"Palestinian Queer Parties" held in Tel Aviv!

November 27, 2011

(EOZ) received a lot of feedback about an essay on the sheer hate that Sarah Schulman exhibited in the New York Times this week, where she downplayed Israel’s gay rights achievements as mere “pinkwashing” of Israeli crimes, which she believes is the real reason Israelis are more accepting of gays than their neighbors.
One correspondent, Scott Piro, wrote another excellent response to her essay on Ray Cook’s blog. He points out that one of the Palestinian Arab gay groups that Schulman extols, AlQaws, has held its parties in Tel Aviv.
Sure enough, a Google search of “AlQaws Palestinian Queer Party” finds that this is a bi-monthly event, and has been held for the past year at the Comfort 13 club in Tel Aviv. The next event is on December 2:

And they had the same party, at the same venue, in April,  June July and October
In fact, alQaws’ headquarters is in Jerusalem, on the western side of the Green Line. 
Even so, they also argue against so-called “pinkwashing” and support Sarah Schulman’s organization, “Queers Against Israeli Apartheid. “
The hypocrisy is stunning. They are against events such as “Out in Israel,” a celebration of Israeli LGBT culture in San Francisco last year, because they dislike the politicization of their cause in ways that make Israel look good. But QuAIA’s entire reason for existing is as a politicization of their cause to demonize Israel! Their hate trumps any desire they have for gays to be treated equally worldwide. 
Even their arguments are silly. This is the pinnacle of their logic, used by Schulman as well as at the alQaws site:

It doesn’t matter what the sexual orientation of the Soldier at a checkpoint is, whether he can serve openly or not….The apartheid wall was not created to keep Palestinian homophobes out of Gay Israel, and there is no magic door for gay Palestinians to pass through.

In other words, Israelis, as opposed to Palestinian Arabs, have a concept of equal rights. Terrorists are treated the same whether they are straight or gay, and so are soldiers.
Would Al Qaws prefer that such a discriminatory magic door exists? Are they saying that they should be treated better by Israel than their straight neighbors?
Apparently, they want to be treated as special, to use their cause specifically to demonize Israel. (Al Qaws at least tries to work to fix Palestinian Arab society, QuAIA has no interest in that.)
In a perfectly equal society, gays would not be considered more or less special than any group of people, like stamp collectors or fans of Twilight. If people created an organization called, for example, Quilters Against Israeli Apartheid, it would be blatantly obvious that the group is not pro-quilter but simply haters of Israel. And that is what QuAIA is, as they hijack the very real issues that gays face and try (very unconvincingly) to shoehorn them into their own loathing of the Jewish State.
(By the way, the Goldstone Report used the exact same bizarre logic in accusing Israel of violating the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women during Cast Lead – as if Israel was specifically targeting and discriminating against Gaza’s women! When one wants to attack Israel, apparently no argument is too crazy.)



Toronto Mayor Rips Anti-Israel Gay Groups

April 3, 2011
Straight eye for Gay Politics by Rob Ford:
shape up Queers and get your act together…

The Jerusalem Post reports:

The mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford – and leading gay leaders and activists in North America and Europe – have slammed the anti-Israel focus among groups within the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities in New York and Toronto.
According to a report in Thursday’s Canadian Jewish News, Ford announced that his administration plans to pull the plug on more than $100,000 in city funds for the Toronto Gay Pride week events slated for late June, because of the participation of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid.
“Taxpayers dollars should not go toward funding hate speech,” said Ford.
After New York’s LGBT center in Manhattan’s West Village denied space to Siege Busters – a group that compares Israel to the former racist South African regime and sought to hold a “Party to End Apartheid” at the center early this month – LGBT activists staged a demonstration and initiated a petition campaign against the center’s decision.
On Sunday, the center’s management will host a community forum to discuss its decision to ban the anti-Israel group from its premises.
Siege Busters is currently raising funds to send a new flotilla to break Israel’s blockade of Hamas.
In an interview on Saturday with The Jerusalem Post, Frank van Dalen, former head of the Netherlands’ LGBT federation (and currently an Amsterdam city council member for the Liberal Party), said people “can disagree with Israel’s policies, but it is wrong to say it is apartheid.”
Groups invoking LGBT labels to equate Israel with apartheid have “nothing to do with the LGBT cause,” van Dalen said. The LGBT community “should be careful about entering global themes of politics.”
According to van Dalen, LGBT groups should direct their energies to fighting to end homophobia, and secure same-sex marriage rights.
Van Dalen, a former chairman of the Amsterdam Gay Pride, expressed disbelief about the presence of the anti-Israel queer group at Toronto’s parade. While stressing what he said were the mixed up priorities of the anti-Israel LGBT groups, he said fighting for same-sex marriage in Israel as well as in the Arab world is important.