About 200,000 marchers, including an estimated number of 30,000 tourists and many members of the Israeli parliament, gathered today for the largest gay pride parade ever held in Israel and the Middle East.

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After months of planning and hard work, the 19th gay pride parade in Tel Aviv succeeded in bringing together the largest number of marchers ever to promote gay rights in Israel and the Middle East. Over 200,000 people attended the event today. The slogan for this year’s march was “Let it Bi” in support of the bisexual community.

Meretz head Zehava Gal-On claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prefers to “fight for his political survival, rather than to fight for the gay community and its rights.”

Gal-On added: “I’m happy that more and more parties recognize that the gay community deserves equality and full rights, but I cannot help but ask, ‘Where have you been all this time?’ The Likud has been in power for about a decade and Netanyahu has been the prime minister for that period of time. What are you waiting for?”

Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash 90

“As much as the march is fun, in the end, it is an act of defiance, a statement for our society that we have a long way to go in Israel in order for people to be equal in our country,” Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said.