Shushan, the only
gay and lesbian bar in Jerusalem, decided to close its
doors this week after serving for four years as a place
where drag queens, Palestinians, and Orthodox Jews
intermingled, according to a story in The Times
was one of the few places where we could feel that we were
in a free world,” Yan Carmel, a 21-year-old
student at Hebrew University, told The Times.
Gays and lesbians
in Jerusalem frequently face disapproval and violence.
Last year, the city’s gay pride parade was moved to a
stadium because police feared they could not protect
marchers from attacks. The year before, an Orthodox
man stabbed three people during a street procession.
The bar has been
a target of violence as well. Two years ago it was
severely damaged in an arson attack. No one was injured, and
the attack helped the bar’s clientele become
closer-knit, according to patrons.
Shushan’s customers are scrambling to find other
“I’ve met three boyfriends there, and each
time was magical,” Gil Naveh, a 24-year-old who
performed in the club’s drag shows, told The
Times. “There was the time I got proposed to
outside Shushan, right in front of everyone.” (The