Monday, August 10, 2015

The Unreported Reality of Homophobia in Jerusalem

כ"ה לחודש החמישי תשע"ה
YNET WATCH: What happens when gay couple walk down Jerusalem street?Only days after the lethal stabbing attack on the city's gay pride parade, Shai and Ophir's modest show of affection is met with abuse.
Nir Cohen, 08.09.15 
Last Wednesday, less than a week after the lethal stabbing attack during the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade, Shai and Ophir went for a stroll in the city center, holding hands. Ynet's hidden camera accompanied them – and this is what happened. 
What happens when gay couple walk down Jerusalem street?
Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Nope. I am not embedding this video here.

I have seen plenty of men in Jerusalem, gay and straight, showing affection for each other in public. Men holding hands received looks, yes, But, abuse? No. Perhaps this was because of the subtle and modest way in which these men carried themselves, in quintessential, Jerusalemite fashion. They could have been brothers or best friends from the army, with their arms around each other, and kissing each other on the cheek.

Ever seen two groups of North African and Iraqi, young men meet each other on the street? Many have the ritual of each member of one group kissing each member of the other group. I guarantee you that no one will be calling any of them sexually abusive names!

Much has been written on the differences between Jerusalemites and Tel-Avivim. Regardless of being religious, Haredi, or even secular, they are different. Many even pride themselves on being able to tell the difference between them, even from afar.

Where are Shai and Ophir from? Jerusalem? Or Tel-Aviv?

Israel is on the Mediterranean Sea, and in the Middle East, areas known for public displays of affection between men. You can also just read the Torah, and the rest of Tana"kh (Bible) and you will know what I mean.

Unfortunately, Shai and Ophir cheapen this tradition with their unforgivable, fashion violations!

These men clearly wanted to make a point. Hidden cameras or not, their methods were clearly NOT scientific.
Pride Flag placed coincidentally in front of the Orthodox Union [OU] Israel Center, Jerusalem.
(Photo Credit: Help me find this photographer)
In my not so humble opinion, the most significant, and the most interesting part of this video is that none of the nasty comments cam from anyone visibly religious looking. There were two dumbfounded faces, one from a Haredi looking couple, and one from a Haredi looking boy.

All of the comments appeared to have come from non-religious looking people, and from women almost as much as men.


Granted, these men did not appear to be strolling through primarily religious neighborhoods. Nevertheless, the video shows that whatever negative attitudes exist in Jerusalem toward gay men, their source originates from across the spectrum, and not just from the Haredi sector, which one might expect, and I believe this video might not have minded to prove. However, if this is it failed.

Why was this not mentioned by left-wing, YNET?

This video seemed to be a version of the 10 Hours Walking in New York as a Woman (or African American or Jew) videos.

I wonder how much footage these men and their crew had to film in order to obtain the less than two minutes, jam packed with nasty comments.

I am guessing quite a bit. Say 10 hours?


Neshama said...

Regardless YNet's purpose, I find this repulsive because it was deliberate flaunting of a personal relationship. The public need not be insulted, because they want to 'break the ice" for others to parade openly. The fact that YNet "staged" the whole thing is media manipulation for this couple's purpose, and lands them in the trash.

PS I wish people would not use the term homophobia, because it is really being in tune with the Torah principles ----- they are "normal" people.

Esser Agaroth said...

The Israeli News Media are definitely "involved."

Often, I use titles which will grab a wide range of people's attention, thus the term "homophobia."

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