Jewish LGBTQ+ youth threatened with murder ahead of concert

It seems the threat is double-sided: On the one hand, these kinds of events are often targeted by homophobes, while on the other hand being targeted by antisemites.

FILE PHOTO: A fan of Lebanese alternative rock band Mashrou' Leila holds a rainbow flag during their concert at the Ehdeniyat International Festival in Ehden town, Lebanon August 12, 2017. Picture taken August 12, 2017 (photo credit: REUTERS/JAMAL SAIDI/FILE PHOTO)
FILE PHOTO: A fan of Lebanese alternative rock band Mashrou' Leila holds a rainbow flag during their concert at the Ehdeniyat International Festival in Ehden town, Lebanon August 12, 2017. Picture taken August 12, 2017
(photo credit: REUTERS/JAMAL SAIDI/FILE PHOTO)

A special Hanukkah concert for Jewish LGBTQ+ youth is going to go on as planned on Sunday, despite threats of violence aimed at the marginalized community.

The event was targeted with homophobic statements, making the event's confirmed occurrence questionable. "On Hanukkah we celebrate the Chashmonayim (Hasmoneans) killing people at events like this," a caller told Lenny Solomon, lead singer of Shlock Rock - the band front-lining the event. The caller said the Hasmoneans would "do the same thing" at the event.

The caller's warning seemed to reference the ancient Judean dynastic descendants of the Maccabees, whose victorious revolt for Jewish independence against Greek-Syrian rule lies at the heart of Hanukkah.

As a result, Jewish Queer Youth (JQY), the group organizing the event, coordinated with the synagogue hosting the concert and hired extra security to ensure the safety of the attendees.

"If these are the messages that our performers are getting, imagine the messages that our JQY teens are receiving, both explicitly and in terms of what is not said out loud," said Rachael Fried, executive director of JQY. "It is comments like this that reinforce the importance and relevance of JQY's mission and the life-saving work we do."

LGBT flag on Jerusalem's King George Street, July 31, 2018 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)LGBT flag on Jerusalem's King George Street, July 31, 2018 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

All proceeds from the event will go to support JQY’s work including its Teen Drop-In Center and crisis line for LGBTQ youth from Orthodox, Chasidic and Sephardic/Mizrahi homes. 

This is not the first time a Jewish LGBTQ+ event has been targeted. It seems the threat is double-sided: On the one hand, they are often targeted by homophobes, while on the other hand being targeted by antisemites.