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Towards a More Colorful Jerusalem

As Pride is right around the corner, Open House has started a huge campaign to get as many rainbow flags around Jerusalem as possible. While JOH might be a little rainbow oasis in a monochrome city (thanks, Rebekah!) all year round, we’ve been trying to change that. While this task might be easy in Tel Aviv, it’s quite the feat here in Jerusalem.

In general, the rainbow flag has, for pretty obvious reasons,  been a very contested symbol here. It’s been burned in public on multiple occasions and even just putting it up outside of our offices has been met with opposition. Perhaps this is why Open House has become so persistent on putting them up. While just putting up a rainbow flag may not be that big of a deal to us coming from Northampton, it’s definitely a bold statement here. One person I talked to at JOH described putting up the flag as a way to say “It’s our Jerusalem too”. So much of the seminar, and the topic of our last paper focused on who Jerusalem really “belongs” to, if anyone. It seems that so much of the dialogue about the city tries to justify Jerusalem as belonging to a certain group, and working at JOH has really gotten me thinking about who is actually part of that group.


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