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Indybay Feature
Thu Jun 17 2010 (Updated 06/25/10)
Arab Queers Say No to Pinkwashing Israel’s crimes at the USSF
Zionist Group "Stand with Us" To Present at The US Social Forum in Detroit
From June 22nd-26th, people from across the US and beyond will be participating in a convergence with the mission of building the social justice movement in the US and around the world. However, Social Forum gatherings, which take place around the world, often recreate or perpetuate the social injustices which they seek to address. At the 2010 USSF in Detroit, Michigan, a Zionist organization based in Los Angeles, California called Stand With Us has been scheduled to lead a workshop that could have been called Why you should not support Palestine.

Arab Queers respond by writing: "We, the undersigned queer Arab organizations, are appalled by the US Social Forum’s decision to allow Stand with Us to utilize the event as a platform to pinkwash Israel’s crimes in the region. Stand with Us is cynically manipulating the struggle of queer people in the Middle East through its workshop entitled LGBTQI Liberation in the Middle East.

"Our struggle is deeply intertwined with the struggle of all oppressed people, and we cannot accept that we are being used as a tool to discredit the Palestinian cause. Stand with Us would have everyone believe that the Palestinian cause is an unworthy one because of the homophobia that exists within Palestinian society, as if homophobia does not exist elsewhere, and as if struggles for justice are predicated on some sort of inherent 'goodness' of the oppressed, rather than on the principles of freedom, justice, and equality for everyone, everywhere. Stand with Us would have us all compartmentalize our beliefs, lives, and identities so that solidarity with the queer struggle would preclude solidarity with others."

Read More | Zionists Welcome at US Social Forum

Update: On June 23rd, the leadership of the US Social Forum voted to cancel the workshop. The planning committee announced, "the workshop 'LGBTQI Liberation in the Middle East' (Thursday, 24 June 10:00am to 12:00pm) has been canceled for violating the submission procedure and transparency requirements for all workshops, and for being in violation of the anti-racist principles central to the US Social Forum."
US Social Forum cancels exploitative Zionist workshop

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