Gays and Vultures
The fiasco of the international pride parade in Jerusalem has precipitated a series of setbacks and debacles for the Israeli gay community that culminated in the recent shooting attack at a gay youth center in Tel Aviv. However, nothing reflects better the downfall of the gay community than the following story from Haaretz.
About ten years ago, the story goes, two young male vultures in the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo have started an intense romantic relationship than won headlines in local and international media. In line with Israel's liberal atmosphere of the time, the couple was not only allowed to form a socially acceptable same sex relationship, but enjoyed various other rights up to foster care and adoption. The two vultures were provided by the Jerusalem Zoo with an artificial egg which they incubated in turns for 45 days. Later the couple was allowed to adopt a vulture chick.
A few years ago, however, the story took an unexpected twist which in some ways parallels similar developments in the society as a whole. As Yehuda was growing increasingly disillusioned with the shallow ethical relativism of the pseudo enlightened post modernist materialism, he eventually opted out of the relationship for the sake of setting up a conventional family based on traditional values with a female vulture called Beatrix. According to Haaretz, this change of heart was no less complete than it was swift and unexpected.
"Yehuda has been living with Beatrix for a few years now, and they are a fantastic couple," Erez said. "Yehuda is more committed. He often doesn't even let Beatrix incubate the eggs and insists on doing it on his own."
"This is an insane coincidence," said Michal Erez, head of the birds section at the Jerusalem zoo, "but the spouses of both Yehuda and Dashik laid an egg on the same day, the eggs hatched on the same April day, and the two chicks were exactly the same weight. Their weight can vary between 120 and 200 grams, and I've never seen two hatchlings of the exact same weight."
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