Imagine a country which has enacted an anti-discrimination law that protects LGBT people from discrimination in employment/the workforce (including being able to openly serve in the armed forces) and where the supreme court ruled in favour of same-sex couples on more than just one occasion. To contrast this neighbouring territories actively persecute LGBT people and the LGBT population fears for their lives.
Which attitude do you think would LGBT organisations adopt towards the country that not only does not persecute LGBT people but also offers them some anti-discrimination protection under the law? – If you think that some LGBT right organisation use every opportunity to smear the gay-friendly country you’re absolutely correct.
I’m of course referring to Israel, a country that has a national LGBT rights organisation which can operate openly and freely and not only allows gay pride parades to take place in several cities but also protects gay pride parades from people who wish to do the LGBT community harm and boasts a city that was elected the most gay-friendly location.
Israel also shouldered the cost of one of the biggest legal investigation into a murder which occurred in the LGBT scene. Yet “Queers against Israeli Apartheid” accuse Israel of “pink washing oppression”. Considering Israel’s efforts to keep the LGBT population safe and the fact that both LGBT Israelis as well as LGBT foreigners describe the country – or parts thereof – as tolerant and gay-friendly make it very unlikely that Israel’s track record on gay rights is just a mere facade.
But to take matters beyond a mere smear campaign against Israel but also to kick LGBT Palestinians in the teeth “Queers against Israeli Apartheid” claim to stand with Queers in Palestine. – In the real world queer Palestinians do everything they can to get out of the Palestinian territories as they have to fear for their lives because of rampant, widespread and violent homophobia. With this in mind it comes as no surprise that the queer Palestinians feel more at home in Israel than in their official “home” territories.
Why would a group who according to their self-description stands with LGBT Palestinians promote the exact opposite of what queer Palestinians want? Why would Western LGBT people stand on the side of people who overall are so homophobic that gays among them have to fear for their lives? Those LGBT people either have severe issues including internalised homophobia & Stockholm syndrome and/or have an underlying agenda that has nothing to do with gay rights or equal rights but everything to do with being prejudiced against Israel or Israelis.
And as for Israel being an “Apartheid State”: please don’t make me laugh. Tel Aviv’s gay bars are a meeting point not only for Palestinians and Israelis but also for foreigners where they can chat & party and intermingle. Israel’s gay scene has done more to physically bring together people of very diverse backgrounds than any of the peace/solidarity campaigns.
(Note: to prevent some offended pro-Palestinian activists brawling in the comment section I’ll state it right here: I do not agree with everything the Israeli government does. This blog post is too short and place to constricted to cover all aspects of Israel’s foreign relations provided those are not racist – and so is the comment section. Yes, you’re allowed to post off-topic comments about Israel’s foreign policy but this is not the topic here. the topic is Israel’s LGBT rights record which is second to none in the region.)