It pains us to write this, but it seems Israel was the victim of a hate crime last night. A shooter, dressed in black and armed with a pistol, burst into a center for gay youth and opened fire. He killed 2, critically injured another 2 who are now fighting for their lives, while the rest of the injured are in hospitals near central Tel Aviv. It appears it was well planned, the alleged murderer perpetrating the attack on what was supposed to be a secret meeting point for gay youth looking for mutual communal support, and quickly escaping. The shooter is still at large.
The dead are Nir Katz, 26, (left) and Liz Troubishi, 17. The meeting place was for 14-21-year-olds looking for a safe house, hang out and listen to music. Many of the injured are scared of being identified, and are worried they’ll be revealed as homosexuals before they are ready to come out to their relatives. Meanwhile, the attack is being condemned widely by all sides of the political spectrum, being termed a terror attack by the Likud’s Silvan Shalom, and Netanyahu vowing to bring the perpetrator to justice. Shas also came out with a statement condemning the attack.
Nevertheless, there are those that have made their share of counter incitement to these sickening murders. Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz, who is a homosexual, had this to say: “I very much hope this is not the result of comments made by public figures and Knesset members. They need to understand that some people will take action.”
He was referring to a comment made last year by former Shas MK Shlomo Benizri – recently sentenced to four years in jail for corruption – who proposed that the Knesset find a way to prohibit homosexuality, and save the State trouble in dealing with earthquakes, intimating that the homosexual act is a cause for the natural disasters.
Notwithstanding the fact that Benizri’s comment was idiotic and embarrassing for religious Judaism, to equate it with incitement to murder is just as idiotic and embarrassing. Incitement to murder is what you hear in places like Gaza and Jenin, where Sheiks go up publicly to give a sermon eplicitly about how everyone should kill as many Jews as people and liberate Palestine, or distribute videos about how to construct a suicide bomb vest, or praising suicide terrorist murderers That’s incitement to murder. Making a distasteful, offensive comment is not. To blame Benizri’s comment for these murders is like blaming the movie The Matrix for the Columbine High massacre of 1999. If I were MK Horovitz, I would, especially now, do my best to conduct a dialogue with Shas about this whole thing instead of yelling at them. The same goes vice versa. It’s easy for both sides to yell at each other, especially now. It’s not so easy to start talking.
But that’s the only way Israeli society will be able to heal itself after this unique terror attack. May God comfort the mourners.