I think I may be able to write coherently about what happened.
First of all, thanks you everyone who commented on my previous post
, sent me an sms, an email, a phone call, all that.
I was safe and snug at home away from Tel-Aviv.
I didn't go to the impromptu Pride March
that took place in the vicinity, nor will I be able to go to any vigil today (possibly tomorrow). I am going to go to the big demo that's going to happen in Rabin Square on Tuesday.
The number of injured rose to 15, at least 7 of them went into surgery during the night. Almost all the injured are minors (i.e. under the age of 18).
The death toll remains two, though over the night there were reports that a third had died but that turned out to be a mistake.
The murder victims are a 16 year old woman/girl and a 26 year old boy/man.
The girl (and all the other minors) went to this little underground floor which for nearly 20 years has acted as the headquarters of the LGBT Rights Association, colloquially known as The Aguda
. The place has acted as a place of gathering for various queer groups, including this youth support group. There was no security guard, because this place for more than a decade, has been considered a "safe space" smack in the middle of Midtown Tel Aviv.
Talk about Queer central.
That dead man/boy acted as a councillor to these kids, many of them (if not most) closeted. This was where they came to be themselves, to vent, to get support, to be with others who are like them.
During the months leading up to Pride (Fuck, just a month ago!) and during June Pride month, I wrote a bit about various homophobic incidences that happened over the country and one of them was a "random" would-be gay bashing in Tel Aviv, simply because two guys were kissing in the street
There can really be no doubt that this was anything other than a homophobia motivated attack. Anyone trying to think of alternative scenarios is fooling themselves, or trying to. That little corner in the middle of the alley streets of central Tel Aviv was a known venue. Even if the little piece of shit didn't know it was going to be Teens and Young Adults there last night, the shooter knew damn well that there were going to be queer people there.
The recent entry
written at the Israel Left
blogging website begins like this:
Something happened in Tel-Aviv tonight, a milestone in the delicate relationship between minority and majority, left and right, and whatever other classifications you may wish to use here.
Honestly, I do not think so.
This is perhaps that most violent incident in scale, and it is overwhelming when an incident like this happens in the supposed cosmopolitan metropolis of "the only Democracy in the Middle East", however, we do not know how many queers do not report incidences of violence against them all year 'round. The statistics of this are very, very iffy. Queer people exist in every single
intersecting demography. A large portion of them are closeted.
Just like these kids.
I think it is incredibly naive to believe that this is a milestone in anything. This is a flare of a disease, an acute symptom of a social disfigurement. The violence in which it was committed is alarming and may indicate that the pressure in the melting pot is reaching critical, but homophobia has been and is alive and kicking and only the incredibly clueless would thing otherwise, yes, even in liberal Tel Aviv.
Just last week [Southern!Girl] and I went to a Butch/Femme event, she was the Butch and I was the Femme and it was such a clear dyke event, that just walking in the street we both felt exposed but at the event itself in the Rogatka
bar it felt so incredibly safe and good and fucking fun.
I did mention that if we were a little bit more on the South end of Tel Aviv I don't know how safe I would have felt walking down the street in my fancy dress and her in a fancy suit.
That centre is just a few kilometres South-West of where were.
I'm feeling kind of queasy.
The police's response to this was to close down the other
LGBT clubs and meeting spaces because the gunman is still at large.
That's your immediate answer? To try and police our movements even more, especially when Queers are fucking everywhere in Tel Aviv and the majority are really not going to be "hanging out" at the community gathering centres unless there is an event.
And that's the point.
We go to the same cafe's as straight people, the same movie theatres, the same bloody streets okay!
This attack was deliberate and for our safety you're telling us you're closing down our other (what we believed) were safe spaces.
Last night I was in shock. Today I'm fucking pissed.
You can follow my Twitter
which I used last night to disseminate information.