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June 8, 2017 5:51 pm

Foreign LGBT Tourists, the ‘New Evangelicals,’ Drawn to Israel for Annual Tel Aviv Pride Parade

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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Marchers in a past Tel Aviv Pride Parade. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Around 200,000 people — including an estimated 30,000 foreign tourists — were expected to march in the annual Tel Aviv Pride Parade on Friday, the Israeli economic newspaper The Marker reported.

The Israeli economy stood to gain at least 100 million shekels (around $28 million) from the influx of foreign visitors who have traveled to the Jewish state to take part in Tel Aviv Pride Week events, the report said.

Nadav Peretz — owner of OUTstanding Travel — told The Marker that these tourists “become ambassadors for the liberal and progressive Israel.”

“It might sound weird,” he said, “but they are the ‘new evangelicals.’ They speak well about Israel and can’t wait to return.”

Meanwhile, a poll published by the Hiddush NGO on Thursday found that 79% of Israelis support the “implementation of marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples” in Israel — up three percent from last year.

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