JERUSALEM (JTA) – A haredi Orthodox leader called the murder of a young couple by Palestinians a punishment from heaven for the gay pride parade in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Meir Mazuz, the head of Tunisian Jewry in Israel and the Kisse Rahamim yeshiva in Bnei Brak, made the assertion on Sunday in Jerusalem at an event marking the shloshim, or 30 days, since the killing of Eitam and Naama Henkin in a drive-by shooting in front of their four children. Mazuz is also the spiritual leader of the Yachad political party founded by former Shas party chief Eli Yishai.
The two oldest of the Henkins’ children attended the memorial.
“Gay pride parade? Pride in what?” Mazuz said in videotaped remarks that were posted on the Hebrew language Walla news website. “What pride is there in opposing nature? What pride is there in opposing God? For this comes punishment.”
He called on Jews to stop performing “immoral acts.”
“We must avoid acts of Sodom and Gomorrah that have multiplied over the past year,” he said.
He also said that Jews should avoid visiting the Temple Mount in order to avoid “provoking the nations.”
The Henkins, who were both in their 30s, were murdered near the West Bank settlement of Itamar while they were driving home with their children, ages four months to nine years, from an event in Hebron. The children were not wounded in the attack. Eitam Henkin was a dual American-Israeli citizen.
A haredi Orthodox man stabbed six marchers at the Jerusalem gay pride parade in late July, leaving a 16-year-old girl dead. Thousands participated in the 14th annual Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance, which went through the centre of the city.