Not really what I had in mind to start this blog with, but this is the hand I was dealt. Herewith, the Friday email.
We had a very somber day on the Jewish calendar (9 of Av), so the rabbis decided to liven things up a bit with a festival on the 15th of Av (Tu B’Av). All the women dress in white – to make it difficult to determine social status – dance in the field and get chosen by a man for marriage. Thankfully, Israel doesn’t do that anymore, but they did turn the holiday into a sort-of Israeli Valentine’s Day without all the marketing. It’s a popular day to get married and is generally considered to be the beginning of the happy season in Israel.
The LGBTQ community decided to have the Pride Parade on Tu B’Av (Thursday). Jerusalem’s Pride Parade is pretty low-key and is mostly about support for the community and highlighting issues facing the LGBTQ community. This year the focus was on transgender issues. (This is not a new issue for Israel. One of our most famous singers and winner of Eurovision is a transgender person, Dana International.)
The gathering point was across the street and since I’ve gone before, I stepped out to take a picture and sent my psychic moral support.
I’m glad I didn’t go. Six people were stabbed during the parade by, unsurprisingly, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man. The police were on alert for Orthodox men, but he snuck in and started stabbing.
Now here’s where it gets weird. The stabber (there are pictures, it’s not a question of if he did it) is the same guy that perpetrated the stabbing at the Pride Parade 10 years ago. Let me repeat that. It’s the SAME GUY! He was released from jail 3 weeks ago after serving 10 years of his 12 year sentence. Somehow, the police did not think he was a threat.
So Israel went to sleep on the holiday of love with the shedding of blood in the name of intolerance.
And then we woke up to more of the same. Jewish extremists (not yet caught, so not sure) set 2 Palestinian houses on fire. A baby was killed and a family is in the hospital in critical condition. It was what is called in Israel a “price tag” attack. A price tag attack is essentially a provocative attack that says “this is the price you pay for hurting us.”
Every member of the government is issuing statements on both issues. This is terrorism pure and simple. I hope that our government finally starts to see that our country needs real leaders and their infighting and useless bickering about nonsense is ruining the country that their parents and grandparents dreamed of, prayed for, and built with sweat, blood, and tears.
Personally, I’m ashamed of Jews that would condone either of these actions. Of the 10 commandments you might think “Don’t murder” is a pretty clear directive. It doesn’t say, “Don’t murder unless . . .” How does any person think that violence and murder are hastening the coming of the messiah?