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Israel politicians decry gay tourism ads

May 29, 2007 at 2:47 PM

JERUSALEM, May 29 (UPI) -- Some Israeli politicians have sharply criticized a campaign aimed at promoting gay and lesbian tourism in Jerusalem.

The "Pink Jerusalem" campaign, which features photographs of gay and lesbian couples at tourist attractions and historic sites in the city, was created by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and the Homosexuals and Lesbians organization together with the country's Tourism Ministry, Ynetnews reported Tuesday.

"I unequivocally reject the attempt to focus a state-sponsored campaign on a delusional minority that suffers from a normative defect," Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai said. "Jerusalem and Amsterdam are the same for these people. Therefore, those who fail to recognize Jerusalem's holiness had better stay away from it."

Tourism Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said the campaign was designed by his predecessor, Abraham Hirchson. He said he did not agree with the decision.

Benyamin Elon, a member of Knesset from the National Union party, said Aharonovitch told him the photos were published without his knowledge and his office has been instructed not to continue the campaign.

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