Mideast Report

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The city of Jerusalem must help fund a gay pride parade, Israel's Supreme Court ruled.

Judge Mishael Cheshin ruled Sunday that it is "inconceivable that the municipality would fund religious events but not pride events.''

The parade is slated for June 13.

Israelis grill 800 tons of meat over holiday

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israelis are expected to eat some 800 tons of meat over the Independence Day holiday.

A representative for meat producers in Israel told the daily Yediot Achronot that meat sales in May are expected to total 8 million servings of meat, hamburgers, kebabs, hot dogs and chicken products, worth about $1.7 million.

Barbecuing is one of the traditional ways Israelis celebrate Independence Day and the upcoming Jewish holiday of Lag B'Omer.

Genocide reference dropped for event

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A planned reference during Israel's 55th Independence Day celebrations to the Turkish genocide of Armenians was dropped after complaints from Turkey.

The reference was to be made in connection with an Israeli woman of Armenian origin who was chosen to be one of the 15 people selected to light the 12 torches at the traditional ceremony opening Independence Day celebrations.

Israel honors rescue and security groups

JERUSALEM (JTA) — This year's torch-lighting ceremony in Jerusalem kicking off Israeli Independence Day celebrations is honoring security forces, rescue personnel and volunteers.

The lighters include a Magen David Adom volunteer, an Egged bus driver who pushed a suicide terrorist off his bus and the founder of an organization whose fervently religious members scour disaster and terrorist-attack scenes for human remains that should be properly buried.

A total of 15 people will light the 12 torches, including a representative of security guard companies, who was added following an appeal from the Knesset speaker.

Several security guards prevented attacks over the past years, while others were killed or wounded in the line of duty.