Sunday, August 2, 2009



Jerusalem - Two people have been killed and at least 13 wounded in a rare attack on a gay community center in Israel. Gays demonstrated on the streets of Tel Aviv after a gunman went on a shooting rampage at a gay club for teens. "We won't be afraid," they chanted. According to witnesses, the unidentified gunman, wearing a mask, stormed into the club and began shooting in all directions. Then he fled. Hundreds of Israeli police have launched a manhunt for the assailant. Authorities are describing the attack as a hate crime. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed shock, and called for tolerance. He said the shooting is a violation of Israel's democratic values.

Tel Aviv prides itself as a liberal and pluralistic city, which is open to everyone, and it has a thriving gay community. Thousands participate in the annual Gay Pride parade with colorful balloons and dancing in the streets. But gay activist Yaniv Weisman says times have suddenly changed. "The gay community in Israel, in Tel Aviv, got a message, a very strong message, a red light, that Israel, Tel Aviv (is) no longer a safe place to no one," Weisman said. While ultra-Orthodox parties condemned the shooting attack, critics say religious incitement against the gay community can lead to violence. Gay life in Israel has tentatively emerged from underground over the last two decades. The Jewish religious establishment frowns on open displays of homosexuality, and gay groups have fought to gain acceptance. In Tel Aviv, gays have found a more tolerant atmosphere than in Jerusalem and other Israeli cities. That, Israeli officials said, made Saturday's shooting all the more upsetting.

The living entities individually are being conducted by a particular mode of nature, but at the same time there is every chance of their being influenced by the other two. Generally, all conditioned souls in the material encagement are influenced by the mode of passion because every one of them is trying to lord it over the material nature to fulfill his individual desire. But in spite of the individual mode of passion, there is always the chance of being influenced by the other modes of nature by association. If one is in good association he can develop the mode of goodness, and if in bad association he may develop the mode of darkness or ignorance. Nothing is stereotyped. One can change his habit by good or bad association, and one has to become intelligent enough to discriminate between good and bad. The best association is the service of the devotees of the Lord, and by that association one can become the highest qualified man by the grace of the Lord's pure devotees.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 2 - Chapter 10 - Verse 41"

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