Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing, religious Jew three months after I made my first visit to Israel in 1995. I was upset but also deeply shocked. I couldn't believe that one Jew would kill another Jew.
Well since then, I've spent a year living in Israel and I'm not as naive about these things. Most acts of violence in Israel are committed by Jews against other Jews. As horrified as I am by the murder last night of two people at a youth center for gay teens in Tel Aviv, I'm not shocked.
I lived in the city for a year and yes, it's a pretty open, progressive place, especially compared with Jerusalem. It doesn't have the holy sites or large Orthodox population - and the accompanying tension. I loved the people and I loved living there.
I realize we don't know yet who perpetrated this act of terror. A lone gunman dressed in black entered the center Saturday night - a popular time for going out in Israel, at the end of the Sabbath - and started shooting.
But Tel Aviv isn't immune from the deep divisions in Israeli society - between religious and secular Jews, between Ashkenazim and Sephardim. As much as I love Israel, I realize that the same intolerance and homophobia and extremism that exists everywhere exists there.
Coincidentally, last week was Tisha B'Av, the date on the Jewish calendar that commemorates the destruction of the first and second temples in Jerusalem. The Talmud teaches that sinat chinam, baseless hatred, led to the destruction of the second temple - and of a Jewish homeland.
My thoughts go out to the injured and the families of the victims. I'm sad that a country I love so much, a city I got to know so well, is once again experiencing the pain of violence fueled by hate.