Photo via WikiCommons/U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv
Earlier this morning, Yishai Schlissel, the ultra-orthodox Jewish ex-convict who stabbed six people at Jerusalem's Gay Pride Parade earlier this summer, was indicted for first-degree murder and six counts of attempted murder.
During the pronouncement of his indictment, he is reported to have said:
"Whenever there is a gay pride parade [you should] stop the blasphemy against God. Stop the madness and all the people of Israel should repent."
Schlissel's attack left three in critical condition, with 16-year-old Shira Banki succumbing to her wounds three days later. He was released from prison roughly three weeks before the event, after serving ten years for stabbing three people at Jerusalem Pride in 2005. The incident has sparked serious soul-searching in the Israeli establishment, with questions raised as to how he was able to approach marchers unhindered and, more broadly, how such violent fanatacism has been able to take root. Tzipi Livni, joint-leader of the opposition, recently introduced a package of bills named in Banki's honor aimed at extending LGBT rights and protections and combatting homophobia through educational reforms.
A psychiatric evaluation determined that Schlissel was fit to stand trial, although he has refused representation, claiming that he does not recognize the court's authority.