How can we stop Orthodox Jewish anti-gay terrorism?

As of the time of this post we do not know that it was an Orthodox Jew who perpetrated yesterday's terrorist attack against gays in Tel Aviv. The speculation is that it was.

We will modify this post if it turns out that the gunman was not an Orthodox Jew. Still, no matter who pulled the trigger, some vitriolic Orthodox Jewish rhetoric has created an atmosphere conducive to terrorist acts like this one.

Here is the story link from the LA Times [hat tip Yochanan III]:

Gunman kills two at gay center in Israel
By Richard Boudreaux
Reporting from Jerusalem -- A masked gunman slipped into a community center for gay teenagers in Tel Aviv and sprayed the room with automatic rifle fire late Saturday, killing two people and wounding at least 10 in what activists called Israel's deadliest crime against homosexuals....more...
Whoever it was, we take these options from our previous post and ask how they apply to the current situation:

Five scenarios for solving the problem of religious terror and violence.

1. the forceful eradication of the terrorists
- not a practical solution
2. "cracking down" -- one step back from wiping them out - a round-up is inevitable and the Israeli government will impose closer scrutiny of religious institutions and their rhetoric
3. violence wins - never an option
4. separation of religion from politics - long-term this must be a value that is inculcated in any democratic state
5. secular authorities embrace moral values, including those associated with religion - in part always a valid avenue to explore, but that's never going to include the "value" of anti-gay hatred.


Ruthie Levi said...

tzvee, there is absolutely nothing in the media indicating the identity of the shooter. imho it is unnecessarily disparaging to pin this on the ortho community at this time.

Tzvee Zahavy said...

no in fact every story in the media makes the connection to orthodox anti-gay rhetoric and speculates that the shooter is orthodox

Ruthie Levi said...

sadly, most of the israeli media outlets that i read, have pushed this story way off the front page now & none of them had the speculation u cite. i don't see how your blog entry is helpful. there seems to be no clue as the shooters identity, except in teaneck :(

bob carroll said...


Tzvee Zahavy said...

it's legitimate to speculate that the act of violence emanated from the community with the greatest prejudice. in the US the police would start investigating anti-gay violence with the redneck communities. in israel it's the haredim. it's also legitimate for the gay community (aka "deviants" see below) to frame the violence in the context of the hatred that they feel from the haredim.

haaretz reports -

The ultra-Orthodox media moved yesterday from attempting to push the shooting at the gay and lesbian center in Tel Aviv from the top of the news to an offensive against the gay and lesbian community.

Surfers on Haredi Web sites would have found it difficult from the sites alone to understand the nature of the "club," as it is called, where the attack took place. Most of the sites refrained from using the words "gay" or "lesbian." Other Haredi sites described the center as a "deviants' club" or as "the Tel Aviv club."

Reports of the murders and the investigation were quickly supplanted by bitter accusations against the gay community, indicating that they had exploited the event to attack the Haredi community.

Some Web sites featured explanations that is was unreasonable to think that the killer was ultra-Orthodox, pointing out that he was reportedly dressed entirely in black, contrary to ultra-Orthodox custom, that he was skilled in using a weapon and that he reportedly arrived on the scene on a motorcycle.