SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

Palestine | San Francisco | Anti-War

Queers Say NO Pinkwashing Apartheid
by QUIT! Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism ( info [at] quitpalestine.org )
Tuesday Apr 13th, 2010 9:59 PM
Bay Area LGBT Activists came out on April 8 to say no to a campaign to "rebrand" Israel as a progressive, queer friendly democracy. Despite an aggressive counter-demonstration, a good time was had by all.

Queers who support human rights protested outside the Roxie Theater on Thursday, April 8, the opening night of the Out In Israel LGBT Cultural Festival. Out in Israel is a marketing event series aimed at convincing LGBT people in the U.S. that Israel is a cool, progressive, gay-friendly country. This is all part of a grand scheme by Israel and its supporters in this country to repair the image tarnished but such atrocities as its massacres in Gaza last year.

A recent report by the Reut Institute, a leading Israeli think tank with roots here in the Bay, alleges that the “deligitimization challenge” to Israel’s policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing radiates out from “hubs,” including the Bay Area. Hence, those who support Israeli policies are crafting a strategy “Focusing on the hubs of delegitimization - such as London, Paris, Toronto, Madrid, and the Bay Area -and on undermining its catalysts.” Out in Israel is the first salvo in this new propaganda war, and if last week’s film night was any indication, it’s not having much success. Only about 50 people showed up for the films, cosponsored by the Israeli Consulate, Cong. Shaar Zahav, the Jewish Film Festival, Jewish Community Center and BlueStar PR. Between the queer anti-apartheid activists and the Zionists who came out to counterprotest against them, not to mention the substantial police presence, there were more people outside the theater than going into it.

Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT!) called the action, which featured a skit called “Queer Eye for the Palestinian Village.” A couple Queer Guys were called in to give a makeover to a West Bank village so it could be turned into a queer-friendly Jewish settlement. Just rip out those unsightly olive trees, get a Caterpillar bulldozer to get rid of that mosque – so over – and you’ll have a perfect view of Tel Aviv and a great square for nude sunbathing. Oh, but you’ll need some hot Israeli soldiers to come in and kill all the people who are living there.

Queers all over the world are mobilizing to oppose this campaign of pinkwashing and say, “Our communities are not for sale.” We are going to stand up for the rights of all people – queer and straight – and now allow ourselves to be played off against other oppressed people. The Palestinian LGBT groups ASWAT and Al-Qaws released the following statement commending the international queer resistance to the Out in Israel fiasco.

Say NO to 'Out in Israel'

'Out in Israel' is a month-long festival taking place throughout the Bay Area during April 2010. It is a celebration of LGBT Israeli culture that is set to include film series, literary readings, musical performances, dance, and panel discussions on LGBT culture in Israel and from Zionist perspectives.

We, Palestinian Queer activists, living inside Israel and in the Palestinian Occupied Territories, are calling for queer communities in the Bay Area and around the United States to protest against such an event. ‘Out in Israel’ uses the name and the cause of queers to whitewash the image of Israel's oppression of Palestinians, and to transform the focus from its human rights violations, occupation and war crimes, to the "liberal" and "gay friendly haven" of the Middle East.

We wish to salute the efforts of queer groups that refuse to keep a blind eye and a deaf ear to Israel's double standards and who are loudly reminding the world that Israel's multi-tiered oppression hardly makes a distinction between straight and gay Palestinians.

'Out in Israel' should be out against the multiple forms of oppression that the state of Israel is practicing against Palestinians, including the Palestinian LGBTQI community. 'Out in Israel' should be out against policies of discrimination practiced against all Palestinians, including LGBTQI's. 'Out in Israel' should be a call for the state of Israel to be out of Palestine*.

Say NO to 'Out in Israel'; say NO to Israel's double standards and refute the myth of Gay-friendly Israel. Say No to Israel's propaganda to whitewash its occupying and oppressive image.

For further information about the organizations: alQaws for Sexual and Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society | Aswat: Palestinian Gay Women [*Inspired from the SF Guerilla Street Art: Out Against Apartheid/Israel Out of Palestine]


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by bangpound
Wednesday Apr 14th, 2010 8:30 AM
The two links at the end of the article are broken.

http://www.alqaws.org/q/
http://www.aswatgroup.org/english/
by PrionPartyy
Saturday Apr 17th, 2010 7:09 AM
Like we are supposed to support the Zionist's murderous theft of Palestinian lands because the Zionists are such better people? That is the old Ubber Menschen / Superior beings rant NAZIs used to rationalize their offensive conquests of other people's homelands.

If Zionists have some birthright of murderous theft of any Palestinian lands, then they wouldn't need to rationalize thier murderous theft of Palestinian lands
by Try giving Palestinians equal rights!
Tuesday Apr 27th, 2010 4:58 PM
Am glad that QUIT! has taken to the streets to protest the Israeli pinkwashing propaganda program in SF. After witnessing some of the pro-Israeli signs at MUNI stops, i thought about graffiti, though i was either too scared or in a hurry to try it this time. Maybe someone else with greater resources (time, courage, etc...) can try?

It is misleading to claim that Israel is "pro-gay" when their IDF soldiers often kill and destroy the lives and houses of Palestinians, some of whom themselves could be gay. Hypocrisy never gets to the goal, it always falls short of reaching it's target audience because people can eventually see through the lies of two-faced propagandameisters.

Promoting greater acceptance of queers in both Israel and Palestine would be helped by avoiding religious extremism, either Zionist or Muslim. The extremist groups in Islam (al Queda, Taliban, etc...) that advocate homophobia are a result of being pushed into a corner by Judeo-Christian ideology and military intrusions into their landspace. After decades of military occupations by U.S./Israeli forces, the mindset of Muslim resistance includes not only fighting military occupations but also opposition to western values in general, including accepting homosexuality (not that all westerners accept homosexuality either!!).

However, it is likely that reduction of military occupations by U.S./Israeli forces will soon lead to a lessening of resistance from Islamist extremists, as they will lose their collective anger once the military occupations disappear. Then Muslim and Judeo-Christian people can begin the dialogue for a more open society for Israel/Palestine, for inclusion of queer Muslims and Jews/Christians (& pagans, agnostics, athiests, etc...) as natural components of BOTH cultures.


Some potential allies in the struggle for queer acceptance;


"What is Queer Jihad?

Queer Jihad is the queer Muslim struggle for acceptance: first, the struggle to accept ourselves as being exactly the way Allah has created us to be; and secondly, the struggle for understanding among Muslims in general.

'Jihad' is a misunderstood word: it means to struggle, to endeavor. Traditionally, the first and most important jihad is the struggle with one's self, one's nafs, one's selfish desires, the struggle to do good, to be good, to put into practice the beliefs and values we claim to possess. 'Queer jihad' is our own struggle with sexuality, with accepting it and dealing with it, and moving on, but it is also an endeavor to provide knowledge and foster understanding within the larger community.

Queer Jihad is not a formal organisation: it's an idea. We have no mosques; we are not a movement; we request no donations, neither do we accept them. We are not funded by any government or organisation.

We are interested in the spiritual lives of gay and lesbian Muslims, and other queer Muslims. We are interested in encouraging queer people to remain true to their Creator, to grapple with the issues, to come to terms with who they are in whatever manner and fashion they are capable of doing so.

The issue of Islam and homosexuality is complicated and there are no easy answers. If we can begin to talk about ourselves and share our experiences and ways of coping, we will have made a start in the right direction.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Who is founder Sulayman X?

Sulayman X was a convert to Islam, but he has since then decided that Islam is not the religion for him. For information on his original decision to convert to Islam, see The Confessions of Sulayman X and Thoughts on the Path. For a statement of his reason for leaving Islam, see The New and Improved Sulayman X.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Who is Faris Malik?

Faris is the current administrator of the Queer Jihad page. He is also a convert to Islam. He works as a translator in the United States, and is the author of a website on queer history called the "Born Eunuchs Home Page".



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Queer Jihad Brief Q&A

Q: What is homosexuality?

A: Homosexuality is a word with several meanings, but at least two major ones: First, it means sex between members of the same sex. In this meaning, any person can "do" homosexuality, regardless of whether they "are" homosexuals. In its other meaning, however, it is more commonly understood as the characteristic of those who are exclusively sexually attracted to or aroused by members of their own sex; it establishes itself early in childhood, probably before birth; it is not "changeable" nor does one choose it.

Q: Does Islam condemn homosexuality?

A: While there has been a prejudice among Muslims against certain homosexual activities since the earliest times, homophobia as we know it today has arisen in Islam only since the 1800s, perhaps influenced by European colonialism. In general, throughout its history, Islam has been very tolerant of homosexual love and has even tolerated many forms of homosexual sex. There are verses in the Qur'an stating that some homosexual activity is unacceptable to Allah; these verses, like all holy scriptures, are open to interpretation, and each queer Muslim must decide for themselves what they really mean. Islamic scholars, both past and present, have had different opinions on this subject, some accepting, others rejecting. It should also be noted that most of the older material written on this subject has to do with the penetration of heterosexual males, and not necessarily homosexuality as we understand it today.

Q: Is gay sex permissible?

A: When two consenting adults love each other and want to share their love physically, one can reasonably doubt its supposed "sinfulness", but this is a very personal matter best left to the individual conscience. Love and relationship are healing and can help people become psychologically healthy and content -- sin does just the opposite. There are many benefits to love and healthy sexuality, and none at all to its opposite. Refusing queer Muslims the right to love and be loved is, to some of us, a much larger "sin" because its consequences are so destructive all the way around. Even so, there are some of us who take a much more conservative view and refrain from sexual activities. Ultimately it is up to each gay person to decide how best to reconcile their sexual needs with what the Qur'an teaches, and to examine their own behaviour and motives and determine the purity of their own intentions.
Should gay and lesbian Muslims leave Islam? No, they should not. They should not let ignorance and homophobia drive them away from their adherence to Allah. We must learn to embrace what Allah has decreed for us, accept it, be at peace with it -- and move on.

Q: Where can I get more information about Islam and homosexuality?

A: Please see our Essays & Articles section for a wide variety of reading materials. See also the Bibliography for selected books, especially titles like 'Islamic Homosexualities'. See also our Links page for a listing of many sources available online, including a variety of clubs and mailing lists."

more info found @;

http://www.well.com/user/queerjhd/





BTW - My personal understanding of emergence of homosexual traits in individuals are a result of human overpopulation, sort of a biochemical safety valve for our current human population explosion. In the near future we can expect to witness larger numbers of queer communities in every culture, race and religion, and each group will need to deal with this phenomenon in the most rational and humane way possible. Avoiding religious extremism is an important factor to being able to discuss this logically, and prevention of military occupations and state sanctioned apartheid (Israeli separation wall, IDF home demolitions, IDF olive orchard destructions, etc...) are crucial to curbing religious extremism.

BTW - Astrophysics prof Steve Hawkins has expressed concerns about potentials for hostile extraterrestrials coming to visit Earth. Maybe they are already here and watching us weakening ourselves during our decades long religious conflicts. Why would the extraterrestrials bother to attack humans now, that would only unify the two-legged humans against them! Better for the extraterrestrials to wait silently in the shadows and watch the silly humans kill one another off slowly with their petty military conflicts over religion, land, oil and sexual orientation. Then their dinner will be so much easier to catch!!