Mayor Barkat should stand beneath the rainbow in Jerusalem

Last year, a young girl named Shira Banki was brutally stabbed by an ultra-Orthodox man who was ‘offended’ by the Gay Pride in Jerusalem.

She died.

Others were wounded.

Her murderer is going to spend the rest of his miserable little years in prison, which he should.

And the Pride Parade in Jerusalem will continue – with love and courage and rainbows as it does every year. Which it should.

I’ll be there – I hope you’ll come too. WE should.

But you know who should be there and isn’t going?

The Mayor of Jerusalem. Self-styled BRAVE mayor Barkat who takes down terrorists and talks a good line about a united and tolerant Jerusalem. He won’t come to the parade a year after young Shira’s death.

Why not? Because he’s worried about “offending” members of the religious community.

Well let me tell you, my eyes just rolled so far back in my head I swallowed on them.

Because you know what’s “offensive?” When a vile, bigoted LUNATIC knifes a sixteen-year-old girl to death at a Pride Parade.

The same vile, bigoted lunatic who had served time in jail for stabbing marchers at the parade 10 years before, who should never have been allowed anywhere near the vicinity.

You know what else is “offensive?” When the mayor won’t stand in a meaningful way with Shira’s family and the community she died supporting on the anniversary of her death.

And newsflash: The Western World has shifted and LGBTQ rights are championed. ‪#‎LoveIsLove‬. And many of those who march in the Pride Parade are in fact gay and religious. And so what if they aren’t? Many are marching because they want to support a community too-long marginalized.

And many are marching in honor of Shira.

And Jerusalem – the Holy City, the City of Peace – has a chance for once to be a place where people come together beneath a magnificent rainbow of tolerance.

And we owe it to Shira to come out and stand beneath it.

About the Author
Sarah Tuttle-Singer, Times of Israel's New Media editor, lives in Israel with her two kids in a village next to rolling fields. Sarah likes taking pictures, climbing roofs, and talking to strangers. She is the author of the book Jerusalem Drawn and Quartered. Sarah is a work in progress.