30 July 2015

Jew-on-Jew terrorism in Jerusalem

An act of terrorism took place in Jerusalem today and Muslims had nothing to do with it. An ultra-Orthodox fanatic went on a stabbing spree at a gay pride parade and injured six people before being taken into custody -- again. It turns out he did something similar ten years ago and after his release resumed what he considers his religious duty. He's reportedly on record calling on Jews, Christians and Muslims to join forces against the "desecration" of God's holy city by homosexuals. There seems to be some debate over whether this was "terrorism" or a "hate crime," but the conventional American distinction may be so much hair-splitting. The kind of hate associated with "hate crimes" presumably has a terroristic intent when it expresses itself violently, and this guy seems to have seen himself advancing an ecumenical political agenda. However you slice it, there ought to be as much investigation by the Israeli government of how someone comes to think this way and act on his thoughts as there is by any government when someone commits violence from religious or ideological motives. Many Israelis find the haredim a nuisance but today's stunt may have taken the nuisance to a new level. For the rest of us, this is a reminder that, contrary to propaganda, it isn't just one religion that acts violently on its more primitive and intolerant beliefs. One religion may do so more than others, but on the zero-tolerance principle advocated for that religion there ought to be more intense scrutiny and accountability for the sources of this man's violent hatreds -- or if you prefer to see him as an isolated nut for whom no one else is accountable, go and do likewise for all religions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There have also been extremists in Jerusalem who do their best to keep women from praying at the wailing wall. It isn't just homophobia that judaism shares with christianity and islam. It's a sense that women's place in society is secondary to men's. These attitudes may be blamed on religion and justifiable in the minds of those exhibiting it as a part of their belief system, but let's face it, these are just two attitudes shared by conservatives across the religious spectrum.