Did the Youth Club Shooting Scare You Away From Tel Aviv?


Just 12 days after the bloodshed in Tel Aviv comes this plea from City Councilmember Yaniv Waizman: Please come visit.

It’s an interesting strategy to pop up in the aftermath of such tragedy. But arguably, it’s a smart one. Tel Aviv didn’t just suffer a major loss to its community, but its brand as a gay tourist destination just took a hit. Should gay foreigners feel safe in a city where its own gays get gunned down?

Tel Aviv and Israel’s tourism board are wise to immediately launch a proactive PR effort to remind everyone how gay-friendly Tel Aviv is, despite the recent isolated violence.

Reads an email from Waizman: “The enormous support that our community has loudly and unequivocally received from President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Minister of Education Gidon Sa’ar and other government officials is groundbreaking. We hope and pray that from the pain, some major achievements will be attained in promoting our ongoing struggle for equal rights. During the last few years we’ve been working non stop to build Tel Aviv’s image as a Mediterranean capital of Gay tourism. The people, the bars, the parties, the restaurants, the white sandy beaches, the sense of absolute freedom – these are the components that justify this image. Especially now, especially today, I’m calling you to choose Tel Aviv as your next holiday destination.”

If you’ve got the cash and the time, is Tel Aviv still on your holiday destination list?

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  • Fitz

    Tel Aviv is a wonderful town. No more dangerous than any American City. And as far as the people— they are the kind of people that show up, en masse, to support the GLBT youth center after an attack. Beautiful beeches too. Palestinians, Jews, Christians all live side by side. Don’t believe the verbage of anyone who hasn’t even been there.

  • dontblamemeivotedforhillary

    Or, come to New York – The shopping is better!

  • Chance

    @Fitz: Palestinians, Jews, and Christians may live side by side, but they all agree on one thing – homosexuality is wrong and sinful. It’s all in the instruction manual. Unfortunately, sometimes people follow the instructions to the letter.

  • Fitz

    @Chance: Spoken like someone who has never been there.

  • Noah

    Granted I was only in Tel Aviv for a few days, but while I was there I felt completely safe, and I’d definately go back if I had the chance. Everyone I met was really friendly, and very secular and progressive in their world view. It was quite a stark contrast from the overbearing religiosity of Jerusalem.

  • hardmannyc

    Oh come on. That shooting would no more discourage someone from going to Tel Aviv than one random gay bashing from any other city. Not relevant. Everyone I know who’s gone has had a great time — and the men are HOT.

  • Gorbeh

    I had a great time when I was in Tel Aviv. Every country has their religious zealots so don’t think it’s all Israel.

  • Coke

    I was there this spring. There’s a cruisy park where the cops and everybody else know that sex is happening at night, just barely in the bushes. There’s a map of all the gay bars, etc., just like you’d get in Dallas or SF or New York. There’s a beach where the guys hang out in their underwear. There are gay sex shops.

    There are some crazy people everywhere, as it’s been said. Tel Aviv is very cosmopolitan. It’s great and the guys are hot. I loved it and felt very safe. They let openly gay folk in their army! It’s not an issue, except for the fundamentalists.

  • Coke

    Also – I live in Fort Worth, TX, Rainbow Lounge and yadda yadda, and Americans are WAY more uptight than anybody in Tel Aviv, in my experience.

  • Coke

    @Chance – Change that to FUNDAMENTALIST Palestinians, Jews, and Christians. Every single religion has its crazies who think all the rest are doing it wrong.

  • Brian

    @Coke: If you are part of that religion YOU agree with it. You can’t dismiss it as “crazies,” it is part of your belief.

    If you want to do something helpful OFFICIALLY change the beliefs. Change the doctrine. If you are part of religion you have blood on your hands.

  • fitz

    @Brian: You are analyzing religions through your own experience too much. Jews, for example, are given permission (and therefore obligation) to try to interpret meaning for themselves. There are whack jobs in every culture. It’s the exception, and not the rule. MOST whack jobs in Israel want little to do with Tel Aviv. It’s considered sort of a hippie liberal city.

  • Coke

    @Brian: #1, I never said anything about my own religious affiliation or lack thereof. #2, Not all members of any religion think alike or interpret their sacred texts in the same way. That’s why there are schisms and disagreements and factions and sects and congregations.

    Not all religious folk are haters. Some actually believe that God/Allah/Whoever is love. Not all atheists or non-religious folk are good people, and vice-versa on both accounts.

    If you hate religious folk just based on their being haters, then, hmmm. Your ideology is your religion and you’re the same as they are.

  • Brian

    @Coke: Then start your own religion. Because if you are Christian, Muslim or Jewish – your official doctrine condemns homosexuals. It also leads to shooting them.

  • Brian

    @fitz: If your Religion has “whack jobs” why are you part of it? Why don’t you dismiss those people?

    Doctrine is doctrine fool. Unless you belong to a sect of Judaism that has abolished the painful hate-creating definition of homosexuals – that would certainly be cool.

  • Brian

    @Coke: Wait…. I think I understand… I could be a member of an anti-semitic Country Club (play golf, drink beer and eat peanuts) and as long as “in my heart” I disagreed with the official mantra of this Club, I’d be just fine.

    No kidding? The beliefs of the group we support and play with can be erased by our “differing” thoughts. Amazing.

    Ok, sign me up. I like “make-believe.”

  • Adam

    @Coke: Thanks Coke. I’m going to pay a Hustler for sex tonight. I will simply believe it’s okay and ignore my beliefs. You are terrific.

  • Coke

    @Brian: And your official doctrine condemns anyone of faith. You’re guilty of stereotyping a wide swath of folk based on the behavior of some. I certainly hope you’re not white, because then, I would suppose by the same logic, you’re personally guilty of the slavery of black folk, because that’s your people’s history, and a lot of you still think that way. You see what I’m saying? Not all the members of the Boy Scouts are homophobes just because that’s their official line. Not all gay folk are blameless. Not all black folk are anti-Semitic racist homophobes. Not all of anybody is anything. There is diversity within groups.

  • Coke

    Not all pagan folk are fat and self-indulgent, but a lot are. Not all atheists are cold-hearted, science-driven robots. Not all smart folk have common sense, and not all people who think they are smart are even smart.

    You’ll find someone whose morality is pretty much like your own in any religion or non-religious group.

  • Brian

    @Coke: I think the people understand Coke-Head . . . it doesn’t matter the “official” position of a club, or church, or gang. In your mind you can rearrange things to make yourself feel less guilty. Good for you. You appear like a moron, but alas in your head you are actually brilliant.

    I guess it’s the drugs.

  • Brian

    @Coke: I don’t have a “doctrine.” That’s for babies who can’t think for themselves. What “Faith” were you born into? Surely you didn’t wait until you were smart enough to actually pick one, did you?

    I choose Pepsi. Wait… in my head…. wait…

  • Tyrone

    Whites only (but, hey in my head I’m not a racist). Yes, Coke you are brilliant. I’m using this shit.

  • edgyguy1426

    Thanks Coke for the info. I don’t know why you’re being jumped on so much because it looks like Tel Aviv has it far and beyond most cosmopolitan (American) cities.
    If this holds true Brian, where are you going to live in this country that doesn’t have ‘Judeo-Christian’ written into it’s government code?
    ( I live in Chicago and we can’t even get Civil Unions passed.And virtually the whole city council are Democrats)
    So are you not going to set foot in any city that doesn’t offer full eqaulity to it’s citizens? You’re going to have a very limited view of the world in that case, and miss out on meeting great people from other cultures.

  • Coke

    I don’t know why I’m being jumped on, either, but it’s pretty plain that the jumpers are narrow-minded, paranoid folk who expect to be attacked at every turn and who group people into categories that no one can climb out of to their satisfaction.


  • Alex

    All of my experience with Israelis has been great. There is a much larger secular segment to the society than you would think.

  • Alex



    NO ONE men are greater then the Israeli, HOMOS, hot sex sweet and big size equiptment M`m M`m .


    I just hope that the Youth Club Shooting Scare the bloody American Christian out of Israel, once and for all!!.

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