The ongoing bombardment of Lebanon by Israeli forces could threaten the WorldPride event which is set to kick off on August 6 in Jerusalem.
The organisers have however re-iterated in a statement that Jerusalem is is not directly affected by the dispute.
“We are carefully monitoring the situation, while continuing our work towards August 6, the opening date of the Jerusalem WorldPride week. During the current hostilities, Jerusalem is a calm spot, with a variety of public events going on as scheduled. We advise our guests from around the world to follow the news together with us, and hope together with us for peace.”
Nevertheless, according to reports, the city is tense and the military’s presence has been heightened in anticipation of possible suicide bombers or an escalation of hostilities.
The week-long WorldPride, which is held in a different country and city every four years, has been condemned by conservative religious leaders from Muslim, Christian and Jewish faiths, as well as right-wing politicians. It was planned to take place in Jerusalem last year, but was postponed because of the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.
Meanwhile, WorldPride has come under further attack, this time from the IRAQI LGBT group, which is calling for a boycott of the event because of the bombings.
In a statement, the organisation says that, “We call for all LGBT world organisations to boycott Jerusalem WorldPride 2006, and support the Iraqis, Palestinians and Lebanese in their struggle and call for the occupying Israelis government to end their occupation and violence against innocent civilians.”
“IRAQI LGBT strongly condemns holding WorldPride in a city beleaguered by violence and conflict, and where the words ‘Love without Borders’ belie a reality of separation, ubiquitous borders, destruction of homes and livelihoods, land theft, gross human rights atrocities and violations, and the apartheid policies of Israel”, it says.
WorldPride describes itself as “a unique international opportunity to make a global statement, building upon decades of Pride events and the struggle of millions of individuals across the globe for self-fulfillment, for the possibility to be who they are and to follow their heart and their identity”.