Some 3,000 people joined a memorial march marking one year since the murder at a gay youth club in Tel Aviv. The marchers left Tel Aviv's Rothschild Avenue and made their way to Meir Park carrying torches and banners reading "Homophobia is equal to racism."
Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar attended the memorial ceremony in Meir Park though no government representative was present at Thursday's Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem. His speech was heckled by some who called, "Why didn't you come to Jerusalem? We should have rights in Jerusalem too. Youths have a right to be gay in Jerusalem too."
Sa'ar said that sexual identity would soon be taught in schools. "We are working to ensure that violence based on homophobia will be recognized as violence based on hatred of the different, of the other," Sa'ar said.
"Educational material has been and is being prepared for teaching sexual identity and gender in schools and high schools. Programs for these subjects was prepared last year."
The organizers of the march called for donations to assist those left disabled after the murderous attack.
MK Horowitz at the head of the marchers (Photo: Yaron Brener)
"The fact that those injured in the attack are not recognized in Israel of 2010 as hate crime victims, and are not supported by the State, is proof of the inadequacy of Israeli society," MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) said to Ynet on Saturday. "It is inconceivable that in a modern society like Israel they should be funded by contributions."
Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai and victims of the attack also spoke, in addition to Horowitz and Sa'ar. Singer Harel Skaat performed alongside Korin Allal and the Pride Center male-voice choir, among others.
On Thursday the Gay Pride Parade returned to Jerusalem, after which there was a memorial ceremony for the victims of the Tel Aviv gay club shooting.
"The murder shows up the contemptuous attitude to the gay community," Ayala Katz, mother of Nir who was murdered in the attack, said during the ceremony. "With all the emotions and sadness and yearning for Nir, I also have enormous optimism that we will be able to talk to all. Only dialogue will bring us all, Israeli society, to a different place."