Opinons on Ultra-Orthodox Hatred Behind the Stabbing at Jerusalem Gay Pride

Security forces moved to arrest Yishai Schlissel, who carried out a similar attack 10 years ago. Credit Sebastian Scheiner/Associated Press

 

Gay Pride Parade, Jerusalem, 2010

Gay Pride Parade, Jerusalem, 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this world we have several religions with fundamentalist groups which can be a danger for others in society.

According to is the stabbing attack at Jerusalem’s gay pride parade on Thursday the result of a failure by police intelligence. Jerusalem police admit that they knew Yishai Schlissel was released from prison in June after serving 10 years in Ma’asiyahu prison for a similar stabbing attack at the 2005 Jerusalem Gay Pride parade, where he wounded three people.

Since being released from prison, Jerusalem District Intelligence flagged Schlissel as someone who was liable to act against members of the gay community. However, these intelligence assessments did not specifically refer to Schlissel targeting this year’s parade.

 

You may wonder how it is possible that when people do seem to have an unstable mind they are not followed up or demanded to have medical treatment. Strange that no one is assigned to analyse their data and ask the important questions:

Did they undergo a process of rehabilitation? Did they express regret over their crimes? Are there signs that point to the likelihood that they will resume criminal activity?

Schlissel appears to have announced his intentions in leaflets distributed in his hometown of Modiin Illit shortly before the event, residents said.

“For our many sins, the evil ones want to have a parade of abomination in the king’s city once again…,”

“God is testing us to see if we’re faithful to him and if we care about the desecration of his great name or that everyone just care about themselves, about their own body, so it appears that it’s the duty of every Jew to expose himself to beatings and imprisonment and in my opinion to danger too, and join together to stop and abort this sacrilege.” {How Israel Police Allowed Gay Pride Stabber To Strike Again}

The Judea and Samaria Police District said after the attack that it was not up to them to keep track of Schlissel after his release, even though he resides in their jurisdiction, because his crime was perpetrated in the Jerusalem district.

Now the police will be asked why Schlissel was not required to report to a police station during the parade. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has already issued a condemnation of the attack and instructed police to establish a panel to examine the failures that led to the attack.

The police arrested a man identified as Yishai Schlissel after an attack on a gay pride parade in Jerusalem on Thursday. Credit Sebastian Scheiner/Associated Press

 

Religious Jews classify the gay people as impure, whore, fornicator, idolater, abomination, enemy of Israel, animal, beast and as criminals under Jewish law, and thus enemies of Israel who will bring divine collective punishment. Gays have even been blamed for Hurricane Katrina, tsunamis, and earthquakes. Killing them is an act of self-defense.

It’s not just the same would-be murderer who brandished a knife at the parade. It’s also some of the same rabbis, making the same comments. It’s the same posters plastered on the walls of Ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods. It’s the same newspapers – including The Jewish Press, Hamodia, Yated Neeman, and Yeshiva World Publications – the last of which, even today, described the parade as the “Abomination Parade.” “Abomination,” by the way, is actually a poor, hateful translation of the Hebrew word Toevah, which is used in the Bible to describe not only male anal sex but idolatry, the eating of shellfish, and Israelites and Egyptians having a meal together. A better translation is “taboo.”

But then, we know that this murderer wasn’t going after shrimp-eaters.

Michaelson blames the leaders of those communities, in Jerusalem and in Israel, for an unremitting chorus of hate speech, hateful actions, and, at best, standing by idly while their neighbours’ blood is spilled.

It is one thing to have an expansive view of the halachic prohibition on male anal sex, or even to believe that the secular legitimation of same-sex relationships will impact public morality for the worse. It is quite another to tolerate (or promote) the kinds of statements routinely made about LGBT people in the Haredi (and sometimes, Modern Orthodox) press and public square.

Just as a torrent of anti-semitic exhortations will inevitably lead to violence – an article leads to a chant leads to a swastika leads to an attack – so too a torrent of anti-gay exhortations.

Erez Harari, a psychologist who works with gay Orthodox Jews, agreed, saying he sees the effects of communal anti-gay animus every day.

“The entire Orthodox community is responsible for this attack when it cultivates a culture of hatred toward fellow Jews rather than acceptance and tolerance,”

he told the Forward.

“Major changes need to happen and the leaders of the Orthodox community need to step up and do more to put a stop to these atrocities. Silence is complacency.” {The Ultra-Orthodox Hatred Behind the Stabbing at Jerusalem Gay Pride}

A writer who says he is “Harei ani k’ben shivim shana…” behold, he is like a 70 year old, uttered by the young Rabbi Elazar Ben Azarya, newly appointed at age 18 to the position of Nasi (leader of his people) writes

So even though you may not hate gay people per se, or even give it that much thought, if you’re not confronting the bigotry they experience every time you see it, you’re contributing to the problem. You’re not causing it directly, but you’re letting it happen. You’re fostering an environment in which gay people feel unsafe, and people who hate gay people feel safe. You should never want to be a part of something like that.{How Casual Bigotry Causes Violence}

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Filed under Crimes & Atrocities, Juridical matters, Political affairs, Religious affairs

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