ISRAEL - Annual Pride Parade in Jerusalem

Arno Froese

In a rainbow of color and diversity, an estimated 35,000 people took to the capital’s streets for the 17th-annual Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance, with numerous groups, organizations and public officials participating in the parade.

The march comes against the background of heavy protest by the LGBT community and large parts of Israeli society against the recently passed surrogacy law that excludes gay men from access to child surrogacy service, and vitriolic opposition to the gay community at large from hardline elements in the national-religious community.

Along the route, the marchers chanted slogans, including, “There are lesbians and gays in Mea She’arim too,” a reference to Jerusalem’s radical ultra-Orthodox neighborhood. Some chanted against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who reversed himself on the July 18 vote on surrogacy to deny government funding for gays.

Numerous banners and posters were waved by the participants, proclaiming, “Born this way,” “LGBT-phobia is racism,” and “I want to get married.” The latter references the lack of civil marriage in Israel.

Orthodox rabbi Aharon Leibowitz, a social activist, former member of the Jerusalem Municipal Council for the Yerushalmim Party and currently the party’s chairman of the board, was in attendance in solidarity with the LGBT community.

“Despite the fact that my presence here can be interpreted as heresy, and although I stand by Jewish law, it’s important for me to stand with a community that doesn’t feel safe, is oppressed. As a municipal leader, I feel an obligation to support this community’s right to express itself,” Leibowitz told The Jerusalem Post., 2 August 2018

Arno's commentary

What is the aim of the Sodomites? Political power. We read in Genesis 13:13: “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.” And, in chapter 19, verse 9, violence is used to enforce their way: “And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.”

The prophet Ezekiel speaks against Samaria, Sodom, and Jerusalem in chapter 16: “And thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters that dwell at thy left hand: and thy younger sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters. Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as if that were a very little thing, thou wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways…Neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine abominations more than they, and hast justified thy sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done” (verses 46-47, 51). The most holy city becomes the most corrupt. The city of the glory of the Lord will become the city of abomination. Nevertheless, in the end, God’s grace will break through, Jerusalem will be pardoned, and the glory of the Lord will be upon that city.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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