Black the flag of pride
By Ilan Sheinfeld
Last night a black ribbon was tied to the flags of pride they flew all over the country. Because this night something happened in Israel. Two young people were murdered in cold blood and another 11 were injured, four of them critically, all because they loved. We’ve already seen the murder of the left-wing activist Emil Grinzweig; they slew a serving prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin; but never before have they killed people, such young people, because of love. This is a black day, not just for the homosexual, lesbian, bi and transgender community but for the whole of Israeli society, because the murderer’s burst of bullets drove us years backward to those same dark days when homosexuality was a crime and an aberration as defined by the law and psychiatry. I marched this night, together with hundreds of men and women from my community, crying their grief and their rage on the streets of Tel Aviv, the city we always regarded as the only safe place for us, the place where we might peacefully live our mono-sexual lives, the city that tonight became an abattoir. The cry heard today in Tel Aviv must not end here. The homosexual, bi and transgender community must today take to the street in every Israeli city, to demonstrate, to be seen, to proclaim its existence and its rights. Tonight’s spontaneous demonstration must transform into an organized one before the Knesset (Israeli parliament). Over the last few years, the most inflammatory statements imaginable against the community have come from the Knesset and that Knesset tonight was spattered with the blood of innocents. And from them, from those same ministers and MKs that denigrated the community, from them must come the accounting for the young people’s blood spilled last night. Last night’s events prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the homo-lesbian community must not remain silent in the face of any display of homophobia, discrimination, interference in personal and family life, or any attempt whatsoever to tie our hands, dictate our way of life or otherwise threaten our identity. The men and women of the community serve in the IDF, pay taxes and fulfill every obligation of a citizen of Israel. To date we have secured our rights through a few laws, but mainly through enlightened decrees in the law-courts. Last night all the walls were breached. The state of Israel may no longer discriminate against the homo-lesbian community in matters of family, surrogacy contracts, inheritance conflicts or any other area of public or private life. Today, spurred by the murder of our young people, the homo-lesbian community requires from Israel’s prime-minister, elected representatives, judges and legislators, a unanimous condemnation of this disgusting murder, and demands full equality and protection from incitement and murder.
Ilan Sheinfeld (1960) is a Hebrew writer and a gay activist. He has published several books of poetry, novels, books for children and more. His best-seller "A Tale of a Ring" was published in 2007 by Keter Books, in Israel.
Ilan Sheinfeld Tel: 972-3-517-6364 Fax: 972-3-517-7431 Mobile: 972-522-300098