Tel Aviv killings: Where hatred bridges the religious divide
The news has circled the world, that two young people were shot dead yesterday (some reports say that a third has died) – and several more injured – in a gun attack by an unidentified man on an LGBT centre in Tel Aviv, where young people were meeting. The only description I have come across, so far, is that the attacker was dressed in black, and was masked.
Tel Aviv, a secular city, has long been regarded as one of the most open and accepting cities in Israel. This has always been something of a relief to hear from a country where Muslims, Jews and Christians alike vent their visceral hatred of LGBT people. A relief, until now, that is.
In years past, we have seen participants of Jerusalem LGBT Pride celebrations stabbed by an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man. We have heard statements from Muslim and Jewish leaders alike condemn such celebrations and events (including to date). The most recent voiced opposition came not only from religious leaders, but from the Israeli government’s current Interior Minister, Eli Yishai. That condemnation was from the leader of the ultra-Orthodox party, Shas, and was in relation to last month’s pride events – in Tel Aviv.
What is so indicative, and so disturbing, is that in a land where sectarian and ethnic violence dates back (according to protagonists, at least) to many centuries before Christ – in a land where civilians are murdered in their homes, where houses and farm lands are levelled with bulldozers, where civilians are murdered by suicide bombers in the streets – that these two historically and violently opposed groups can come together, overcome all of that, and agree in their hatred of homosexual people: this shows how frighteningly LGBT people are despised by certain sections of society in Israel and the Occupied Territories.
And those attitudes, in my mind, are simply the logical conclusion to mindsets where LGBT people are treated as “other”, as different; where LGBT people are allowed to be discriminated against, in law and in practice; where LGBT people are not accepted, by society or by political leaders; where LGBT people are viewed not as people but as solely defined by certain (sometimes perceived) sexual acts.
May those poor children rest in peace, and heaven help their families.
No related posts.