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Four largest Israeli Pride Prides — Haifa, Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva and Tel Aviv-Yafo have been postponed this year in the light of COVID-19. Instead, they will take the celebrations online! By Tanvi Jain
The famous Pride Parade of Tel Aviv, Israel, which takes place in June every year, has been postponed this time, in order to avoid overcrowding amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pride month witnesses thousands of people from the LGBTQ+ community coming together to celebrate, host events and parties across the country. Organisers, however, hope for the event to take place by the end of summer.
The decision to postpone the parade was taken jointly by four of the largest Israeli Pride Parades — Haifa, Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva and Tel Aviv-Yafo.
Tel Aviv’s Pride Parade is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading LGBTQ+ events, attracting thousands of visitors from around the globe. In June, the city plays host to the largest Pride Parade in the Middle East.
Last year, as many as 2,50,000 people attended the event in Tel Aviv. However, this year, the organisers have decided to host virtual events to celebrate with the rest of the world in the Pride month of June. The city has also been recognised as the best international city for Pride and the best holiday destination for LGBTQ+ travellers, by various media houses.
Apart from Tel Aviv, the Pride march of Jerusalem also garners much attention for the trouble caused to the LGBTQ+ community due to prevailing religious and political tensions in the city. Moreover, Be’er Sheva and Haifa also witness thousands of participants every year.
According to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tel Aviv-Yafo Mayor, Ron Huldai, had in 2019 said, “Tel Aviv, which has already been acknowledged as the world’s ‘most gay-friendly city’ and as a beacon for liberty, pluralism and tolerance is proud to be home to a large and diverse LGBTQ population. The Tel Aviv Pride Parade is not just a celebration, but an important declaration of support and an opportunity to promote equal rights for all. We will continue to support and celebrate our local LGBTQ culture and act as a welcoming destination for the International gay community.”
Another highlight of last year’s parade was International Ambassador for Tel Aviv pride 2019, actor, writer, producer, magician, and singer, Neil Patrick Harris, who had visited the country for the first time that year.