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Gay Pride Film Showing Disrupted in Jerusalem

A large police force was dispatched Monday evening to a Jerusalem café, after patrons that had gathered to view a video on gay pride received death threats from local residents.

Squad cars, riot police and an unmarked police car were sent to Hasalon café in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Nahlaot, in order to restore public order at a screening of a film that addresses the difficulties encountered in organizing the city’s gay pride march. The call was prompted after several neighbors threatened the 40 or so patrons, saying, “We will burn you” and “You deviates are making Jerusalem impure.”

The screening was arranged by Jerusalem Open House, a gay and lesbian community center, ahead of the gay pride march that is to be held next Thursday in the city, explained Noa Sattath, former executive director of Open House. Eitan Schechtman, Open House chairman, told Haaretz: “About three-quarters of an hour after the film started, a woman began to shout from the porch upstairs, ‘Don’t show a film about homos here,’ and then added a string of curses.” Schechtman said that shortly afterward, a man joined in, who also shouted and cursed at them. When he realized that the viewers were not dispersing, he decided to come down, holding a big stick in his hand, and began waving it around at the people there.

Sattath added that after a while he was joined by additional neighbors. “They started yelling, ‘You are deviates, you are homos, you are making Jerusalem unclean.’ He said, ‘We are going to burn you, we will kill you,’” related Sattath. According to other eyewitnesses, the man also said, “There is going to be murder here tonight.”

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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