Marching in central Tel Aviv
Photo: Yaron Brener
MK Horowitz. 'The worst hate crime'
Photo: Yaron Brener

Hundreds march in Tel Aviv following shooting

Spontaneous ceremony held in memory of two people killed in attack on gay youth center. 'This is an act of pure unfounded hatred, which leads to the murder of children for being gays and lesbians,' one of participants tells Ynet

Spontaneous memorial, hours after deadly attack: Hundreds of people marched silently Saturday night from the place where two people were murdered at a gay and lesbian youth center in central Tel Aviv, towards a gay center in Meir Park.


The marchers held gay community flags and signs reading "All together – without hatred and fear" and "Love – don't kill".


Revital, one of the participants, told Ynet, "The feeling is terrifying. We live in a bubble, believing that everything is fine. This is an act of pure unfounded hatred, which leads to the murder of children for being gays and lesbians. It's very sad knowing that it's still so."


Lighting candles in memory of dead (Photo: Yaron Brener)


The Shas faction condemned the attack, but Revital had harsh things to say against the ultra-Orthodox party. "People like (Shas Chairman) Eli Yishai and (former Knesset Member) Shlomo Benizri openly hared gays and lesbians," she said.


She called on the police to hurry and capture the shooter, who was still roaming freely. "They have to catch this man and those behind him, so that people won’t be afraid. Tel Aviv has undergone a revolution in the past 10 years, and we don't want to go back in time."


Ronen, another marcher, said that "this is a difficult day for the entire country, when unfounded hatred leads to the murder of people whose only crime was being different. But unfortunately, it's not surprising. In the meantime, all we can do is think and share the grief of the families and friends of the casualties."


Signs against Shas as well (Photo: Yaron Brener)


Kfir Lavi, coordinator of the "You have someone to talk to" hotline, referred to the incident as a terror attack. "What we are seeing here is persecution," he said. "This attack was against the activity of youth in the closet, against friends and those who have doubts.


"Someone came in intentionally, knowing what was taking place there and who were the people present there, and carried out the attack. People feel this could have happened anywhere. The finger on the trigger was against sexual identity. They intended to hurt people because of who and what they are. There is a feeling of persecution, because following the attack all the places were closed at the police's order. There is a feeling of lawlessness."


Knesset Member Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) spoke at the end of the march. "We can already say that this is the worst hate crime. Youths are lying in hospitals. The parents of some of them don't even know they were here," he said.


The gay community has launched a special hotline to support its members at this number: 972-3-6205591.


Yaron Druckman contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 08.02.09, 07:24
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