UPDATES 7 pm Israel time Thursday:
The war in Syria has arrived in force on the Israeli border this morning and afternoon with a major battle between Syrian army regulars and rebels at the town of Quneitra. At first, the border crossing was taken by the rebels, only to be retaken in the afternoon by Assad’s forces in a tank assault. Israel has already lodged a protest against the deployment of Syrian tanks in the DMZ along the Golan Heights.
The Austrian government, following the lead of other countries, has just announced that it is withdrawing its U.N. Observer contingent from that DMZ. In this context, it comes as no surprise that Israel has also moved tanks to the border this afternoon–an afternoon that has seen more mortars fired into Israel.
Captain Renault: “Major Strasser’s been shot. Round up the usual suspects.”
—From the movie Casablanca
The hideous crime took place on August 1, 2009. According to witnesses, a veiled man entered the Barnoar Gay Youth Center in Tel Aviv and opened fire. Nir Katz and Liz Trubeshi, two young, gay people who happened to be there at the time were killed, and eleven other members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transexual (LGBT) community were wounded.
Immediately, activists and politicians from all sides of the political spectrum such as Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Tzipi Livni rushed to label the murders as a hate crime and others, despite absolutely no evidence to support their accusation other than the supposed shooter was dressed “in black”, blamed the orthodox for committing them.
Here is one of those accusations from 2009:
From Danny Zak, gay activist and journalist: “I warned in a column last year that Israel is a place which, on the one hand has liberal laws, but on the other does not attempt to counter homophobia. A murder was waiting to happen. The Shas party [orthodox Sephardic religious party] has the blood of two innocent kids on their hands.
It turns out that no orthodox person was involved at all.
After a nearly four year investigation, four suspects were arrested overnight including one well-known member of the LGBT community. It turns out that it was revenge over a personal grudge rather than “hate” that motivated the killers.
The sad truth is that it has become fashionable to blame the orthodox for virtually every “exceptional” crime in Israel:
*Every time a so-called “price tag” incident occurs such as graffiti on a church or mosque, the police immediately announce that the orthodox are suspect.
*Every time an Arab is assaulted in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem, the police immediately announced that the orthodox are suspect.
The list goes on and on.
Even expressions of free speech such as organizing demonstrations against the Women at the Wall, or attempting to pray on the Temple Mount are regularly condemned as “illegitimate” by the media, the police, and Israeli politicians.
The atmosphere of hate against the orthodox even permeates the fabric of the IDF. When soldiers appeared this morning at the fledgling Jewish community of Binyamin Maoz Ester and destroyed all of the buildings in the orthodox community without any regard for those living there, what are we supposed to call it?
Your humble servant believes that it is high time to stop scapegoating the orthodox. To continue to do so is a hate crime of the first order.
*Addendum: You may remember the media-proclaimed “Jewish terrorist” Jack Teitel who was recently convicted of numerous crimes, one of which was the murders at the Barnoar Gay Youth Center in 2009 which he supposedly confessed to. Perhaps it is time to revisit Teitel’s various “confessions” and his conviction?