Praise for gay pride parade attack posted in Jerusalem
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Praise for gay pride parade attack posted in Jerusalem

Public notices applaud the deadly attack carried out by Yishai Schlissel as an act of holy 'self sacrifice'

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

A wall of 'Pashkvilim,' or posters bearing communal announcements, in the Jerusalem Haredi neighborhood of Mea Shearim (photo credit: Ben Sales/JTA)
A wall of 'Pashkvilim,' or posters bearing communal announcements, in the Jerusalem Haredi neighborhood of Mea Shearim (photo credit: Ben Sales/JTA)

Posters praising last week’s deadly attack at the Jerusalem gay pride parade appeared in the city’s ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods Thursday morning.

The vast majority of Israelis have expressed grief and outrage at the killing of 16-year-old Shira Banki by ultra-Orthodox suspect Yishai Schlissel, who lashed out with a kitchen knife during the parade. Five other people were wounded in the attack.

Distributed by an extremist group calling itself “The Faithful Judaism,” the notices applauded the stabbing as an act of holy “self sacrifice.”

“May all of the people of God be zealous as you,” one poster read, as its authors expressed hope that similar acts would be carried out in the future.

Under the headline “And the Plague Shall be Stopped,” another poster praised the deadly attack as an “act of Phineas,” a reference to an Old Testament priest who personally executed an Israelite man and a Midianite woman while they were together in the man’s tent, by running a spear through them both. His action is thought to have brought an end to a plague sent by God to punish the Israelites for sexual encounters with the Midianites.

In another poster titled “Blessed are you Rabbi Yishai,” Schlissel was hailed as an emissary from God; the text on the poster quoted the Old Testament verse “Whoever spills the blood of the wicked is as if he brought a sacrifice.”

In Jerusalem’s northern neighborhood of Ramot, a construction site was vandalized with the words “Yishai Schlissel is the man.” Residents of the mostly religious neighborhood quickly erased the graffiti.

Hours later, similar notices condemning the attack were plastered across the Jerusalem’s religious communities, by a group calling itself “Truthful Judaism.” In large block font, the posters evoked the sixth commandment, and bore the text “Thou shall not murder.”

In less religious parts of the capital, death notices for Shira Banki were plastered across businesses, public spaces and private homes. In addition to the usual death announcements, the mourning notices carried a strong political message condemning the government’s perceived lax approach to Jewish extremism.

Posted by Ilana Sichel on pirmdiena, 2015. gada 3. Augusts

“We mourn our belonging to a society that values some lives over others, a society that implicates all of us in this crime,” reads one notice.

Earlier this week Schlissel’s mother apologized to the Banki family for her son’s actions, saying she “regretted” the “great tragedy” that claimed the life of the teenager.

An undated picture of 16-year-old Shira Banki. (Courtesy)
An undated picture of 16-year-old Shira Banki. (Courtesy)

Schlissel, from Modiin Illit in the West Bank, remains in police custody after being deemed psychologically fit to be incarcerated. Schlissel had been released from prison three weeks prior to the attack after serving 10 years for a similar attack at Jerusalem’s 2005 gay pride parade.

On Wednesday, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ordered Schlissel to undergo a second psychiatric evaluation to determine his fitness for trial.

Yishai Schlissel attacking people with a knife during a Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem Thursday, July 30, 2015 and inset Shira Banki in a picture dated November 2013 taken from her Facebook page. (AP/Sebastian Scheiner and Facebook)
Yishai Schlissel attacking people with a knife during a Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem Thursday, July 30, 2015 and inset Shira Banki in a picture dated November 2013 taken from her Facebook page. (AP/Sebastian Scheiner and Facebook)

JTA contributed to this report.

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