With three gay teenagers dead in a horrific and homophobic attack this weekend at a gay support center in Tel Aviv, Israel, spokespersons in the Jewish and gay communities around the world are starting to speak out.
While the attack has yet to be officially recognized as a hate crime (Israeli police are considering whether the murders may have been a personal attack on the youth instead), Israeli police have urged other gay community centers and clubs in Tel Aviv to shutter their doors in fear of further attacks, and gay teens in that city are expressing fears for their continued safety and doubts about whether they will go back to the center even if the doors do open once again.
Today, Jewish and gay congressmen Barney Frank and Jared Polis praised Israel for its investigation into the murders. Congressmen Frank and Polis’ letter stated, in part:
“Of course, murders of any kind are a terrible blow to society, but we as Members of Congress who are gay and Jewish have noted with great pride that Israel is unique in the Middle East for its support of the right of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to equal treatment…”
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Rabbinical Assembly issued a statement yesterday, bemoaning that while
“Israel is a model of forward-thinking society where the overwhelming majority of citizens support equal civil rights for all…Unfortunately, some voices in that society seek to incite violence against the gay and lesbian community; they should be held to account.”
(Photo of Tel Aviv: BernieCB)