You probably saw the sad news that a young girl was stabbed at Jerusalem Pride. Well, now she has unfortunately passed away due to her injuries.
As saddening as this is, it doesn’t come as any real surprise as 16 year old Shira Banki was in critical condition after she was attacked.
She was one of six people who were stabbed when the attacker, Yishai Shlissel, set on Pride marchers with a knife during the annual Jerusalem pride on Thursday.
Shlissel was most likely attacking on “religious” grounds, as he was dressed in ultra-orthodox dress as he charged into the crowd, where he succeeded in stabbing six people before he was restrained by local police. He is currently in custody and awaiting trial.
Police have come under fire for not monitoring him more closely, who had only been released three weeks ago after being in prisoned for stabbing three people at a Pride in 2005.
There have already been a rally in response to the attacks, as people gathered to protest the attacks. A rally had already been planned in order to commemorate the death of two people in a shooting back in 2009.
Reuven Rivlin, the President of Israel, spoke in support of the ongoing struggle against homophobia, and spoke against the rising tide of it in the country: “Every society has extremist fringes, but today we have to ask: what is it in the public atmosphere which allows extremism and extremists to walk in confidence, in broad daylight? Citizens of Israel, a Jewish and democratic Israel, democratic and Jewish Israel, needs a wake-up call today.”
The head of Aguda, the Israeli National LGBT Task Force Chen Arieli, had this to say: “In addition to being a memorial service, the [rallies] will convey a message of protest and struggle. We demand a meticulous investigation of this incident and pray for the health of the injured. Every hate crime must be condemned and action must be taken to achieve equality and security for each and every one of us, without any discrimination.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also spoke out against the attack, called it a “despicable hate crime” and went on to say: “What happened in Jerusalem goes against the spirit of [the Jewish] people… We will continue to lead our country against hatred and homophobia.”
This might sound hollow, but I do mean this: this is a horrible loss, and I hope everyone else who was attacked recovers. RIP Shira Banki.