Hundreds Protest as Beersheba Pride Parade Canceled

A man waves a rainbow flag as thousands of Israelis from the gay community and supporters

The Times of Israel reports: Hundreds of protesters gathered Thursday outside the Beersheba city council building to protest the cancellation of the city’s first-ever pride parade.

Organizers had canceled the event Wednesday night to protest a High Court of Justice ruling that allowed police to bar participants from marching through the city’s main thoroughfare due to what police called “real concern” for participants’ safety in the face of threats.

Police officials had urged the court to uphold their decision for an alternate route, saying they could not ensure the safety of all parade participants in the open thoroughfare.

Zehava Galon, head of the left-wing Meretz party, joined the protesters. “The pride community has suffered a stinging blow,” she said. “The combined forces of the police and the [chief] rabbi of the city of Beersheba” — who had criticized the march — “have delivered a brutal blow to freedom of expression and the right to protest, which are basic civil rights.”

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