LGBT flag on Jerusalem's King George Street, July 31, 2018.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The words “Death to LGBT” were found scrawled on a monument in Tel Aviv that commemorates members of the community who were persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Passersby discovered the graffiti on Thursday morning at the monument in Meir Park where their community center is located. The statue is shaped like a pink triangle, evoking the pink triangles LGBTQ community members were required to attach to their concentration camp prisoner uniform.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai condemned the vandalism, and immediately ordered the graffiti removed. Soon afterwards, he posted a picture on Facebook showing that the monument had been cleaned of the graffiti. “We will continue to act and to protect members of the community as we have done so far,” he said.
Mayoral candidate Asaf Zamir wrote on Twitter that he was shocked by the crime and expressed hope that the police would find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. “I have no words to describe the feeling of aversion to anyone who thinks that he can threaten the members of the proud [LGBTQ] community.
I will continue to support community members and to work actively for their freedom and rights,” he added. The third candidate on his Rov Ha’ir list is LGBTQ community leader Chen Arieli.
Etai Pinkas, chairman of the LGBTQ Community Center
and a Meretz city councilman said: “So for those who thought we were exaggerating, that everything in Tel Aviv was wonderful, I am in the heart of the city, in the Meir Garden near the Pride center I built a decade ago... We will not give up our rights; we will continue to fight for our security and equality.”
Police have opened an investigation into the incident.
The monument was inaugurated in Meir Park in 2014. Homosexuality was a felony under the Third Reich. The Gestapo founded an anti-homosexual unit that kept lists of nearly 100,000 names of people who were alleged members of the LGBT community. An estimated 5,000-15,000 of them were sent to concentration camps.
In Buchenwald concentration camp, experiments were carried out ostensibly to cure people of homosexuality.
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