Jerusalem rabbi says Pride parade ‘desecrates God’s name’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem has spoken out against the city’s Pride parade.

The city’s Pride parade takes place today, with thousands taking to the streets of Jerusalem one year on from a deadly attack at the parade.

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 last year.

Schlissel was jailed for life plus 31 years for the attack, and Banki’s parents had called on the entire community to rally round Pride this year.

But Jerusalem Rabbi Shlomo Amar hit out at the country’s PM for supporting the “embarrassing” parade.

Arutz Sheva reports he said: “This desecration of God’s name in Jerusalem is an embarrassing phenomenon, it’s one of the most serious sins in the Torah.

“You cannot make the unkosher kosher.

“It is simply horrendous that the Prime Minister supports these parades. It’s a huge embarrassment; he should come back and apologise in public.

“He cannot be the Prime Minister of Israel.”

Jerusalem’s Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi Aryeh Stern also urged the city to pull down rainbow flags near a Synagogue.

He said: “I have a modest request. Without getting into the controversy surrounding the ‘Parade,’ it would be appropriate to remove the flags from the street next to the Jeshurun Synagogue and Hechal Shlomo.”

.”I am certain that this gesture would lower the tension and show consideration for the holiness of Jerusalem.”

In an open letter earlier this month, Banki’s parents urged the whole Jerusalem community to come forward and march in solidarity at this year’s Pride on Thursday.

They wrote: “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, 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.”

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