This followed the firebomb attack on Friday morning in the West Bank village of Duma, suspected to have been carried out by Jewish extremists, which left a Palestinian toddler dead and his family fighting for their lives. On Thursday’s Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade, a day earlier, six people were injured by an ultra-Orthodox man — who had just finished serving a 10-year sentence for stabbing three people at a similar parade 10 years earlier. One of those wounded – high school student Shira Banki (below ) – later died.
The Peace Now demonstrators then headed toward Gan Meir to join up with those marching for LGBT rights — a separate event organized by LGBT and youth groups.
In Jerusalem, a rally was scheduled at Zion Square with President Reuven Rivlin to address the crowd, as well as family members of those injured in the stabbing attack Thursday. Similar protests were also taking place in Haifa and Beersheba.
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog and Meretz head Zahava Gal-on spoke at the anti-violence rally, repeating comments they made earlier in the day on their Facebook pages. “I came here with a heavy heart following the Jewish pogrom on Friday”. She said the perpetrators were nothing short of a “Jewish Daesh,” an acronym used for the terror group the Islamic State.
Herzog told the crowd. “Terrorists are terrorists whether they are Jewish or Muslim. The Jewish people are ashamed of the actions by some among us and we have come to ask forgiveness”.
Yair Lapid, chairman of Israel’s fourth largest party Yesh Atid, and Yuval Steinitz, minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources (Likud), also addressed the crowd. “After a long week of incitement and violence, we must speak up,” read the Facebook event page for the Peace Now Tel Aviv rally. “The events of this week, ending with the attempted murder at the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem and the deadly arson attack on Palestinians in Duma are a result of a toxic and violent atmosphere led by public figures. We must say no to Jewish terrorism and act against those who allow it to grow.”
Will the Israeli people be able to curb the Netanyahu government and even bring about beneficial change?
A day later:
President Rivlin posted a message to Facebook condemning the murder and urging restraint and co-existence; responses included threats to his life and accused him of being ‘traitor’ and ‘terrorist.’