Photo: Gil Yohanan

Let’s hate them

Gay center killing marks escalation of Israeli hobby of ‘hating the other’

There’s something odd about the fact that only a killing spree at the homo-lesbian center in Tel Aviv introduced the term “hate crime” into Israeli jargon.


As if what we’ve seen thus far were loving and compassionate terror attacks. As if the entire range of Israeli violence – Palestinian terror, Yigal Amir, Baruch Goldstein, or any of your favorite terrorists – did not stem from personal hatred towards an entire community.


As if the entire Israeli public domain – talkbacks, politics shows on television, Knesset debates, yelling on the road, screaming on the radio – is not an ongoing musical of verbal hate crimes.


At this time it is still unclear whether the murder in Tel Aviv was indeed a “hate crime” against the homo-lesbian community. However, we cannot ignore the fact that recent years were replete with slanderous statements and hate promos for such crimes on the part of ministers for Middle Ages affairs and rabbis who wear dresses.


Moreover, ever since the crime that took place last Saturday, the air only became increasingly polluted with more hate sins and hateful talkbacks.


Increasing variety of hatred

Yet at this point, when it’s clear which community paid the price, it’s worth mentioning that no sector had been able to boast exclusivity over hatred. Even the public response to events such as the “starving mother” or the protests against the opening of the parking lot in Jerusalem on Shabbat was tainted by minor and generalized hate offences against the ultra-Orthodox public.


The murder at the gay youth center can be seen as an escalation in the popular Israeli hobby of “hating the other.” In the framework of the “Israel despises” campaign, we have seen in recent years increasing variety of hatred for others – homosexuals, haredim, Russian women, spinsters, Arabs, and foreigners.


This is because in Israel hatred is not a human weakness that must be fought, but rather, a banner to rally around. After all, we are being told, everyone around us hates us – so let’s hate them back. Hatred is the natural choice and a cause for pride. Those who don’t hate are suckers and naïve bleeding hearts.


פרסום ראשון: 08.08.09, 13:45
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