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Parents of slain teen Banki urge public to attend Jerusalem pride march

Ahead of July 21 parade, Ori and Mika Banki call on Israelis to honor their murdered daughter Shira by rejecting violence

Shira Banki, in a picture dated November 16, 2013, taken from her Facebook page.
Shira Banki, in a picture dated November 16, 2013, taken from her Facebook page.

The parents of Shira Banki, the 16-year-old girl who was killed in an attack on participants in last year’s Jerusalem gay pride march, have called on the public to participate in this year’s march.

“After Shira’s murder, there were many voices saying that even though they don’t agree with the way of life LGBTQ community members live, and moreover they resist the concept of the Jerusalem Pride March, they still cannot accept violence as a legitimate demonstration of disagreement,” Ori and Mika Banki wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday.

“To all of these voices, and everyone who feels and thinks that way — we expect to see you march this year and in the years to come,” they wrote.

Shira’s parents invited participants in the march to bring flowers to place at the site where the 16-year-old was stabbed and 10 others injured by Yishai Schlissel, who had been released from prison several weeks before the parade after serving 10 years for a similar attack at the Jerusalem gay pride parade in 2005. He was sentenced to life in prison in June in Jerusalem District Court, and ordered to pay compensation to Shira’s parents.

Participants in the gay pride parade in Jerusalem flee stabber Yishai Schlissel, July 30, 2015. (Photo: Koby Shotz)
Participants in the gay pride parade in Jerusalem flee stabber Yishai Schlissel, July 30, 2015. (Koby Shotz)

“Marching on Jerusalem’s Pride March is not just about showing support to the LGBTQ community; it is also about supporting ideas of tolerance and equality for all. To us, it also means standing in resistance to violence as a way of solving any dispute or argument,” the Bankis wrote.

סמוך אחרי הרצח של שירה היו קולות רבים שאמרו שאף אם הם לא מסכימים עם דרך החיים הלהטבי"ת, ואף אם הם מתנגדים לקיומו של…

Posted by ‎אורי בנקי‎ on Tuesday, July 12, 2016

“Shira was not a LGBTQ community member — she believed that every human being has a right to be treated like one, no matter his or her sexual orientation. We all deserve to be treated respectfully, certainly not with violence or disrespect,” the post said.

The 15th Jerusalem Pride March, which is being held in memory of Shira Banki, is scheduled for July 21. The march is produced by the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, a non-profit organization for the LGBTQ community of Jerusalem and surrounding areas.

“If we won’t stand up against them, the next murder is yet to come. If you care for a better society, a better Jerusalem and Israel — you must march with us at this year’s Jerusalem Pride March,” the post concluded.

Hundreds of friends, classmates, teachers, members of the LGBTQ community, and supporters gather around candles in downtown Jerusalem on August 2, 2015, to mourn the death of Israeli Shira Banki (AFP/GALI TIBBON)
Hundreds of friends, classmates, teachers, members of the LGBTQ community, and supporters gather around candles in downtown Jerusalem on August 2, 2015, to mourn the death of Israeli Shira Banki (AFP/GALI TIBBON)
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