Funeral Held for 16-Year-Old Stabbed to Death at Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade
JNS.org – Shira Banki, 16, who suffered critical injuries when she was stabbed at the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade on Thursday and died on Sunday afternoon, has been laid to rest on Monday in Kibbutz Nahshon.
Banki and five others were rushed to hospitals across Jerusalem after they were stabbed by Yishai Schlissel, a haredi man who was only recently released from prison after having served 10 years for a similar attack in 2005.
Banki suffered critical injuries to her upper torso and was taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, where she was placed on life support as doctors fought for her life. After three days, however, she succumbed to her wounds. Her family has decided to donate her organs.
“Shir-Shironet, the intelligent, beautiful, pleasant, curious, musical girl. The girl who managed to even go through puberty with grace, and bloomed like a beautiful flower, when the last year was the height of everything. The height of success at school, of social mobility, of a healthy interest in boys, the height of her relationship with her siblings,” Shira’s parents, Uri and Mika, said in their eulogy, the Jerusalem Post reported.
“Many times we received bundles of compliments from those who saw and heard Shira. Not a week went by without a compliment from someone about our first born, and we would return from every teacher-parent conference with two kilos worth of pleasure. And all of this innocence, beauty, happiness and goodness fell on the altar of hatred, wretchedness, cruelty, negligence and stupidity,” the parents said.
Shira did not identify as LGBT, but in their eulogy, her parents expressed support for “the right of everyone to maintain their way of life and customs. And the message of love and tolerance, with which Shira went to the parade, she got from us as well.”
“Our fight,” they said, “is with the lack of tolerance, the hatred, and the sanctifying one’s goals on the expense of other people’s pain.”
The Israel Gay Youth Organization issued a statement mourning the 16-year-old’s death, saying, “Our hearts are with the family. We promise Shira’s blood was not spilled in vain.”