Words: Steve Brown
The Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem has called for a ban on Pride flags.
Aryeh Stern, 74, wrote to Mayor Moshe Lion calling for rainbow flags to be banned ahead of the city’s Pride celebrations next week because they make the ‘city ugly’.
In his letter, he wrote: “To my great regret, I request on this painful subject of the ‘March’.
“I know from the point of view of the law, the mayor has no ability to prevent the parade, and there I ask you at least give a ruling for the flags not to be waved, as they make the city ugly.
“I trust you to act wisely to remove this disgrace from us, especially now in these holy days between Jerusalem Day and Shavuot.”
When asked about his letter, he explained that it’s not appropriate for the ‘flags to fly’ in the city and said the rainbow flags hurt people’s feelings.
“I didn’t ask to ban parade participants from waving the flags,” he said.
“I asked that the municipality, which is hanging flags along the route, not do that, especially near the city’s magnificent synagogues.
“It’s not appropriate that the flags should fly there. Flags are an expression of friendship, participation and identification.
“We’re talking about hurting feelings – what they symbolise hurts the feelings of much greater portions of the population than those who do want the flags.
“I’m not trying to harm the parade itself or the people in it, or their personal behaviours.
“We have no interest in that. That’s not the issue. The issue is the public space, and I represent the opinion of many good people in Jerusalem.
“This is an explicit prohibition in the Torah, these are serious things, and for this we wave flags? Imagine if we were waving flags in support of a movement to eat pig.”