Zwei Verbrechen, begangen aus Hass: Nach den Morden von Duma und Jerusalem debattiert Israel die Gewalt der erstarkten jüdischen Rechten. Die israelische Aktivistin Sahar M. Vardi, 24, hat in Tagen der Trauer ein bewegendes Plädoyer verfasst.
Hintergrund: Am 30. Juli attackierte der ultraorthodoxe Israeli Yishai Schissel mit einem Messer sechs junge Teilnehmer_innen der Jerusalemer Gay Pride Parade. Schissel war erst Tage vorher aus dem Gefängnis entlassen worden – er hatte schon 2005 einen ähnlichen Anschlag auf der Pride Parade verübt. Sein Motiv: religiös motivierter Hass gegen Homosexuelle. Nur einen Tag später, am 31. Juli, verübten mutmaßlich rechtsextreme israelische Siedler einen Brandanschlag auf das Haus der Familie Dawabsheh im palästinensischen Dorf Duma im Westjordanland. Ein 18-Monate alter Junge starb sofort, sein Vater erlag inzwischen ebenfalls seinen Verletzungen. Die israelische Polizei hat erste Verdächtige aus Siedlungen im Westjordanland festgenommen.
Sahar M. Vardi ist in Jerusalem geboren und aufgewachsen. Vardi hat den Armeedienst aus Gewissensgründen verweigert und ist seit vielen Jahren in der Anti-Besatzungs-Bewegung aktiv. Ihre Gedanken:
I tried to put some thoughts into words… not sure if it makes sense, or even needs to, but here goes:
July 30th: 10 years ago I went to my first pride parade in Jerusalem. I was a 15 year old girl, still figuring out my own identity, still figuring out what my community was, but very much clear on the fact that I should be there. Half way through the parade I remember the ambulances and police rushing through, the confusion among us, and eventually the understanding that three people were stabbed in a homophobic attack.
Last Thursday I joined my 10th pride parade in Jerusalem. My 15 year old sister joined me, reminding me of my first pride when I was her age. And then the policemen started running, the ambulances tried to drive through the confused crowd one after the other. It didn’t take us any time to understand what happened – this time it seemed we all knew. 6 people were stabbed by the same man who committed the first attack. The victims included a 16 year old girl who even went to the same school as I did. Three days later she died of her wounds.
10 years ago we marched up Ben Yehuda street, the main shopping street in city center Jerusalem, that was crowded by a mixture of protestors and bystanders. After the stabbing the police never allowed the march to go through the city center again, creating a “sterile” environment around it every year. Not to be attacked, but not to be seen or heard either.
Last Thursday, after news of the stabbing started sinking through, we decided to go back to the city center. No police protection and conditions, no separation between us and the often racist and homophobic Jerusalem streets. This was the night that we marched up Ben Yehuda again after 10 years. It was a healing process for everyone who came. From 30 people, we became a hundred and then 200 and 500, reclaiming the streets of our city with what seemed like the right balance between rage and compassion, between protest and healing.
July 31st: A family burned alive. A baby, only a year and a half old was burned to death; both his parents and his four year old brother are still hospitalized fighting for their lives (the father passed away last Saturday, Alsharq). That was the news the following morning, after Israeli extremists burned down two Palestinian houses in the West Bank village of Duma.
August 1st: Condemnations of both terrible attacks dominated the press and social media. From left parties to the extreme right, everyone was sure to condemn, and seek their place in the growing speakers-list for a rally in Tel Aviv – a rally that was planned in advance in memory of two people who were killed six years ago to the day in an attack on the LGBTQ youth center in Tel Aviv. A representative of the Likud party, the same party that time after time actively works against legislative attempts to promote LGBTQ equality, the same party that has been in government and is responsible for the killing of over 500 Palestinian children last summer in Gaza – came to speak against homophobic and racist attacks. Even Naftali Benet of the Jewish home party, a party that one of its Members of Knesset organized the main protests against the pride parade, and another has said “A Jew always has a much higher soul than a gentile, even if he is a homosexual”, asked to speak. But he was not allowed on stage as he refused to sign a pledge to promote LGBTQ equality. The absurdity would have been amusing if it weren’t so tragic.
These two tragedies could have been an opportunity – a terrible one, and yet. They could have been an opportunity for Israeli society to see the connection between homophobic and racist hate crimes. They could have been an opportunity for Israeli society to understand the consequences of incitement, of the racist discourse that is becoming more and more legitimate, of the public and governmental attempts to de-legitimize specific groups and the consequences of that. They could have been an opportunity for Israeli society to understand that when we raise our children to implement an occupation, when we raise them to see some people as less equal than others, some blood cheaper than other, we shouldn’t be surprised when people act upon this hate.
I am still hopeful that we might learn a bit of the first two lessons, that people will be able to see the connections between hate crimes and hate crimes, and that the understanding that words can kill will be more than a slogan. But both these realizations will fail to bring about any real change, and will never be sustainable, as long as we ignore the last lesson we must learn: A society can not be tolerant, can not uproot violence and hate from its midst, as long as it maintains an occupation.