Israel Weekly News Roundup, June 3 2022
5 Things you need to know
Flag March: tens of thousands of men, women and children participated in the Jerusalem flag march held earlier this week, under heavy police protection. Most of them, from movements and organizations affiliated with religious Zionism and the far right. For the past 34 years, the flag march has been the largest public outdoor event on “Jerusalem Day”, which marks the reunification of Jerusalem after the 1967 war, and the de-facto annexation of East Jerusalem by Israel. In recent years, the march has been at the center of bitter political controversy, due to its organizers insistence on marching through the Muslim quarter of the Old City, on their way to the Western Wall, in a manifestation of Jewish sovereignty. Last year, the flag march and the prayer of Jews at the Temple Mount, part of the Al Aqsa Mosque, caused a severe escalation of violence in Jerusalem, which expanded to mixed Jewish-Arab cities and towns around the country, and yet another military campaign in Gaza.
For years, left-wing political leaders and activists have called on the Minister of homeland security and the Chief of Police not to allow the flag march to go through the Damascus Gate and the Muslim quarter, and have condemned violent provocations by the marchers towards the Palestinian inhabitants.
While this year’s flag march ended without an outbreak of yet another cycle of violence, journalists and activists recorded numerous cases of violent clashes and aggressive behaviors by parade participants, including battering on closed doors of shops and homes with flag sticks, and chanting of nationalist songs and slogans such as “may your village burn”, “Muhamad (the prophet) is dead”, and “Shireen is dead”, referring to Shireen Abu Akleh, the Palestinian journalist who was killed while reporting from Jenin.
Jerusalem Pride Parade: thousands participated in the 20th Jerusalem parade for pride and tolerance, under heavy police protection. This, following death threats directed at the parade’s producers and politicians who endorsed it. Several hours before the parade, the police apprehended the man who sent menacing messages, under a fake profile called “the friends of Shay Schlissel”, an ultra-orthodox man who was convicted of the murder of 16-year-old Shira Banki at the Jerusalem pride parade in 2015.
The parade, along with gay pride events scheduled to take place around the country, comes at a time of public attacks on the LGBTQI+ community and its leaders, by the conservative news and content outlet, channel 14. In a print and online issue titled “LGBTQ+land” the authors, associated with the conservative right, waged an attack on LGBTQI+ lifestyle and political influence.
The Jerusalem parade was attended by several government ministers, including ministers of health, transportation and social equality, and the ambassadors of the US, Canada, and the Netherland, among others. Speaker of the Knesset, Micky Levy (Yesh Atid) endorsed the parade for the first time in his political career. In his speech, which opened the event, Levy said that he decided to attend and speak up, in light of the unacceptable attack on the gay community, and in support of its struggle for equal rights.
In conjunction with the parade, the far-right Lehava movement and other right-wing activists held a counter protest, holding signs reading “a father and a father is not a family,” “Jerusalem is not Sodom” and “enough with LGBT terror.”
Israel May Face A Significant Shortage of Teachers Next School Year: Thousands of teachers protested at Habima Square in Tel Aviv on Sunday, with the support of many parents and children. The Union of the Teachers are demanding a raise in the salaries, warning that their salaries are so low and the job is so demanding, that thousands of teachers are leaving the system and new ones don’t want to commit to the profession. The budget of the ministry of education is the highest compared to all other ministries, yet the salary of an individual teacher is low, compared to salaries of other professions in Israel, or compared to the salaries of teachers in other OECD countries. Teachers are also taking some steps to bolster their claim. The current school year in Israel ends on June 20th for middle and high schools, and on June 30th for elementary schools.
Uri Zohar, One of Israel’s Most Acclaimed Film Makers, Dies at 86: Uri Zohar made some of the most creative films in the 60s’ and 70s’. He then became ultra-orthodox Haredi, a move that shocked the country. Zohar rebuilt himself as a Haredi personality. He was a well known cultural, religious and social persona in Israel. He moved from the center of Israeli Bohemia, to the center of one of the closest communities in the country. He replaced what may have appeared to be a wild life with freedom of choice, weed, music and free sex, with a life in the Haredi community in which you can’t do anything unusual or different without consulting with and obtaining approval from your Rabbi.
“The Camera Of Doctor Morris” Is the Winner of the 24th DocAviv International Documentary Film Festival: The film, which is based on hundreds of family films, tells the story of a British Jew who used to travel the world in a trailer and finally settled in Eilat, the southern town in Israel, on the northern shores of the Red See. This film would be the film that will represent Israel in the competition for the Oscar in the documentary category. At the international DocAviv competition the winner was Children of the Mist, which tells the story of a community in Vietnam where women are kidnapped for marriage at an early age.
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