Yulia Karra
May 28

Jerusalem’s Pride and Tolerance March organizers have announced that they have teamed up with the Hostages and Missing Families Forum for this year’s event, set to be held under the banner “Born to Be Free.” 

The Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, which organizes the event, said the slogan calls for the release of the 132 Israeli hostages held by Hamas, as well as for the safer life for the LGBTQ community.

“This cooperation was born out of a moral-based identity, and will call from the capital of Israel for the return of the hostages, for freedom and liberty, for the right to life, for security and equal rights in Israel,” said the organizers in a statement. 

“We ask the participants to respect the complexity of this year’s march, to be courteous to other marchers, to minimize celebratory elements, including playing music that is not suited for the spirit of the time.”

The attendees have been asked to bring yellow flags as a sign of support for the hostages, in addition to the traditional rainbow pride flags. 

The march will be held May 30, just a day before the official start of Pride Month

A political statement

Unlike the Pride March in Tel Aviv, which was scrapped this year due to the war, the event in Jerusalem is generally seen as a more political one. 

An initiative founded in memory of Major Sagi Golan — a member of the LGBTQ community who fell in battle on October 7 — said that its members will participate in the march under the banner “Equality in Life.”

This year’s march will take place with the support of the Department for Social Justice and Gender Equality of the General Federation of Labour in Israel and other partners.

The usual route

It will follow its usual route, which is coordinated and approved by the Jerusalem District Police. Around 2,000 police officers are expected to safeguard the march along its route.

The march will stretch from the Liberty Bell Garden towards Paris Square, through King George Street, Hillel Street, Menashe Ben Israel Street and end at The Independence Park.

The opening rally at Liberty Bell Garden will feature speeches from Opposition Leader MK Yair Lapid, social activist Yaya Fink, Rabbi Tamar Elad Applebaum and Rabbi Oded Mazor.

The closing rally at The Independence Park will feature families and relatives of the hostages, representatives of bereaved families and communities evacuated from their homes following the October 7 attacks.

The closing rally will also feature performances from drag artists Fluid Snow and Kimberly Swan, as well as singer David Lavi and cantor Neriah Raphael Knafo.

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