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Hundreds of Israelis Protest Attack

Jim Burroway

August 1st, 2009
Lighting candles in memory of dead (Yaron Brener/Ynet)

Mourners light candles in memory of the dead. (Yaron Brener/Ynet)

The night is not yet over, and already Israelis are gathering to remember the victims of this evening’s attack on a teen support group at the Tel Aviv Gay and Lesbian Association.

Israelis comfort each other at the scene of the shooting (Jonathan Nackstrand/Agence France-Presse, Getty Images)

Israelis comfort each other at the scene of the shooting (Jonathan Nackstrand/Agence France-Presse, Getty Images)

Earlier this evening shortly before 11:00 p.m., two LGBT youth were killed by a lone gunman as they met for a support group an an LGBT community center in Tel Aviv. According to The Jerusalem Post, fifteen others were injured in the attack. Two are in critical condition, and three more are in moderate condition. Army Radio says that one of the dead was a 24-year-old male counselor at the center, and a second victim was a 17-year-old girl. The victims’ names have not yet been released. Eyewitness describe the scene at the LGBT community center as “like a slaughterhouse.” Despite the shock and horror, people are turning out for a spontaneous rally to protest the violence and commemorate the victims.

Gays rally in Tel Aviv (BBC)
Gays rally in Tel Aviv (BBC)
Gays rally in Tel Aviv (BBC)

Gay Israelis rally in Tel Aviv (BBC)

One of the marchers identified as Revital told Ynet:

“The feeling is terrifying. We live in a bubble, believing that everything is fine. This is an act of pure unfounded hatred, which leads to the murder of children for being gays and lesbians. It’s very sad knowing that it’s still so.”

The Shas faction condemned the attack, but Revital had harsh things to say against the ultra-Orthodox party. “People like (Shas Chairman) Eli Yishai and (former Knesset Member) Shlomo Benizri openly hared gays and lesbians,” she said.

Signs against the ultra-Orthodox Shas party (Yaron Brener/Ynet)

Signs against the ultra-Orthodox Shas party. (Yaron Brener/Ynet)

The gunman has not been identified. According to the nationalist Arutz Sheva, the Shas party condemned the attack:

The Shas religious party condemned Saturday night\’s attack on a club of homosexuals. “Murder, understandably, is against the Torah way. Any attack is against the religion of Israel,” the Shas party said in a statement.

Apparently, Israel’s religious right can be as shameless as many in the American religious right. In an attempt to deflect criticism over Shas’ violent anti-gay rhetoric, Shas Knesset Member Nissim Zeev suggested that the gunman may have been gay:

“I am really shocked, but I’m not certain it’s because of this population’s affiliation. It’s possible that the person who fired the shots belongs to the same population.”



August 2nd, 2009 | LINK

The religious right in Israel can put the religious right in America to shame! They are the true fanatical taliban-like nazis that you can read about in the old testament.

The day that they all get blown up and I can’t tell you how much I want them to be eradicated (yes, I come from there and from a jewish ancestry) would be the best day in the history of humankind!

Emily K
August 2nd, 2009 | LINK

I think it’s beautiful that they wrote the word “ahavah” (which means “love”) in candles in the first photo. It makes for a beautiful picture and a powerful symbol IMO

August 2nd, 2009 | LINK

While that guy probably said it to be a prick, perhaps the shooter did have more personal motivations than religious one.. Doubtful though, otherwise they would have recognized him obviously.

I hope you mean blown up metaphorically. In any case they’re losing the battle. All we have to do is wait for them to die off.

August 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Nothing metaphorical about what I said… I lived there for 16 years and I know the enemy. They truly don’t deserve the air they breath.

August 2nd, 2009 | LINK

“People like (Shas Chairman) Eli Yishai and (former Knesset Member) Shlomo Benizri openly hared gays and lesbians,” she said.”

Is that a misspelling of hate or is hared some hebrew word?

And its amazing how the same tactics are used by bigots everywhere, dehumanize and demonize your enemy into disgusting evil monsters, then pretend to be shocked and appalled when someone starts killing them.

Jim Burroway
August 2nd, 2009 | LINK


That was a misspelling I believe. That’s how it appeared in the original. I have gone back and corrected it.

August 3rd, 2009 | LINK

If the killer turns out to be an far-right, Jewish Orthodox Zionist, how would the media react towards that?

August 11th, 2009 | LINK

The gun man gay? Perhaps but does that excuse the radial right from commiting the horror and sin of murder—-mass murder in this case?

Will they, the religious dogmatic radicals, ever know for what they do, they will mortally pay the price? Being such oughgt to be illegal.

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