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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Sweet irony - Palestinians ask gays to come to 'Palestine' instead of Jerusalem

As many of you already know, Jerusalem is scheduled to 'host' a gay pride week this summer. In a city that is more than 75% religious, you can imagine that there are a lot of people around here that are not too thrilled about that. But now, those of us who are unhappy about gay pride week have a new 'ally': the 'Palestinians.'

An article on the London Daily Guardian's web page reports in the name of the London Jewish Chronicle that a Palestine Solidarity Campaign spokesman expressed strong support for the boycott of World Pride Jerusalem, saying: "We invite people to take a solidarity trip to occupied Palestine instead and see for themselves the oppression endured by the Palestinian people."

Alexandra Simonon notes the irony:
I hope gay people will think twice before taking it, and remember that while it is unclear at the moment whether sodomy is illegal or not in the PA, the Palestinian authorities routinely arrest, jail and torture gay men. There are also several reports of gay "escapees", who fled abuse in Palestine and now live illegally in Tel Aviv or other Israeli cities.

Those who call for a boycott of World Pride Jerusalem choose to ignore the violent persecution of LGBT people in Palestine. The struggle for Palestinian statehood is a progressive cause, but those on the left who support it should worry when the people in charge in Palestine tolerate terrorism, but don't tolerate gay people: a senior Hamas leader has called gays "perverts" and "mentally and morally sick".


Heterosexism is still deeply ingrained in all the institutions of Israeli society, and particularly so in Jerusalem. In spite of this, Israel is the only country in the Middle East where a Gay Pride event is even thinkable. Let's support it.



At 3:50 AM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

Well, not quite true. There was a Pride event in Lebanon.

But other than Lebanon, no other Middle Eastern nation (save Israel) is even moderately okay with gay people.

And Lebanon outlaws homosexuality, by the way.


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