(Image from Ynetnews)
Thousands of LGBT Israelis have held an impromptu march through the streets of Tel Aviv after a masked gun man opened fire at a center for gay teenagers, killing at least two and injuring more than a dozen, some seriously, late last night. Protesters held home made banners, rainbow flags and marched with their friends in an act of defiance against the kind of anti-Gay hate speech that many feel fueled this attack.
The shooter is still at large. He was possibly seen unsuccessfully trying to continue this bloodbath in a gay club nearby, the Evita, but he fled the scene.
Numerous Israeli Politicians and gay activists, as well as the police, have labelled this a hate crime. In light of this, The Daily Horse is reprinting its own commentary from earlier today.
Daily Horse Commentary: Why Hate Speech Is a Life and Death Issue
Interesting that this event follows closely on the heels of virulent anti-Gay former Knesset member, Schlomo Benizri, having his punishment for certain criminal activities upped from 18 months to four years. A week ago, The Supreme Court of Israel rejected the former cabinet minister’s request to reconsider his sentence of four years in prison for accepting a bribe, fraud and breach of faith and obstruction of justice, of which he was convicted.
Earlier last year, Benizri, of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Shas Party, said earthquake tremors had been caused by lawmaking that gave “legitimacy to sodomy“.
Benizri made his comments while addressing a committee of the Israeli parliament, or Knesset, about the country’s readiness for earthquakes. He called on lawmakers to stop “passing legislation on how to encourage homosexual activity in the state of Israel, which anyway brings about earthquakes.”
Benizri has a history of making anti-Gay comments, and he has been part of a larger group of ultra Orthodox politicians who have verbally harassed the GLBT community, especially during the Pride Parades.
Benizri’s lawyers requested further discussion of the matter, claiming that the court had set a new bar of harsh punishment for offenses related to government corruption.
The government essentially agreed that the punishment was harsh. But Justice Eliezer Rivlin rejected the claims, writing in his decision that while Benizri’s punishment was indeed made much more severe, it was clear that the court had been aware of the various considerations when making its decision. Rivlin stated that the Supreme Court was sometimes required to raise the bar on punishments for certain offenses when it became clear that the previous guidelines had not fulfilled their purpose.
Interesting timing. Just sayin’.