Just in time for the parade

Ten days ago, at the Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem, a Haredi man stabbed six people, one of whom died a few days later.

A police spokesperson identified the suspect as the same man who stabbed three people at the parade in 2005.

Yishai Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for that attack and was released from prison three weeks ago.

It’s too bad they released him from prison just in time for the parade. It’s also too bad they didn’t make sure he didn’t do it again.

The attacker emerged behind marchers and began stabbing them while screaming, before being tackled by a police officer.

Dramatic images showed the assailant reaching inside his coat and raising a knife above his head.

The BBC includes many of those images. They’re terrifying.

Carole Nuriel, a director at New York-based Jewish rights organisation the Anti-Defamation League, said the group was “shocked and horrified” by the attack.

“Jerusalem’s pride parade celebrates the city’s diverse and vibrant LGBT community. That celebration has once again been violated with violence and hatred,” she said in a statement.

She added: “We extend our solidarity with the LGBT community, and hope for the full recovery of the victims.”

Yes, but this is the crux that Israel and the US and Bangladesh and many many other countries constantly have to deal with. Religions are not necessarily in favor of vibrant diversity. Religions tend to prefer sameness on at least some issues, and sexuality is very high on the list of those issues. Israel is an avowedly religious state; that creates problems. Haredis are not fans of gender equality, let alone LGBTQ equality.

The event has long been a source of tension between Jerusalem’s secular minority and its Jewish Orthodox communities. Israeli police granted a permit for 30 right-wing religious activists to protest on Thursday by the Great Synagogue, close to the parade route.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews have previously gathered in the city’s Mea Shearim quarter to protest against homosexuality.

Israel’s homosexual community was the target of a 2009 attack in Tel Aviv, where a gunman opened fire at a centre for young gays, killing two people and wounding 15 others.

Well exactly. If you cherish and encourage and privilege the religious zealots, you’re going to get more and stronger religious zealotry.

Vasudevan Sridharan at the IBTimes reports that Schlissel had all but sent the police a note telling them he was going to attack the parade again.

Israeli authorities are facing a barrage of criticism after it emerged that Yishai Schlissel, who stabbed six people at a gay parade in Jerusalem, was a repeat offender and was released from prison only weeks ago.

Police blamed intelligence failure for not monitoring Schlissel, who served a 10-year jail sentence since 2005 for a similar attack, since his recent release.

Schlissel, who was originally given a 12-year sentence but released two years early, had made a series of statements from prison just before his release hinting that he was planning another attack on the LGBT rally.

Hmm. He’d done it before, for religious reasons. He was still a Haredi. He made a series of statements hinting he was going to do it again. He was released three weeks before the parade. Hmm.

Shortly after his release three weeks ago, Schlissel distributed hand-written anti-gay pamphlets calling the LGBT rally “shameful” and “blasphemous”.

The ultra-orthodox Jew wrote: “It is incumbent upon every Jew to risk beatings or imprisonment and together to stop the desecration for the sanctity of His name. If we refrain from declaring war, they’ll feel free to spread this shame all over the world.”

He also gave interviews to media outlets heaping scorn on the gay parade.

And then he went to the parade and stabbed six people. One of them, a girl of 16, is now dead.

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