If you’ve followed the news in Israel at all, you probably remember the shooting rampage at an “LGBT Youth Center” in Tel Aviv. [If you don’t know the acronym, good for you, and please let me not be the one to inspire you to look it up.] With absolutely no evidence whatsoever, it was immediately assumed that the shooter was charedi, and that it was a hate crime:
“This hate crime needs to be a turning point and to give strength,” [MK Tzipi] Livni told hundreds of Israelis who rallied in Tel Aviv to protest the attack, in which 15 people were also wounded.
Mike Hamel, the head of the Aguda, Israel’s LGBT organization, said such an attack was unprecedented in Israel.
“We have joined the list of ‘civilized’ countries in which hatred is the standard,” he said. “I don’t know whether the incident was directed at youth, but it appears that it was directed at the community. This is baseless hatred that cost us dearly – this is what needs to be understood.”
Hamel said that “elements represented by [Shas leaders] Eli Yishai and Benizri that are fostering hatred are still stronger than the increasingly favorable attitude toward [deviance].”
This led to a global campaign of anti-Haredi incitement. A headline from a Dallas LGBT news source even acknowledged (after 50,000 people rallied in Tel Aviv in support of the “LGBT community” after the shooting) that maybe, possibly, the narrative that everyone was taking for granted was wrong: “Tel Aviv shooting update: Killer may not have been ultra-Orthodox extremist.” Really? Ya think?
Well, last week’s headline that “[that] community reels over arrests in youth center shooting” could hardly be more accurate. It turns out that one of those arrested is the Director of the Center… not because he was part of the shooting, but for the same reason the center he led was targeted.
Even now, of course, you’ll still find someone calling it a hate crime — in a desperate attempt to cover the fact that the director of the center is now accused of an assault upon one of the youth at the center, the younger brother of two of the shooters. Never mind, he says, that this was obviously a revenge killing — that the shooters came looking for the director, and then launched a rampage when they couldn’t find him. Since the two drop-outs involved “used to be” charedi, therefore “the hatred of [deviance] inherent in Jewish Orthodoxy rubbed off on them,” and therefore the Book of Leviticus is responsible after all. I kid you not.
It’s true that hatred and bigotry still flourish in society; obviously some people will never give theirs up, no matter how the facts prove them wrong.