to make it a rally and not a march, because they were afraid that another postponement will make things even more difficult.
Sometimes I really hate my country.
Ed, do you possibly have some spam filter up, since I sent you an update with a question yesterday and I was wondering if it came through.
I found http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haredi_Judaism to be a useful resource in understanding this topic. Marvin, perhaps you could comment on its accuracy.
It's not bad, but it's missing an accurate snapshot of the current state of Israeli affairs.
The Haredi community is in extreme stagnation. Many more people go to Yeshivas than need to, not enough go to work, and thus the Haredim are the among the poorest citizens of Israel.
The perpetrators of most of the riots are Yeshiva dropouts who can't go into the army or get jobs, since that would cut off their funding, and thus they spend most of their days on the streets.
More later when I have more time, but a more focused question would be good.
Correction: three people were stabbed last year, but they all survived. One of them, Adam Russo, spoke at this year's rally, he brought with him the rainbow flag with his blood on it from the assault.