The rabbi’s wife, who police believe knew about the attack ahead of time but failed to warn police or parade organizers, was first briefly detained by police Thursday night as they tried unsuccessfully to locate her husband. When police returned to the rabbi’s home Saturday night to detain the woman for additional questioning and to find her husband (who was not home), the woman collapsed in shock and was rushed to a local hospital for treatment.
Above: Yishai Schlissel pulling the knife out of his coat seconds before stabbing 6 people at last Thursday's Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem (AP)
Police Question Haredi Rabbi, Wife Over Alleged Roles In Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade Stabbings
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The wife of a Mea Shearim haredi rabbi was detained by Israel Police Saturday night. Her husband was an active opponent of Thursday’s Gay Pride Parade where six people were stabbed by a haredi man, Yishai Schlissel. Schlissel carried out an eerily similar attack 10 years ago. He was released from prison only three weeks ago.
The unnamed rabbi – various haredi reports have the rabbi’s family name as “Grossman” but this is unconfirmed – allegedly had some contact with Schlissel while he was in prison and afterward and is thought by police to have played a support role in Thursday’s attack.
The rabbi’s wife, who police believe knew about the attack ahead of time but failed to warn police or parade organizers, was first briefly detained by police Thursday night as they tried unsuccessfully to locate her husband. When police returned to the rabbi’s home Saturday night to detain the woman for additional questioning and to find her husband (who was not home), the woman collapsed in shock and was rushed to a local hospital for treatment, the Times of Israel reported.
Haredim in Mea Shearim protested her arrest Saturday night. She was eventually released from custody but was reportedly ordered to return to police headquarters for further questioning Sunday.
Walla! News reportedly spoke to her husband the rabbi after that second arrest of his wife. He reportedly accused police of roughing up his wife and breaking her hand. He also denied any significant contact with Schlissel, the Gay Pride Parade attacker.
“It’s an outright lie. I’ve never met him,” the rabbi said.
But the rabbi did admit to speaking to Schlissel on the phone after Schlissel called him while still imprisoned to ask him to help distribute what the Times of Israel calls “religious material” (but what is likely anti-gay polemics like what Schlissel later distributed after he was released from prison. Those polemics urged Jews to rise up and stop the Gay Pride Parade by whatever means necessary.
The rabbi reportedly said he did nothing with Schlissel’s request.
“I hadn’t done anything with it,” the rabbi told Walla! News, “and I hadn’t heard from him since.”
The rabbi and his wife retained extreme far-right-wing attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir of the neo-Kahanist Honeinu legal aide nonprofit. Ben-Gvir reportedly accused police of “acting out of panic and hysteria to cover for the Schlissel debacle…I don’t understand why they’re arresting those who oppose the gay pride parade. Is it forbidden to oppose such a parade?”
Ben-Gvir regularly represents right-wing Jewish settlers and other accused of hate crime attacks against Muslims and Christians.
Schlissel, who was wrestled to the ground and arrested while still trying to continue stabbing marchers, told a Jerusalem court Friday he did not want an attorney because he does not recognize the court or its power over him.
“The court does not work in accordance with the holy Torah, and is part of the mechanism of evil,” Schlissel said.
He was found fit to stand trial after police gave the court a psychological evaluation.