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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 9, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 50
Mother of girl slain in Jerusalem Gay pride parade appointed to the Israeli bench
Section One
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Mother of girl slain in Jerusalem Gay pride parade appointed to the Israeli bench

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Of the 13 judges appointed in Jerusalem on Thursday, seven were women. The one who was singled out by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin was Miriam Banki, better known as Mika, the mother of Shira Banki, who was fatally stabbed while marching in the annual Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade in July 2015.

Shira, who was 16 and heterosexual, came to demonstrate solidarity with her LGBTQ friends and was stabbed by Yishai Schissel, a homophobic Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) man who had already been jailed for an attack at the 2005 parade and had just been released from prison three weeks before the killing.

Rivlin visited the Banki family shortly after the murder of their daughter, and on the first anniversary of Shira's death, the president and his wife, Nechama, invited the Bankis to come to the president's residence.

In his opening remarks on Thursday, President Rivlin said that when he visits bereaved families, a minute before the door closes behind him as he leaves, he prays that the next time they meet it will be to celebrate a happy occasion.

Well, one could say that Thursday was such an occasion!

Mika Banki pledged her allegiance to the Jewish state and its laws and her intention to dispense justice fairly, not to pervert the law, and not to show favor, in her new role as a judge.

Customarily each new judge, after reciting the pledge, steps forward to receive a certificate testifying to his or her appointment and shakes hands with President Rivlin, Supreme Court President Miriam Naor, National Labor Court President Yigal Plitman, and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

But when Banki approached the group, Rivlin embraced her.

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Mother of girl slain in Jerusalem Gay pride parade appointed to the Israeli bench
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