Shocked but continuing - From the Agudah
FROM: The Aguda - The National Association of GLBT in Israel
These days the Israeli GLBT community is experiencing its most difficult and sad hour. We have just said a heartbreaking goodbye to two young and lovely people. Whilst an additional group of teenagers are still struggling in hospital for their lives, for there identity, for their spirits and for their future.
The Aguda - The national association of GLBT in Israel - has been active for the past 35 years as a focal point for support to the community during the days that viewed a different sexual orientation as a disgraceful secret up until today. The horrific attack that ended in murder hit one of the warmest and most welcoming nests of the Aguda, a social, caring and loving haven for teenagers.
In the past 35 years ever since the Aguda was established, its activities revolutionized the Israeli society. In spite of what happened last Saturday, our country is an island of tolerance towards the LGBT community, with all its colors and flavors that reflect the versatile Israeli society. This could be seen clearly only last month, during the Pride Parade; religious Jewish lesbians marching alongside Gay soldiers in uniforms, drag queens, Palestinian Gays, Transgender and Bisexual couples and many straight friends.
Last Saturday night gave us a terrifying reminder. Our struggle is far from being over. We still do not know who entered our nest at the conclusion of the Sabbath, but we know that he knew exactly who he was attacking. Whoever he is, the murderer entered that door saturated with hate. Whether it was hate towards others or a different kind of self-hatred, it was so intense that it blinded his eyes from seeing that he was taking the lives of a young girl not yet 17 and a bright young man that was full of willingness to give and help. He shattered the lives of a group of flowers.
The Israeli GLBT Association, with other organizations in the GLBT community, will continue with full intensity to act for the uprooting of hatred from the heart of our society. The Aguda will continue to ensure the freedom of the members of our gay community. The freedom to be able to walk hand in hand, openly and peacefully not only in Tel Aviv but also in every other city in Israel, from Eilat and Beer Sheba in the south, to Kiriat Shmone in the north and of course in Jerusalem. We continue to be proud - proud in ourselves, proud in our work and proud that despite everything that happened Israel is still one of the friendliest and welcoming places in the world for lesbians, gay-men, bisexuals and transgender people.
Since the day it was established, the Israeli GLBT Association existed thanks to the intensive cooperation with other communities. Our strong relationships with GLBT and Jewish communities around the world have been the basis of our activities. We are grateful to all our friends for their support and sympathy these days, and we are sure that this love will help us to continue with all of our activities and ambitions after this horrible crisis.
Chairman, The national association of GLBT in Israel