Friday, July 31, 2015

History Repeats Itself

Six people have been injured in a stabbing attack at Jerusalem's gay pride march, according to police.

Emergency services say that two of the victims are in "serious" condition.

The stabber - who was arrested at the scene - has been identified as Yishai Shlissel, the man who was jailed for 12 years for stabbing three people at the same march in 2005.

Shlissel had only been released from jail a few weeks ago, after serving the majority of his term.

Several thousand participants at the 13th annual Jerusalem Pride Parade were marching along Keren Hayesod Street when the knifeman apparently broke through a police cordon to attack them.

The annual gay pride march through Jerusalem has been the source of heated controversy, due to the city's holy status to Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Since the 1990s, gay activist groups have held an annual mega-parade in the largely-secular Tel Aviv. However, in 2002 they began holding a smaller, far more contentious march through Jerusalem, amid bitter opposition from the city's largely traditional and religious residents.

Unlike the Tel Aviv event, the Jerusalem march is usually met with loud counter-protests. In 2005 tensions boiled over when a haredi extremist stabbed three participants before being arrested by police.

In recent years, however, protests have been smaller as some haredi leaders urged their followers to stay away from what they term the "abomination parade" altogether.

The fact that these parades are taking place in the holy city of Jerusalem. against the will of the vast majority of its inhabitants, is infuriating. However, to go and stab people...let's just say that it's not a good idea. In fact, gives the organizers of the march exactly what they want: attention. Ten years ago I prescribed the following with regards to this sad event:
My advice to all Jerusalemites is to stay away from the gay parade. There is no reason to go there and protest against the deviants. That is exactly what the organizers of the provocation desire. Instead, stay at home or go to the synagogue and do what we do best: pray.
It is interesting to note that the area which the march took place in, downtown Jerusalem, is slowly but surely turning ultra-Orthodox.

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