Last night, two young people were killed and several were wounded in by a veiled gunman at a Tel-Aviv youth center for the local GLBT community. The police is pursuing investigations (and since there’s public interest in this incident, and as a result, money in it, too, they might actually pull some efforts to apprehend the culprit).
I’m not just stating the obvious. It’s very tempting to rant about homophobia and religious bigotry, especially in light of how theistic the Israeli population is. There is a history of hate crime in Israel, mostly orchestrated by hate-mongers from the ultra-orthodox brand of Jewish fuckwittery – but there is no way at this time that anyone can pin down the underlying agenda behind this incident. This, for all intents and purposes, could be the violent outcome of a personal feud. It’s unlikely, but it’s possible, and I don’t find it appropriate that everybody is just assuming that this is a hate crime. Not that I don’t think it is, but some fact-based assertions would be most welcome before or at least while we’re declaring a national day of mourning.
Throughout today, there has been an ambience somewhat resemblant to that of Yom Kippur, Memorial Day, Holocaust Day and other “Jewish Sadness Holidays”, as I will gladly call them. I’m juxtaposing these to illustrate the fact that Yom Kippur, Holocaust Day and Memorial Day are all days to which I and my surrounding peers have gradually become somewhat apathetic as years go by. It’s not that we don’t care much for our fallen, the memory of holocaust victims or for one another (though Yom Kippur is meaningless to me for entirely different reasons)
It’s just that the concepts themselves get old after a while. You can only convince yourself to feel sad and remorseful on a designated schedule so much. You get used to it.
Last night was different. Whether or not this crime is a hate crime (and I’ll be unsurprised in the least if it is) – a few young people were shot in Tel-Aviv. The sheer violence of the crime is what’s so shocking about it. It’s not just a declaration of violent intent, it’s not just ordinary physical abuse – it’s murder.
So the feeling I had today was quite reminiscent of the original feeling I got during my first Sadness Holidays. A feeling of disgust, remorse and contemplation. A reluctance to tell jokes and radiate joy and pleasure, and a slight throe of guilt whenever I smile or laugh.
I hope they get the asshole who did this.