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Isn't It Terrorism When Victims Are Gay?

By August 2, 2009

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Ridiculous question. Of course it is.

Except in Israel.

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Saturday evening in Tel Aviv a masked gunman entered the Tel Aviv Gay and Lesbian Association building around 11 p.m., made his way to the basement where adolescents were holding a weekly support meeting, and opened fire. The gunman murdered a 26-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl and wounded 15 others, most of them minors, four of them seriously, Haaretz is reporting. And fled.

Police, amazingly were quick to dismiss any suggestion that it was a terrorist attack. As Haaretz had it in an early report, "Israel Police said that the incident at the club on Nahmani Street did not have a terror motive." The line was later edited out of the story, but subsequent stories, like one in The Times, reflect an even stranger attempt on Israeli authorities' part to downplay any hint of incendiary motives behind the murders: "Tel Aviv police chief Shachar Ayalon stopped short of branding the shooting a hate crime remarks to reporters."

Translation: Arabs were not the attackers. An Israeli was, possibly a follower of one of the extreme-right Orthodox-Jewish parties that bash gays.

That's how prejudicial the language of terrorism has become in Israel. An attack on a gay and lesbian community center in every way designed to terrorize, and is by most reasonable definitions a terrorist act (as it was when, say, Matthew Shephard was murdered in Wyoming or when countless blacks were lynched and murdered in pre-civil rights America), is mitigated, domesticated, neutered. Terrorism applies only to Arabs. Never to Israelis.

Why would a police spokesman call the murders "criminal, rather than nationalistic," if not to telegraph a perverse kind of reassurance to the Israeli public that Palestinians aren't suddenly roaming the streets in search of alternative prey? After all, hadn't the Palestinians' al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades threatened retaliation for Sasha Baron Cohen's interview of an al-Aqsa "terrorist" for his flamingly gay "Bruno" movie?

Authorities aren't necessarily wrong to make certain distinctions. When a plane goes down, people immediately want to know: terrorism or malfunction? It doesn't make a difference to the dead. It makes a difference to the living. And there is a difference.

But what, precisely, is the difference between terrorism and a hate crime? What has the absence of nationalistic motives got to do with it when the intent is at heart to terrorize and degrade a group of people for who they are? For that matter, how different is that from the systematic denigration and frequent terrorizing of Palestinians at the hands of Israeli occupation?

Politics alone doesn't define terrorism. Nor does nationalism. A terrorist attack took place. Then a different sort of attack took place after that, an attack Arabs and Jews will recognize immediately for its terrible routine: The qualifications of the attack as a mere "crime" have an undercurrent of prejudice, even of hate, with Palestinians as target.

In sum, two hate crimes took place in Tel Aviv Saturday night. One (the murders) was unusual. The other is routine.

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Comments

August 2, 2009 at 12:01 pm
(1) Grant Daniel MacDonald says:

Homophobia & Religious Extremism by Grant Daniel MacDonald

When one studies civilization and finds that the Irish people are 60,000 years old; 54,000 years older than the Jews/Palestinians; Egypt or Greece and that the myth of Catholicism or Christianity is a mere 2009 years old; one soon realises that there is little evidence to prove any of the cross related bogus elements of that cult. In the year 300 AD when Emperor Constantine, who to some was the first pope; went on to fabricate Christianity – a fantasy – which turned out to be one of the most hateful & evil concoctions ever perpetrated on the world. The Vatican supported Hitler and religion is responsible for more corruption and violence in the world. Pope Ratzinger was involved in the Nazi youth. The Pope & Vatican with its blatant witchcraft related to the bible and its hateful beliefs; tries to rule with extreme prejudices against a world … that may fall victim to religions’ absolute evil. To think of Matthew Sheppard choking on his own blood after being savagely beaten; virtually sanctioned by the church … is beyond comprehension … yet is the same as boys being bullied into suicide; most likely being supported by their parents’ religious beliefs.

What ever happened to … “Love Your Fellowman?” Perhaps the evil preachers should be told to take their cult out of America. Didn’t Thomas Jefferson say that church and state should be separated by a wall and it’s written in the Constitution that there must be separation of church and state. Bigotry and hatemongering against gays should be banned.

Tell them to take that cross and shove it where the sun don’t shine … and pay their taxes along the way before they take that cross down forever … with its final station; extinction. It is written; so therefore it shall be?

We are the chosen people? Such crap. United States is supposedly fighting for democracy? It is suppressing gay rights and following an extremist religious & bigoted family values path according to a basic cult riding roughshod over the rights of gay people. Canada and Britain are more civilized with its military and basic dignity. We must respect that these fine dignified gentlemen … His Excellency Governor Schwarzenegger, The Honorable Attorney General Jerry Brown, His Excellency Mayor Gavin Newson, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano & The Honorable Rep. Barney Frank (D) who is personally openly gay … are trying to guarantee equal rights and reflect the respect shown to all; as stated in the American Constitution. To see the religious lunatics manipulate government and our lives … is shameful.

This bogus religious filth should be banned. It exists as a tax exempt structure which discriminates against human rights. The pope, bishops and mormons are cult members promoting discrimination against minorities. That bogus black book called the bible should be banned. Religion and the churches should now be exposed as a bigoted structure that gets away with hate mongering. Love between two guys or girls existed long before these cults existed. By enjoying their tax exempt status and benefits from the state … it also puts them at the mercy of America; to be forced to adhere to the human rights laws. Religion is thriving like a cancerous growth on society that should be stopped in its tracks; outlawed & banned.

Interesting global occurrence … Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien told the Vatican that there was to be no cross erected over the Canadian Parliament buildings … figuratively speaking; when the Pope demanded the Prime Minister go against gay rights. An Alberta bishop had the audacity to say that The Canadian Prime Minister would go to hell for going against the church. Such outrageous evil threats. The Right Honourable Prime Minister … in return; basically told the Pope to go to Hell.
The Honourable Irwin Cotler, Canadian Minister of Justice, stood for equal rights for the gay community.

With reference to protecting the children. The Honourable Hedy Fry, member of the Canadian Liberal Parliament, who happens to be a doctor spoke eloquently to defend the rights of babies being born and stated that she was in fact defending their rights by speaking on behalf of equal rights for the children and youth of the future; defending their integrity and dignity.

Many theologians state quite correctly that the birth; crucifixion; resurrection and other elements of christianity actually didn’t even happen! The pope is running a bigger fraud than Madoff’s $50 billion ripoff. Such a fraud.

Today’s evangelical extremists are like the nazis who cast others into ovens & are actually supremacists – who practice their bogus hocus pocus – and are trying to suppress and deprive others of their happiness and their legal rights in an open and proud society.

I am the son of a catholic father who never went to church and a protestant mother who took us to church and Sunday school. Although we as young children would sneak out the side door and play by the cannon from World War One where my grand-father fought for freedom as a Sgt Mgr at Vimy and father who fought at Normandy on D-Day for freedom.

Onward christian soldiers … I think not. Such drivel. To be manipulated by a santa claus; an easter bunny and worst of all a bogus cross. One should appreciate each day of life and not expect another … and if there is it will be given by a God of Love.

Einstein stated in a letter recently auctioned that the bible was a collection of primitive legends. He said believing in God was childish and he as a Jew is no different than another person … not chosen by God. Do you want to be lambs at the slaughter or be wise and reject religious cultist manipulation? Mean & nasty; run by evil and bogus religious cults from Rome or wherever. Is this the world you want? The pope talks about ending prejudice and hate; what a hypocrite!

A great story … pertains to a boy at a catholic school in Oshawa, Ontario … who wanted to take his boyfriend to his school prom. The nasty catholic school forbid this. The boy’s father is an employee with General Motors Canada and the courageous union leader … Buzz Hargrove stood up for the boys’ rights. The boy took his case through the courts and because the school was benefiting from government funding which demands equal rights void of discrimination; the judge ordered the school to allow the boys to attend together. Their limo arrived at their prom with adoring onlookers … there wasn’t a dry eye to be found.

August 2, 2009 at 1:32 pm
(2) Ron Haber says:

“Translation: Arabs were not the attackers. An Israeli was, possibly a follower of one of the extreme-right Orthodox-Jewish parties that bash gays.

That’s how prejudicial the language of terrorism has become in Israel.”

Looks like prejudicial yourself since it might be a member of the same gay community gone “postal”

August 2, 2009 at 1:48 pm
(3) Ron Haber says:

If you would bother to do a simple search on Google you would discover that crimes against gays are considered hate crimes not terrorist acts. This is included all over the world not just Israel. If you find any information that crimes against gays are called terrorist acts why don’t you provide any links? Please do. I would like to be educated about this terrible phenomenon.

It is OK to hate Israel. Nobody tells yiu not to However it is helpful to provide correct information to your readers. Otherwice one might think you are not very deep and a lazy writer.

P.S. Start your research here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence_against_LGBT_people

Thanks for your concern about gay violance.In fact israel is known as very tolerant towards gays. Unfortunately Lebanon from where you from is known as very much intolerant society. I would like to think that it is helpful to check your house first and then to critic others. Some people might think that you are a hypocrite. To help you discover and comment about gat rights in lebanon I found a link for you. Please look at it then compare with situation in Israel. It would be interesting to read your comments. Please be free to educate us farther.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Lebanon

August 2, 2009 at 2:42 pm
(4) Pierre says:

My point is, Ron, that first, I see no difference between the two. Second, even Israeli authorities are reluctant to call it a hate crime, for the reasons spelled out above. Third, save the self-pity about Israel. It’s a juvenile and dull way to deflect from the real issue. As for your concern about “my house,” you can read all about it in my piece, “Lebanon’s Homophobic Censors Need ‘Help.’” I don’t fancy the intellectual inefficiency of glass houses (and would suggest that you do your research first before lobbing silly slanders).

August 2, 2009 at 3:03 pm
(5) Ron Haber says:

“Isn’t It Terrorism When Victims Are Gay?
Ridiculous question. Of course it is.
Except in Israel ”

Pierre.You are fanny here. I am not talking about your ‘opinion” You are free to wrire what you want.

I’ll try to get into details just for you.

First your headline says
“Isn’t It Terrorism When Victims Are Gay?

The answer is No. Why? Because the definition of violence against gays called ” hate crime” not a terrorist act” If you read the link I provided you will not see another definition. The fact is you can not provide any link yourself.

Second line says”

“Ridiculous question. Of course it is.”

Yhis is your personal opinion. I don’t question this at all.

Third line says

“Except in Israel ”

This is a lie. Why?

Because it says that in Israel they call it ” hate crime” but everywhere else they call it ‘terrorist act” Otherwhise why did you use the word ‘ except”

All i can say is you are not truthful and biased in your statement. Sorry it is so detailed but looks like I wasn’t clear and now you can understand my point.

August 3, 2009 at 3:00 am
(6) Frank says:

In the Arab or Persian Muslim world, this kind anti-gay slaughter would be considered an evening’s entertainment.

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