TEL AVIV – About 100 members of Israel’s LGBTQ community held a memorial event on Tuesday in honour of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. The event took place at Evita, a gay nightclub in Tel Aviv.
“Seven years ago, two streets away from here, a man dressed in black walked by planning to murder innocent people,” said Imri Kalman, co-chairman of Aguda – the Israeli National LGBT Task Force. Kalman was referring to the 2009 shooting at Bar Noar, a gay youth centre, were two people were murdered and at least 15 others wounded.
“Seven years later, another man in another country set out to kill as many people as possible,” Kalman continued. “What causes a person to want to do such a thing? Homophobia—fear! Fear that turns into such cruel hatred….The Bar Noar murderer, who is still walking free; the murderer who killed Shira Banki [the 16-year-old girl who was stabbed to death at the 2015 Jerusalem gay pride parade], of blessed memory; and the Pulse murderer are all one and the same murderer, just with different faces.”
Keith Mines, political counsellor at the U.S. Embassy in Israel, added that people must not get used to these attacks and must not become indifferent to them.
Actress Asi Levi asked that everyone hope for “a better world, without baseless hatred—let’s make that a reality.”
Meanwhile, in Orlando on Tuesday, thousands of people gathered a few kilometres from the scene of the deadly attack for a memorial ceremony. The names of all 49 victims were read aloud at the event, and participants lit candles and laid flowers at a makeshift memorial monument.