After Mohammed Abu Khdeir was burned to death, many Israeli Jews insisted he died at the hands of Palestinians. They seized on unfounded rumors of his alleged homosexuality rather than facing the truth of the horrible act.
By Shaked Spier (Translated from Hebrew by Yossefa Mekyton and Shaked Spier)
Alongside the pain, belligerence and anger, it is important to say a few words about homophobia and racism, and how the two manifested after the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir. When the burned body of the Palestinian boy was found following public incitement against Arabs - which peaked after the abduction and murder of Eyal, Gil-Ad and Naftali – it became likely that the murder had nationalistic motives. Of course, the timing could have been coincidental. It was not.
But a discussion concerning only essentialist categories of “us” and “them” – in which “they” are bloodthirsty animals and “we” are peaceful victims – cannot contain the possibility that “one of us” could have carried out a crime that is so typical of “them.”
Mohammed was a physically gentle boy, at least in his famous photo. A boy that, if one insists, can be seen as gay. And they, after all, are known to be homophobic. Moreover, we’re told, they publicly execute each and every gay and lesbian (minor detail: it’s not exactly true). And we? We give refuge to LGBTQ Palestinians! Though, sometimes we send them back despite the danger to their lives. And anyway, we have a pride parade in Tel Aviv, so obviously we are not homophobic.
So what if the parties in the government coalition are fighting vigorously against any LGBTQ rights? And so what if the Minister of Education recently claimed that gay couples should not be considered “families?” In the shallow world of racist generalizations everything is clear, and a police investigation certainly isn’t needed. They were the murderers - probably Mohammed’s neighbors who were not able to accept his sexual identity.
And what is this conclusion based on? On a single photo of a boy who does not fit the stereotype of a Palestinian man with a thick beard, a...Read More