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Jewish Home Leader Admits Organizing Jerusalem Anti-Gay Parade With Donkeys and Goats

Intolerance: Anti-gay activists hold 2006 Jerusalem march to spotlight ‘deviant’ acts. Image by getty images

Bezalel Smotrich, who is ninth on Habayit Hayehudi’s Knesset list, in 2006 was involved in organizing the anti-gay Beast Parade in Jerusalem as an answer to the annual Pride Parade.

As Channel 2 News reported Sunday night, the Beast Parade was designed to illustrate the acts of homosexuals.

The Beast Parade was part of a protest against the Pride Parade, which was scheduled in the city for that day but was canceled. A demonstration for civil rights was held instead, at the stadium on the Givat Ram campus of Hebrew University.

The Beast Parade was organized by the non-profit organization Komemiyut, of which Smotrich is a leader.

Through a spokesman, Smotrich told Ha’aretz that “I did it when I was young, and I regret it.”

As part of the march, hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews and right-wing activists, mainly adherents of the ideology of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, marched with goats and donkeys in the Rose Garden in Jerusalem, holding signs with slogans such as “Be shocked, Jerusalem” and “Stop the impurity.”

The march’s organizers said, “At least the animals committed no sin.”

In an interview with Arutz Sheva before the event, Smotrich said the Pride Parade was “worse than the acts of animals.” He added, “This is a group of deviants carrying out an act that the Israeli public is revolted by.”

Although the recording on which Smotrich’s statements were heard has been available for on-demand listening on Arutz Sheva, a recent look on the site showed that it was recently removed.

A spokesman for Habayit Hayehudi commented, “The acts are offensive, and it is good that Bezalel himself sees it that way.”

The ninth slot on Habayait Hayehudi’s list is reserved for a member of the Tekuma movement, which joined with Habayit Hayehudi.

For more stories, go to Haaretz.com or to subscribe to Haaretz, click here and use the following promotional code for Forward readers: FWD13.

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