The stabbing attack perpetrated during the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade in the capital on Thursday, 14 Menachem Av, resulted in widespread condemnations from all walks of Israeli society.
Channel 2 TV News reported on Thursday night, a short time following the attack, that rabbonim and persons in the chareidi community were contacted for a statement, and Channel 2 made a point of reporting that without exception, all the persons contacted condemned the attack in no uncertain terms. The report added that the lifesaving role played by chareidim is evident as horrified Israelis watched the scene of the bloody attack and saw Ichud Hatzalah and Zaka volunteers responding to assist the wounded.
Rishon L’Tzion Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef Shlita:
One of the first to release a condemnatory response was Rishon L’Tzion Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef Shlita, who stated, “The status of the stabber in the streets of Yerushalayim is that of a murderer, and even worse. No person has the right to raise a hand against a Jewish soul, and in the name of religion yet. I daven from the depth of my heat for the recuperation of the injured and in the face of this hated I call on Am Yisrael to respond with achdus, pleasantness and tolerance”.
Chief Rabbi Dovid Lau Shlita:
Toras Yisrael prohibits all acts of violence and injuring others and how much more so when one injuries another and tries to kill him”.
Jerusalem Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar Shlita:
Our Torah says דרכיה דרכי נועם וכל נתיבותיה שלום’ and the criminal act committed by a single individual is not the Jewish way. I hereby condemn any manifestation of verbal violence and all the more so when we try to attack another”.
The rav warned, “Chalila that one dares to lift a hand against another, taking the law into one’s own hands – resulting in a Chilul Hashem. There are acceptable means of protest in Jewish law that include all the necessary precautions”.
President Reuven Rivlin:
Speaking at the celebration marking 30 years of the Israeli Opera, President Reuven Rivlin began by saying “We came together today for a festive event, but the joy was shattered when a terrible hate crime occurred here in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.
“People celebrating their freedom and expressing their identity were viciously stabbed. We must not be deluded, a lack of tolerance will lead us to disaster. We cannot allow such crimes, and we must condemn those who commit and support them. I wish the injured a full and speedy recovery.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu:
“A despicable hate crime was committed this evening in Jerusalem. In Israel everyone, including the gay community, has the right to live in peace, and we will defend that right. I welcome the Israeli religious leadership’s condemnation of this terrible crime, and I call on all those in positions of leadership to denounce this contemptible act. In the name of all of Israelis, I wish the wounded a full and speedy recovery.”
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein:
This is a shameful act that must be condemned outright. Our social rifts are widening and as such and these acts lead us to the brink of the abyss. It is our responsibility to permit one another freedom of expression and never to use violence. I call on the legal authorities to prosecute the perpetrator to the fullest extent permitted under the law.
Shas party leader Minister Aryeh Deri
יור ש”ס דרעי: אני מגנה בתוקף את ארוע הדקירה.
יש לגנות ולהוקיע כל גילוי של אלימות וצריך לנהל מלחמת חורמה כנגד כל מי שנוהג באלימות נגד כל אדם באשר הוא אדם.
Opposition leader MK Yitzchak Herzog:
The stabbing attack at the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade was a heinous hate crime. We must condemn this and punish the person who committed the act. I call on the police to allow the continuation of such events and not to surrender to the enemy of all that is good and beautiful in Israel. This is a struggle of principle and it is important for the image of the country. I stand behind the marchers and pray for the quick recovery of the injured.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat:
The heinous act that occurred tonight in Yerushalayim is an attempt to harm the fabric of life in the city and to prevent the fundamental right of freedom of expression. We will not accept an excuse for violence of any kind. In Jerusalem, there is room for everyone and we will continue to fight with Israel Police against all using violence to harm another. We will continue lending support to all groups and kehillos in Jerusalem and we will not be deterred by unacceptable means seeking to prevent this.
Kulanu party head Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon:
This is a hate crime which how no place in our Israeli democratic society. The time has come for severe punishment without compromise. It is out obligation as a society to permit every person to live his life according to his beliefs.
Lehava head Bentzion Gupstein:
We are opposed to stabbing Jews. We came to protest against the to’eva march for we believe such an event has no place in Jerusalem. We are dealing with a provocation that inflames the atmosphere and we are calling on Israel Police not to permit this event again in Jerusalem.
Kiryat Malachi police on erev Shabbos arrested someone in the Lachish district who used Facebook to post his approval of the attack, applauding the injuring of members of the gay community.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)