Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Tens of Thousands Rally in Solidarity with LGBT Israelis Following Youth Center Attack

TevlAvivRallyTel Aviv, Israel – In a massive show of support for LGBT citizens, an estimated 70,000 people rallied on Sunday in Tel Aviv’s Yitzak Rabin Square.  President Shimon Peres was among the speakers who voiced their solidarity with the sexual minority in the State of Israel, following a brutal attack upon an LGBT youth center on August 1 in which two were shot down in cold blood, and many were injured.  A masked gunman who has not yet been identified entered the center with an automatic weapon, and sprayed the area with bullets.  According to AFP News, Peres said, “Everyone has the right to be different and proud. Noone has the right to interfere in other people’s lives so long as everyone respects law and order. I came to share your tears after the death of two young innocents. Be strong and courageous.”  Numerous threats came in before the massive rally to discourage attendance.  It had the opposite effect, with thousands of Rainbow Flags wafting in the evening breeze of Israel’s commercial capital, which until the attack had a reputation for liberality in a country where nearly half of the population considers LGBT people to be “deviants.”  An ultra-Orthodox soldier who had been detained in conjunction with threats against rally-goers confessed in custody that he had indeed made such threats.  His name has not been released as of yet.  Two people at the LGBT Center have died of their wounds, Nir Katz, a 26-year-old counselor at the center, and Liz Trubeshi, a 17-year-old straight ally.  At last report, nine others were still in hospital recovering from their wounds.  In one of the more disturbing dimensions of this story, it was reported at the Dallas, Texas Candlelight Vigil in support of the Center last week that no parents of the wounded youth had yet visited them in hospital.  The reason given was that these injured youth were not out before the shooting, and their families were trying to cope with the news.  The same report noted, however, that many youth and other supporters had been visiting the injured regularly since the attack.  Uri Gil, wounded on the night of the attack, spoke to the enormous crowd. “This past week I have been haunted by nightly fear, especially when I think that the murderer is walking around out there,” he added. “No murderer will keep us in the closet.” He was joined by Ched Langer, a youth counselor at the Center, who had to attend the rally in a wheel chair because of his injuries. “This is the day in which we cease to be silent, to hide, and to alter the appearance of reality,” he said with tears streaming down his face, according to Box Turtle Bulletin.

August 10, 2009 - Posted by | anti-LGBT hate crime murder, gun violence, Hate Crimes, Israel, Protests and Demonstrations | , , , , , ,

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