A year after Jerusalem Pride attack, the rhetoric continues

This article was originally written for the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics:

Almost a year has passed since 16-year-old Shira Banki was murdered at Jerusalem’s Pride parade, and the same religiously derived homophobia that led to her death is being voiced loud and clear in Israel.

On 30 July 2015, Yissai Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox Jew who saw it as his duty to stop the “foul” LGBT march, stabbed Banki and six others. Only a few weeks earlier, Schlissel had been released from prison, having served a 10-year sentence for a stabbing attack at the march in 2005. He had held onto his extremist views for a decade.

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Winning the argument against Jewish extremism

This article was originally published in Haaretz:

After nearly a year in administrative detention, Israel released a Jewish extremist last week held following the 2015 Duma arson, in which a Palestinian infant and his parents were murdered. Meir Ettinger, who will spend three months under house arrest, leads “The Revolt,” a group advocating violence to bring about the end of the Jewish state to be replaced by a “Jewish kingdom.”

This ideology has deep roots in Ettinger’s own family. The 24-year-old is the grandson of far-right radical Rabbi Meir Kahane, who also advocated using violence to expel Arabs from Greater Israel. Kach, the hardline party Kahane established in 1971, was banned along with an offshoot “Kahane Chai” (Hebrew for “Kahane Lives”) in 1994, one month after Baruch Goldstein, a Kach supporter, massacred 29 Palestinians at prayer in Hebron. The U.S. added Kach to its terror list that year.

But the ideology of Kahane, assassinated in his native New York in 1990, did not disappear with those bans. Today, his legacy echoes in the Israeli far-right clarion call “Kahane tzadak” (“Kahane was right”), a phrase often reproduced in ‘price tag’ graffiti and on the lips of far-right protesters. And its ripples can be felt in the likes of Lehava, the Israeli extremist group led by another Kahanist, Rabbi Bentzi Gopstein.

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The thread that links Israel’s female murder victims

It is no coincidence that, in disparate corners of the globe, women are murdered by men who profess to love them. This is a trend that crosses boundaries and historical periods. Underlying it is a gap between the genders that is often filled by violent hatred. My piece from the The Forward‘s Sisterhood blog:

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This year, Israeli women should keep sexual assault on the agenda

Israelis should not let themselves forget the major sexual harrassment and assault scandals that broke last year. My piece in The Forward‘s Sisterhood blog. Here is the text, which originally appeared there:

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When Israel classifies rape as terror

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