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08/06/2010Israeli float banned from Madrid's gay pride parade
Organisers of Madrid's gay pride parade, one of Europe's largest, said Tuesday they had banned an Israeli float from taking part in the event in the wake of the deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.
The float was sponsored by the municipality of Tel Aviv but Spain's Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals withdrew the welcome mat after learning that the mayor of the Israeli city has not condemned last week's naval raid, which killed nine pro-Palestinian activists.
"After this attack and taking into account that there has been no condemnation on the part of the mayor of Tel Avi we decided not to allow the float to participate," the federation's president, Antonio Poveda, told AFP.
"We see nothing wrong with Israeli organisations which are clearly in defence of human rights, taking part privately in gay pride," he added.
Tel Aviv had invited several gay rights associations to ride on its float during the parade in the Spanish capital on July 3 in order to promote its own gay pride parade.
Last year openly gay Israeli pop singer Ivri Lider performed at one of the official events leading up to the parade, which drew hundreds of thousands of revelers and featured about 30 floats.
An Israeli businessman taking part at a conference on renewable energy at the Autonomous University of Madrid suffered slight injuries by students protesting Israel's raid after they smashed the windows of the car he was traveling in.
Israel has said its commandos opened fire during the raid of the aid ship in international waters on May 31 after they came under attack.
© 2010 AFP
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