Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Posters praising the murder of gay people appear in Jerusalem

I got into an argument with someone on Facebook about whether it was fair to see Yishai Schlissel as a product of the Haredi educational system and Haredi values, which teach contempt and disdain for gay and lesbian people and call for people to repress their sexual orientation. I argued that Schlissel, although he himself appears to be mentally ill, was in fact expressing those values in an appalling and violent way. He, on the other hand, argued that we should not see Schlissel as representing Haredi values in any way, since he was so clearly a great exception to the Haredi rule of seeking to turn away from contemporary Israeli society and becoming an ever more insular society. Instead of ignoring the gay pride march in Jerusalem, which has been the advice of Haredi rabbis for several years, he stabbed six people and killed one of them (Shira Banki z"l).

Schlissel is not as great an exception as my interlocutor argued. Posters have now appeared in Jerusalem praising Schlissel and calling for others also to murder LGBT people. The posters have been put up in Haredi neighborhoods in the city, by extremist elements who call themselves "Faithful Judaism."

One poster (below) says: "Everyone who sheds the blood of these evil people is as if he had brought a sacrifice (to God)." This same poster also says, "Happy are you, R' Yishai who sanctified the name of heaven! You did this not from your own intentions, but you are the messenger of the community and the messenger of God!"

Another poster (below) praised Schlissel with these words: "Happy are you R' Yishai, for you merited much self-sacrifice, and acted like Pinchas, 'who took the spear in his hand,' to act zealously for the Lord of Hosts, who killed the licentious ones within the camp, and did not refrain (from doing this) before everyone."

If I can get over my revulsion at the words on these posters, I will translate the entire text of both of them, but right now I feel too disturbed by them to do so.

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