The Open House has been organizing the Pride and Tolerance Parade in Jerusalem for almost two decades. Since 2002, we have been marching in Jerusalem in a stubborn struggle for its presence in our city, for our right to liberty, equality, personal security and public space, and to promote pluralism and tolerance.
In Jerusalem, a city where miracles happen every day, the parade is another small miracle that manages to combine the multifaceted character of the city and the multifaceted character of the proud community.
Since the first parade in 2002 the parade has been accompanied by extremist forces seeking to prevent its existence. These attempts culminated in two stabbing incidents, in the summer of 2005 and in the summer of 2015, when the late Shira Banki, not yet 16 years old, was murdered in Shani, who came to march with her friends. In the face of such a heinous manifestation of blind hatred, we have experienced great support in recent years. Every summer, tens of thousands of Israelis from all over the country and from diverse sectors and publics walk with us hand in hand, as well as guests from all over the world.
Although the parade is produced by the Open House in Jerusalem, it is the parade of us all. Jerusalem is the capital of the state, where the Knesset, the government and the Supreme Court sit – the decision-makers who shape the public and legal reality. It is also a city where populations meet, a complex social fabric and the spiritual center of the three monotheistic religions, a holy city for billions of believers.
The parade carries a protest and struggling nature, celebrating the community and our achievements in the face of impossible challenges. The parade marks the miracle of struggle and protest, and thanks to it, our voices resonate throughout the country and around the world.