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Can Anything Good Come Out of Tel Aviv’s Gun Rampage?

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Israelis care about gay people. They really do! (Even if half think you’re perverted, apparently.) And they showed just how much by showing up by the thousands last night in downtown Tel Aviv.

Family members of the victims of last weekend’s gay youth center shooting attended a colossal rally in Rabin Square, joined by Mayor Ron Huldai and President Shimon Peres, who told the crowd of about 25,000, “We are the people of ‘Thou shall not kill’ … The bullets that hit the gay community at the beginning of the week struck us all as people, as Jews, as Israelis … criminals will not set our agenda.” He added: “Israel will never reconcile itself with such a crime and will not rest until the criminal is brought to justice … This terrible act of murder will not be wiped from our hearts.”

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The rally was not without incident. Transportation organizers said they received anonymous telephone threats of violence; the caller said grenades would be hurled at the crowds, leading to even tighter security around the rally. There were no actual reports of violence.

Perhaps equally as important as the enormous showing of support from fellow citizens, then, was the promises from legislators that they would act to protect LGBTs.

Before the rally, Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat said she would support any GLBT bills proposed by legislators.

“I am here to identify with you and to call on the parents to cope and to give their children love and warmth. There is a certain hatred and ignorance in society and among certain communities that are motivated by fear,” Livnat said.

Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar said at the rally, “The GLBT community is one of the communities that has contributed the most to the State of Israel in many fields – in culture, in the arts, in the legal system, education and the military. It is out of the ordinary, it is because of its talent.

“Every single member of the community has the basic right to live their live without fear and without being a target of hatred, contempt and condemnation – we will all defend this right.”

He then pledged that the education system will do more to deepen education in tolerance and accepting those who are different. “The education system will have training, will give tools to educators and teachers to reach out to distressed boys and girls who suffer not because of a transgression they have committed, but because of who they are.”

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Last night’s rally will undoubtedly become one of those singular moments for Israeli’s gays — an instance of “Where were you when?” Indeed, it’s tragic that a tragedy is required for these moments to come about. But the death of two members of the community, and the injuries of a dozen others, must become an opportunity for good. It must be used as a teaching moment for equality, an opportunity to show the world that attacks against LGBTs are attacks against everyone. And it’s a perfectly opportune time to remind Israelis, Americans, and everyone else that even inside regions we think “tolerate” or “accept” us, there are still those who want nothing more than to see us perish. And we must stand up against those threats. Together.

By:           editor editor
On:           Aug 9, 2009
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 24 Comments
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      “Can Anything Good Come Out of Tel Aviv’s Gun Rampage?”

      Only if we have the courage to admit the bullets came from “religious beliefs.” Religion is the only thing that makes homosexuals wrong – and in this case, dead.

      Aug 9, 2009 at 3:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      The sad thing about the situation of Israelis is that they are placed in a position, evn though they wanted it, where they are forced to be of a violent stain of mind.

      I can’t help but believe that they are no more than a set up by the U.S. to incite wars in the middle east; that is why the U.S is on their side. They will remain sitting ducks, and representatives of Americas imperialistic aims until either they or the Arab countries are whiped out. If the Pstwar Agreements did not seek that, they could have easily given part of America to the European Jews, like Utah and move the Mormons out (God, we could put them in hen houses)

      With this in mind, and the fact that Israel was the product of violence and cameinto being by the violation of Paletine, it only makes sense that there would be plenty of violent people there.

      My fear is that they will just be role models for the Religious bigots here.

      It is important to remember that the Israelis are mainly Europeans imports, since all of the Semetic Jews who already wanted to live there did, alongside the Palestinians.
      so besides being violent, they may also be pretty liberal. Remember that a lot of Jews are socialists and tend to be liberal.

      Aug 9, 2009 at 4:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @M Shane:

      The jews who immigrated to what is now called israel in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries constituted a vulnerable minority who were mercilessly targeted by the muslim/palestinians for murder and discrimination. They didn’t “live alongside” the “palestinians” (who were a part of the ottoman empire) so much as survived “next to them”. I am opposed to much of israel’s treatment of palestinians in terms of checkpoints which deny people the opportunity to make a decent living, visit family, and not be hassled–but don’t kid yourself; the palestinians hate gays just as much as they hate jews (and hate jews not because they happen to occupy the region–though there are legitimate grievances that have accrued from collateral damage that would radicalize some of them–but because they are jews).

      Aug 9, 2009 at 4:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sal(the original)
      sal(the original)

      the human connection in us all rises once more

      Aug 9, 2009 at 5:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      No. 3 · TANK ; The Ottomans were pretty nasty and genocidal to everyone. They massacred Armenians . My point was not at all that the jews hated the gays more than Palestinians. I’m not sure that all of the Jews do anyway, but a small minority probably, who would be that intolerant.

      I have read in different places that the Jews, prior to occupation lived next to the Moslems, just like the Kurds did.
      The only problems came with religious extremism. BTW, I just discovered that Sadams massacre of the Kurds happened with U.S. help.(CIA Analyst). I know that they get along with kurds here.

      It would be very of naive to say that the Palastinians didn’t dislike the European Jews for inhabiting their lands and leaving them to rot in camps. They would hate them whoever they were-wouldn’t you.

      In any case, I do think that it is a set up to have put any European group in someone elses land. Imagine if the govermnet moved someone into your home and set you out on the street. Would you care what religion they were?
      Whether he was B.S.ing me or not , a Lebonese fellow at the grocery nearby said that he regarded semetic Jews as being related to him,.

      I know as well as anyone who watched middle east ern affairs that the U.S wants a reason to be able to invade the Moslem countries , because of Oil and because of pipelines. I think that it is calous to use the Israelies as a powder keg.

      Aug 9, 2009 at 7:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CHIP
      CHIP

      In 1948 the UN split the United Kingdom’s Palestine Mandate (colony) into two countries – Israel and Palestine. This was around the time the UK was splitting another of it’s colonies – India – into two countries (Pakistan and India). When the Israeli government declared independence, a whole bunch of Arab countries declared war on Israel. The Israelis won the war, and most of the Palestinians fled under the rumor that they will be destroyed if they stayed. This was not true. Even Qadaffi mentioned this in a op-ed he wrote earlier this year in the NY Times http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/opinion/22qaddafi.html Some theorize that the other Arab countries perpetuated that rumor so to have reason to attack Israel again in the future.

      As for the makeup of the Israelis, until the mass exodus of Russian Jews in the 1990’s, the majority of the Israeli Jews were not of European/Ashkenazi descent, but of Sephardic descent. That means their families came from the Middle East, Persia, Arabia, and North Africa/Spain. Most of the European Jews who survived the Holocaust emigrated to the Americas, not Israel.

      As for being a set up putting any European group into someone else’s land, if that’s what you truly believe, then that would include the USA, Canada, Australia, etc.

      Aug 9, 2009 at 8:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rudy
      rudy

      Two fellow gay men murdered in a hate crime, Queerty gives it an anti-Semite framework, and the posts debate Isrtael’s right to exist and “good” Palestineins reason to hate Jews.
      Amazing.

      Aug 9, 2009 at 9:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      I’m waiting for bill perdue to becrazy the comments with his antisemitic logorrhea.

      Aug 9, 2009 at 9:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      More Religious lunacy – Orthodox Judaism flavored, as Reported in The Advocate:

      Tel Aviv Shooting Protesters Attacked
      By Julie Bolcer

      Residents of an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem attacked a group of young people who visited the area on Thursday to hang posters condemning the deadly shooting at a gay youth center in Tel Aviv, reports The Jerusalem Post.

      The youngsters and an Army Radio reporter went to the Mea She’arim area to raise awareness about the shooting at a gay youth center that killed a counselor and a young woman and injured at least 10 on Saturday. Members of the ultra-Orthodox haredim chased the protesters down alleyways, prompted by the feeling that the youths were blaming them for the shootings, but the young people managed to escape.

      In the days since the shooting, many have cited strong religious bias against LGBT people, and appealed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to mitigate the influence of conservative religious opinions in government.

      Israeli government officials have confirmed that the shooting is being investigated as a hate crime, among other possible motives.

      Aug 9, 2009 at 10:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @TANK: I’m not an anti-Semite nor are any of the other critics of zionist apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

      Tankie on the other hand is a racist, islamophobic swine with an admitted penchant for acting like someone with Tourettes syndrome, saying stupid things and getting kicked off every GLBT site on the web except this one.

      Zionist apartheid and ethnic cleansing set the stage for the rise of rightist sentitments and homohating, just the oil wars and the islamopphobia used to defend them do here.
      Expect more, not fewer incidents of homohating in both countries.

      “South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu has accused Israel of practising apartheid in its policies towards the Palestinians.
      The Nobel peace laureate said he was “very deeply distressed” by a visit to the Holy Land, adding that “it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa”.

      In a speech in the United States, carried in the UK’s Guardian newspaper, Archbishop Tutu said he saw “the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about”.

      The archbishop, who was a leading opponent of apartheid in South Africa, said Israel would “never get true security and safety through oppressing another people”.

      Archbishop Tutu said his criticism of the Israeli Government did not mean he was anti-Semitic.

      “I am not even anti-white, despite the madness of that group.” he said.

      The archbishop attacked the political power of Jewish groups in the United States, saying: “People are scared in this country, to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful – very powerful. Well, so what?

      “The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosevic, and Idi Amin were all powerful, but in the end they bit the dust..”

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1957644.stm

      The zionist bunkerstadt will inevitably follow Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosevic, and Idi Amin into the garbage can of history, and then who will tankie have left to admire. Phelps? The Vatican?

      Stay tuned.

      Aug 10, 2009 at 1:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @TANK: Do me a favor, tankie, keep posting. I have all the facts and you have all the vile hatreds and prejudices. It’s a good contrast.

      Aug 10, 2009 at 1:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      And heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s moonbat mcrazypants!

      Aug 10, 2009 at 1:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @TANK: “Effective medications are also available to treat some of the associated neurobehavioral disorders that can occur in patients with TS. Recent research shows that stimulant medications such as methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine can lessen ADHD symptoms in people with TS. For obsessive-compulsive symptoms that significantly disrupt daily functioning , the serotonin reuptake inhibitors (clomipramine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, and sertraline) have been proven effective in some patients.

      Psychotherapy may also be helpful.”

      Get my drift, tankie.

      Aug 10, 2009 at 1:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hardmannyc
      hardmannyc

      @Bill Perdue: “Tankie”? You are almost as beyond pathetic when you try to be witty as when you get all up on your anti-Semitic soapbox.

      Aug 10, 2009 at 2:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cheerfully asleep
      Cheerfully asleep

      Good is relative. The ones who applaud the violence more than likely think that was a good thing. As long as we think we are better or they think they are better – nothing will change. Its all about letting go, but that is not an easy task. So the kids are dead and some are crying, some are cheering. Maybe the waters of prophesy need to cleanse this earth of us all…to hear the winds amidst the birds wings once again. Forgetting how we forgot.

      Aug 10, 2009 at 3:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Cheerfully asleep:

      Who cares if they “think” it was a good thing. That has no bearing at all on whether or not it was actually a good thing anymore than a person who believes that torturing children is a good thing has any bearing on whether or not that is actually a good thing.

      “good is relative”–is that relative, too? Or is that the one non-relative good thing? LOL! See the logic!

      Aug 10, 2009 at 3:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @Cheerfully asleep: Racist islamophobes like you who advocate mass murder of Arabs and other muslims are the reason zionist society is so hate filled and homophobic.

      Is Desmond Tutu anti-Semitic. No he is not an anti-Semite.

      What about all the scholars I cite:

      Yigal Bronner, Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago. No he is not an anti-Semite.

      Neve Gordon, chair of the department of politics and government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. No, not an anti-Semite.

      Jennifer Loewenstein is Associate Director of the Middle East Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. No she is not an anti-Semite.

      Norman Finkelstein is author of five books, including Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, Beyond Chutzpah and The Holocaust Industry, which have been translated into more than 40 foreign editions. He is the son of Holocaust survivors and he’s not an anti-Semite.

      Anti-apartheid and anti ethnic cleansing sentiment is growing in this country but very widespread in England where The New York Times reports “British Teachers Favor Call to Boycott Israel

      LONDON, May 29 Britain’s biggest association of higher education instructors voted Monday to urge its 67,000 members to consider boycotting Israeli academics who had failed to renounce what it called Israel’s “apartheid policies.”

      The resolution by the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education deepened the contest among academics in Britain, the United States and the Middle East that has evoked questions of academic freedom. The debate threatened to further divide British academics into camps for or against the imposition of penalties on Israeli university teachers cast as complicit in Israeli government actions in the West Bank and Gaza.

      … the association voted 106 to 71 in favor of the resolution…”

      Are all those thousands of teachers anti-Semites? No, they are not.

      In Ireland the call for a boycott of the zionist state has been endorsed by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU); IMPACT, the largest public-sector union in the Republic of Ireland; and the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA), the largest public-sector union in Northern Ireland. Are all those Irish trade unionists and others all over the EU anti-Semites? No they are not.

      They’re not anti-Semites but you are a racist who advocates the nuclear murder of Arabs and muslims. Luckily people like you are outnumbered millions to one and dismissed as the addle brained fanatics you are.

      Aug 10, 2009 at 7:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cheerfully asleep
      Cheerfully asleep

      you didn’t get me. I’m not surprised.

      Aug 10, 2009 at 8:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • carlos
      carlos

      Well, im actually proud that in Israel, they actually took the opportunity to learn from this murder of several people to apply it to secure LGBT rights there. I wish the situation could be better in America, where LGBT youth are not only KILLED (the boy in California) in school, but also harassed and bullied , and adults as well (Matthew Shepard).
      How many more need to die before our rights are protected and the media and legislators start considering gay rights a REAL issue (which they won’t discuss because it is “too hot of a topic” but by the time they get around to it it’ll be too late! Just look at the civil rights movement, 100+ years before real legislation was passed after the civil war).

      Aug 10, 2009 at 10:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chance
      Chance

      To those calling this anti-semitism, or islamaphobia… you don’t actually want equality, do you? You must not, because you refuse to look at the simplest facts. Religion, and only religion, makes us wrong. Religion leads to laws being passed against us, and religion comes into our youth centers to shoot us.

      As Queerty posted – half of Israelis think we’re perverted. We can assume, without much effort, that this half would not vote for us, and that this half would be more likely to commit a hate crime. Now look at Gallup’s poll on irreligion. 50% of Israelis don’t consider religion important. So 50% do. This is not a coincidence.

      The only way anything good can come out of this tragedy is if we’re willing to recognize the problem, and if we’re willing to put our equality ahead of our faith.

      Aug 10, 2009 at 11:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Julian Edward Domain
      Julian Edward Domain

      @Bill Perdue: Bill you have in this post proven you are the most insulting person to grace the screen. Tourettes is a seizure disorder, completely out of the control of the victim. The medications mentioned are leathaly toxic, and the psych treatment is for social adjustment. You are by far a horrible individual for making fun of such a horrid condition.

      Aug 10, 2009 at 11:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Cheerfully asleep:

      NOthing to get. It’s vulgar relativism–self defeating.

      Aug 10, 2009 at 11:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • edgyguy1426
      edgyguy1426

      @rudy: Right?

      Aug 10, 2009 at 1:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian
      Brian

      We need to deal with this type of religious lunacy:
      ISRAEL-WING AND A PRAYER Flying rabbis pray to save Israel from swine flu

      JERUSALEM (AP) An Israeli newspaper says a planeload of rabbis and Jewish mystics has held an airborne prayer meeting to help check the spread of swine flu in Israel.

      The Yediot Ahronot daily reports that a plane with 50 people on board circled over Israel on Monday, with the passengers chanting prayers and sounding the ritual ram’s horn.

      The newspaper carried a photo of bearded Orthodox Jewish men standing on the steps of an aircraft.

      Israel’s Health Ministry has confirmed more than 2,000 cases of swine flu, with five fatalities in the country so far. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to obtain enough vaccine to protect every Israeli citizen from swine flu this fall and winter.

      Just moronic.

      Aug 12, 2009 at 6:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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