A leading candidate for the position of Jerusalem’s mayor says that he would rather die than allow another Pride parade in the Holy City.

Israeli-Russian businessman Arcadi Gaydamak made the statement at a conference on Monday.

“They want to be proud? They’re allowed to. They want to demonstrate? Fine. But the streets of Jerusalem are a symbol, and parading on them would be an aggressive act against our tradition, against our values and against our morale,” he said.

“I would lie on the ground in order to block the march and would even die before I approve the pride parade in the city.”

He also slammed current mayor Uri Lupolianski for not having stopped previous parades from taking place.

Jerusalem’s annual Pride parade is a source of much controversy in the city with orthodox and fundamentalist leaders from the major religions opposing the event.

In previous years right-wing protestors have attacked marchers and in 2007 police arrested a man who was carrying a makeshift bomb which was mean to target the parade.

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