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Criticism of Istanbul terror victim exposes Arab-Israeli generation gap

The killing of young Palestinian Lian Zaher Nasser in the Istanbul terror attack has exposed a growing rift within Arab-Israeli society between young people seeking a modern way of life and those adhering to a strict religious moral code.

The funeral of Lian Zaher Nasser was held in the Arab-Israeli town of Tira on Jan. 3. Nasser, 19, was killed in Istanbul’s Reina nightclub when a gunman opened fire on New Year’s Eve revelers, killing 39 and wounding dozens of others.

Thousands attended the funeral, among them hundreds of young Arab-Israeli women who came to pay their last respects to Nasser but also in defiance of those who cast aspersions on Nasser’s moral character, claiming her death was divine retribution for celebrating a Christian holiday in mixed company with men at an amoral alcohol-soaked affair. Such claims were first expressed in mosques and then erupted onto social media sites, where stormy arguments developed. “Moderate” posters wondered what a group of Muslim girls was doing in an Istanbul nightclub, and some went so far as to compare the club to a brothel.

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