Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Two Dead, Many Wounded in Tel Aviv Anti-LGBT Rampage: Special Comment

LGBT killings Tel Aviv August 1The scope of this blog, LGBT hate crimes murders in the U.S. notwithstanding, the attack of a masked gunman on an LGBT youth nightclub in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday night merits special attention.  The Unfinished Lives Project express our deepest sympathy to the family, friends, and entire LGBT community of Tel Aviv, and join all those outraged by this act of naked hatred and unreasoning prejudice against people because they are different.  Like the United States, Israel has a heritage of cultural diversity, and values tolerance.  This outbreak of raw anti-LGBT bias flies in the face of everything both countries stand for.  Nitzan Horowitz, the only openly gay member of the Knesset, described the killings as a “hate crime.”  Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres have condemned the attack.  Unfinished Lives supports the efforts to bring the gunman to justice, and prosecute him to the full extent of the law.  We also support any efforts within the law to root out this lethal prejudice.  Israel has had violent clashes over LGBT expression before.  In 2005, a radical ultra-orthodox critic of a Jerusalem gay pride march attacked and stabbed three marchers.  Incitement to violence prepared the way for both attacks, and though members of the ultra-orthodox Shas party have condemned the attack, their anti-gay hate rhetoric played a part in the toxic atmosphere that made a killer decide to act on prejudice.  The Shas party, and all other purveyors of hate speech in the State of Israel, need to take a step back, refrain immediately from inciting rhetoric, and make amends to the LGBT community.  But we at the Unfinished Lives Project are not holding our breath.  Meanwhile, LGBT youth in Israel have received a message written in the blood of three murdered young people: you are not safe.  It is up to the leaders and the people of the nation to insure that something like this will never happen in Israel again.

August 3, 2009 - Posted by | anti-LGBT hate crime murder, gun violence, Hate Crimes, Israel, Protests and Demonstrations, religious intolerance, Special Comments | , , , , ,

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