Parents of teen murdered at Pride parade: We must all continue to march

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The parents of a teen murdered at last year’s Jerusalem Pride have spoken out – and urged people to attend this year’s celebration.

16-year-old Shira Banki was killed and five others were wounded last July, after an ultra-Orthadox Jewish man Yishai Schlissel went on a stabbing spree during Jerusalem’s Pride parade.

It later emerged he had been released from prison just three weeks before the attack, after serving a sentence for attacking the same parade in 2005, that Schlissel had made public threats to attack the Parade, and that police were aware of his threats in advance.

Schlissel was jailed for life plus 31 years for the attack.

Ahead of this year’s Jerusalem Pride, Shira Banki’s parents Ori and Mika Banki have spoken out to urge the LGBT community to continue to march.

Their letter shared via Jewish Open House LGBT Center is below:

After Shira’s murder, there were many voices saying that even though they don’t agree with the way of life LGTBQ community members live, and moreover they resist the concept of the Jerusalem Pride March- they still cannot accept violence as a legitimate demonstration of disagreement.

To all of these voices, and everyone who feels and thinks that way- we except to see you march this year and in the next years to come.

Marching on Jerusalem’s Pride March is not just about showing support to the LGTBQ community, it is also about supporting ideas of tolerance and equality for all. To us it also means standing in resistance to violence as a way of solving any dispute or argument.

Shira was not a LGTBQ community member, she believed that every human being has a right to be treated like one, no matter his or hers sexual orientation, we all deserve to be treated respectfully certainly not with violence or disrespect.

As opposed to Shira’s beliefs, others thought and still think, that mockery, humiliation, hatred and even murder incitement are aloud. All of these voices consciously and unconsciously- are responsible for her murder.

If we won’t standup against them, the next murder is yet to come. If you care for a better society, a better Jerusalem and Israel- you must march with us at this year’s Jerusalem Pride March.

We invite you to bring flowers and place them where a knife took Shira’s life on last year’s march.

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