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Police Claim Lead in Tel Aviv Attack: Explore 'Personal Feud' Motive


Israeli paper Ha'aretz is reporting that the motive behind the shooting that took place in the basement of a safe haven gay community center in Tel Aviv yesterday may have been personal rather than a broader attack against gays, and that they have a possible lead in the case:

"'This tip has to be examined very carefully. We are still at an early stage in the investigation, and it's too soon to say if this supposition is going to materialize,'
police sources said. Besides homophobia, another direction under investigation is that of a personal feud, they added. Some of the sources criticized the reaction of the leaders of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, who police say rushed to make declarations about incitement being the cause of the murders of the two victims. 'They were too quick with the rallies and the slogans. It's not at all clear - the motive for the attack may have been personal, rather than a general targeting of the community,' a senior Tel Aviv police source told Haaretz."

HorowitzThen again, it might not be.

Tel Aviv LGBT leaders say despite the motive, they still consider it a hate crime. Said gay Tel Aviv MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz): "Someone who goes in with a mask, with the goal of killing as many gay young people as possible, has committed a hate crime. We will continue our activities. We will fight back at anyone who tries to kill us. Years of unremitting incitement from MKs, rabbis and public figures have exacted a heavy price," he continued. "I attribute this to the general incitement and hate with which we have been contending for years in this community."

Top, a wounded victim being taken to the hospital.

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  1. Am I the only one who didn't know MK stands for "Member of Knesset"?

    Posted by: Steve D. | Aug 3, 2009 9:10:13 AM

  2. It's in the police's best interest to dismiss this as a hate crime, given that some effort has been made to market Israel as a Middle East mecca for gays and lesbians. Israel is not as gay-positive as the marketing would have us believe. Despite all the spin, there really is no safe haven for gays, lesbians or other queers anywhere in the Middle East.

    Posted by: David D. | Aug 3, 2009 9:59:24 AM

  3. Never jump to conclusions. After statements like that, Horowitz better hope the shooter was most definitely a religion-inspired hater. Or else he looks....kinda jerky. Otherwise, it seems like overall, Israelis, from the political bigshots to straight allies to those in the religious communities, are acting very admirably to support their fellow countrymen (who happen to be gay) after this tragedy.

    Posted by: JT | Aug 3, 2009 10:23:47 AM

  4. I'm not sure David if you live your life based on what marketing tells you, nor can I speak to what marketing you are referring to, but I for one have been to Israel, and from my direct and personal experience can tell you that Israel is gay positive. (whatever the hell gay positive means) In addition, the City of Tel Aviv IS a gay mecca in the Middle East and is incredibly welcoming, open, secular, liberal, and exudes a live and let live attitude and lifestyle. It is unfortunate that in any free and open democratic society, tragedy can strike when one least expects it.

    Posted by: Adam | Aug 3, 2009 1:18:34 PM

  5. A hate crime in the US is based on the motivation of the attacker, not the status of the victim. For example, the victim of a gay hate crime could be str8.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 3, 2009 1:19:51 PM

  6. Of course it was all the victims fault. Of course they brought it on themselves for 'personal' reasons. Of course the Shas party had absolutely nothing to do with it. The Shas party would never advocate gunning down LGBTQ just because they cause earthquakes, hurricanes, and are an abomination. The victims brought it on themselves with their 'lifestyle' and 'sinning'. Of course they did.

    Posted by: Wheezy | Aug 4, 2009 1:32:46 AM

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