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August 3, 2009


At approximately 11:00pm on Saturday, a man reportedly dressed in black and wearing a black ski mask entered the Gay Youth Center in Tel Aviv, Israel and immediately opened fire, spraying bullets indiscriminately around the room.

The teenagers, many of whom were very young and hadn't even come out to their parents yet, were gathered in a basement room of the Tel Aviv Gay and Lesbian Association for a group support meeting. Within minutes, two people were killed and more than a dozen where wounded.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Israel Radio identified a 17 year old girl from Holon and a 24-year-old guide from Givatayim as the two fatalities. Of those who where wounded, at least two are in critical condition, another six were badly hurt and several others had minor wounds. Unfortunately, regardless of the physical wounds, the psychological trauma of just being a target during such a horrendous attack like this is going to haunt everyone who was in that room for the rest of their lives.

Even though Tel Aviv has been a target of numerous terrorist's attacks, most agree that this one was not done by a terrorist. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that this was "most likely a criminal attack and not a terror attack."

Eyewitness Yaniv Weisman told Channel 10 TV that, "This was a hate crime, a premeditated attack." He said Cafe Noir (the basement club's name) was a popular spot with gay youth. The club is also a bit off the beaten path which means that you have to know where you were going to be able to find it. So this being a random terrorist's act seems unlikely.

Of course it won't be possible to know the real motives behind the gunman's attack until he is caught. But, it's well known throughout Israel that the Jewish right wing religious sects espouse the same hateful, homophobic, rabble-rousing rhetoric that our own right wing religious fanatics constantly blubber about here. It's not such a big leap to assume that that kind of shrill pomposity, especially "in the name of God," can easily lead an unstable mind to believe that they would be doing "God's work" by such horrendously evil acts like this shooting. Somewhere along the line, this needs to be stopped before more innocent people and children are killed because of those twisted beliefs.

Yes, there is the issue of freedom of expression. But even that has limits -- like it's unlawful to yell "FIRE" in a crowded theatre when there isn't any fire. Well, to me, this kind of religious rhetoric is exactly the same thing and shouldn't be protected by any law or constitution. And, I have no doubt that our founding fathers would agree.

Since this incident occurred there have been dozens of stories in mainstream medias, blogs across the internet and radio and television stations around the world. If you would like to read more, the links I've provided below are the sites I used to compile this report:

The Jerusalem Post
The Huffington Post
The Advocate.com

And here's a recent article about the continuing manhunt for the gunman...


Rainbow Dragon 76 said...

That is just totally disgusting.

Steve Krotz said...

I couldn't agree more. Thanks for your comment.