PHOTOS: Scenes From Tel Aviv’s Gay Youth Club Murders


The manhunt is on for the gunman who slaughtered a 26-year-old man and 17-year-old girl in a shooting rampage in Israel Saturday night, which left 11 others injured. Wielding a pistol, the assailant entered the youth center in downtown Tel Aviv, opened fire, and then fled on foot, leaving the male counselor (Nir Katz, pictured) and female teen dead.

The attack was a “hate crime,” says Nitzan Horowitz, Israel’s only openly gay lawmaker. “This is the worst attack ever against the gay community in Israel. This act was a blind attack against innocent youths, and I expect the authorities to exercise all means in apprehending the shooter.” This, in a city and country that takes a supportive and open approach to the gay community, though Orthodox Jews are often cited as inciting fearmongering among LGBTs. The “ultra-Orthodox Shas party suggested in parliament that earthquakes were divine punishment for homosexual activity. Shas, whose members have been among the most frequent critics of gays, issued a statement condemning Saturday’s attack.”

MEDIA: Police have placed a gag order on the case, prohibiting the publication of details from the Tel Aviv Gay and Lesbian Association attack, which they say could threaten the investigation. “The covers of Sunday’s newspapers all featured photos of the bloodstained floors of the youth club and headlines such as ‘Massacre of the Proud Youth’ and ‘Terror Against the Proud Community.’ Gay celebrities penned guest columns. The youth at the club ‘go there because it is a refuge of sorts for them,’ songwriter and gay activist Rona Keinan wrote in the daily Yediot Ahronot. ‘The very thought that a person might enter that protected space and simply open fire at them is shocking. I just want to cry.’”

SUPPORT RALLIES: Impromptu demonstrations honoring the lives lost were held Saturday night and Sunday. “Twenty-eight-year-old Nami Besser of the ‘Ha’Noar Ha’Oved Ve Ha’Lomed (Working and Studying Youth), who attended the rally along with 40 other members of her movement said, ‘We came here spontaneously from all across the country. I don’t need to be a lesbian to be shocked by what happened here. This is a free country that values all people equally. We must encourage people to feel comfortable about who they love. This murder goes against everything we believe in,’ she said. Yonatan Gher, director of Jerusalem’s Open House Pride and Tolerance Organization, told Ynet during the protest in the capital ‘ahead of every gay pride parade here people ask us why insist on holding it in Jerusalem and not in Tel Aviv. Yesterday’s incident proves that no place is safe. We are all part of Israeli society, and this violence endangers us all. It all comes from the same place.’ Some 300 people took part in the Jerusalem demonstration, and 200 more attended the rally in Beersheba.”

NEXT PAGES: Photos from the scene and supporters gathering at vigils.

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  • hephaestion

    That video clip starts up and at the bottom of the clip is an ad for a site where you can find out if your husband is gay. Hmmm….

  • terrwill

    I am sorry but the ultra orthodox jews are some of the most reprehensible scumbags ever to populate the Earth. Jews are probably the single group unfairly singled out for persecution in the history of mankind. They were slaughtered by the nazis simply because of being Jews. The same as the Gays in Nazi Germany simply because they were Gay. One would think that the ultra orthodox would have a respect for a group who have been persecuted for no other reason than being different from the majority. Not so, orthodox jews have been on the forefront of some of the most vile attacks on gays. During the Gay rights measure in NYC in the 80’s the orthodox jews were spewing some of the most vile hatred against Gays. When an AIDS patient was testifying the jews were laughing and making comments that “the gays deserved to die from AIDS”. Make a commment stating that they “deserved to be killed by the Nazis” and see their reaction……….

  • Matt


    Saying that “ultra orthodox jews are some of the most reprehensible scumbags” is just as bigoted as anything that ultra-Orthodox Jews can say about queerfolk. Yes, a lot of them are total homophobes. But there’s a significant amount of queer Orthodox Jews, even ultra-Orthodox Jews, both in the closet and not-so-in. When one person does something psychotic and f-ed up like this, it’s easy to go after the whole culture. But saying bigoted things about an entire ethnic group — no matter what the group is — is just wrong.

  • terrwill

    MATT…OK I will not be like the majority of the BBs (bitter bitches) here and start a pissin’match with you. You are correct. I am sure there are some who are not as described. So I ammend my post: The majority of ultra orthodox jews I have seen and heard in relation to any GLB issues are some of the most reprehensive scumbags ever to populate the human race! And you know what would really get their payess’ all twisted??? I sometimes am in Williamsburg Brooklyn, a major ultra orthodox enclave. And some of those guys are hot!!!!!

  • Trevor - Canada

    I can’t believe that in 2009 this is still happening (I know it is happening..but can’t beleive it).

    My heart goes out to the friends and family of the dead and injured.

    I hope they catch this guy and he gets what he deserves.

  • Brian


  • jom

    for the first time i agree with the orthodox jews.these disgisting sodomites are a threat to the world.these lesbo dykes creating babys from bought sperm.i hope a plague quicker than aids(maybe mrsa)punishes these sodomites before we all pay with the wrath of mother nature.

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