Monday, August 3, 2009

Activists mourn Tel Aviv LGBT center attack victims

Activists and religious leaders in New York, Washington and across Israel continue to gather to mourn the two people a gunman shot and killed at a Tel Aviv LGBT center on Saturday night.

“We gather here tonight to mourn, to remember, and to make a promise. Here tonight, we mourn the inextricable reality of hate," Mark Pelavin, associate director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said at a Washington vigil earlier tonight.

"We mourn the persistence of apathy in the face of intolerance. But above all, we mourn the loss of two young Israelis who, while seeking love and support, were met with terror and violence."

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn echoed Pelavin.

"Saturday's shooting at the LGBT Youth Center in Tel Aviv was a shocking and horrendous hate crime," she said in a statement that announced a vigil to be held on Wednesday at Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in Manhattan. "My condolences go out to the family and friends of those who were taken too soon by the hand of hate, and my thoughts and prayers are with those still fighting for their lives."

Liz Trobishi and Nir Katz's murders are certainly an outrage that should motivate all fair-minded people to stand-up and proclaim loudly and with conviction anti-LGBT violence is completely unacceptable. The attack in Tel Aviv was also not only an attack against LGBT Israelis, but against those of us in Baghdad, Beirut, Boston, Bushwick and around the world. Our community has certainly made significant strides in recent years, but this attack provides yet another stark reminder we must double our resolve to ensure these tragic incidents of hate-fueled violence become a thing of the past.

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