Madrid Pride bans Israeli gay group over Gaza ship raid
A group of gay activists from Tel Aviv have been barred from marching in Madrid Pride next month.
Pride organisers say they are barring the group’s float because Tel Aviv’s mayor has not apologised for a raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in which nine people died.
The festival’s president, Antonio Poveda, told AFP: “After this attack and taking into account that there has been no condemnation on the part of the mayor of Tel Aviv we decided not to allow the float to participate.
“We see nothing wrong with Israeli organisations which are clearly in defence of human rights, taking part privately in gay pride.”
Eytan Schwartz, a spokesman for the city told Spain’s El Mundo newspaper: “I cannot recall anyone asking the Tel Aviv city hall to either support or condemn in this case. That is not their job.
“I also don’t recall Madrid’s gay organisations condemning any of the Palestinian terrorist attacks on cafes or buses.
Mr Schwartz added: “Don’t they know that Islamist fundamentalists don’t just want to finish off Israel, but that they also believe homosexuals should ‘cure themselves’ or die?”
“It is shameful that they should join with pro-Palestinian and fundamentalist groups which are not exactly tolerant with homosexuality,” he said.
Mr Schwartz also said the city had invited Madrid Pride organisers to join a march this week in Tel Aviv, which he said was the “only place in the Middle East where you can be gay in public”.
Nine pro-Palestine activists were killed in the March 31st event when Israeli commandos opened fire on a ship in an aid flotilla.
Israel says soldiers opened fire because those on the ship attacked them. The passengers say they did not provoke the soldiers.