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gay rights

  • The cynical use of homophobia to attack the Joint List

    The Pride Parade has become a litmus test of enlightenment for politicians. But clinging to that symbol is dangerous in that it disconnects the parade from its actual context — the LGBTQ community’s struggle for equal rights. By Inna Michaeli In a video question-and-answer segment produced by Haaretz this week, Arab actress and singer Mira Awad interviewed Balad party chairman Jamal Zahalka, and in her second question, asked him about the Gay Pride parade. It was no surprise that the program’s editors couldn’t help but lead the program with the pride question. A few moments later Awad asked about polygamy.…

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  • The decline of Christian Zionism

    America's largest Christian Zionist organization boasts about its numbers. But while their influence is a given, many Christians are slowly but surely seeing the justice of the Palestinian cause. Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/ Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest Zionist Christian organization in the U.S., recently sent an email blast celebrating the milestone of “2 million members.” The Washington Post’s right-wing blogger Jennifer Rubin dutifully reported on the CUFI press release, which included an additional list of impressive numbers: According to CUFI, it has “driven hundreds of thousands of emails to government officials, held 2,162 pro-Israel events in cities…

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  • PHOTOS: In Rio, protests against World Cup mark Stonewall riots

    Football can be a tool for social change, one protester says, but the poor people here cannot even participate in the games. 'We are not just LGBT. We are also workers, blacks, women and we can not disconnect from the other social movement.' Photos & text: Keren Manor and Mareike Lauken/ RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- A few hours before the dramatic game between Brazil and Chile in the World Cup on Saturday, thousand of demonstrators marched past the FIFA Fan Fest on the Copacaban beach of Rio de Janeiro, the second in a series of actions dubbed, "Our cup is on…

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  • U.S. elections: The majority voting on the rights of the minority

    On Election Day in the United States, Americans are choosing between two different visions for the future of their country. And some are being asked to sacrifice their rights for the sake of one of those visions. Boca Raton, FL and Los Angeles, CA - Every four years, around this time, people begin criticizing the Electoral College in the U.S., and its role in determining the next American president. The system, which sees a certain number of delegates giving their collective vote to the candidate who secures the highest percentage of votes in their respective state, results in certain states…

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  • The importance of thinking outside the LGBT box

    By Leehee Rothschild A recent Israeli celebrity's admission that he has had sexual experiences with men but does not consider himself homosexual has drawn ridicule from the LGBT community, exposing its own biases and intolerance.  My Facebook feed recently filled up with posts by LGBT friends mocking the Israeli singer and songwriter Ze'ev Nehama, who shared with a Yedioth Ahronoth interviewer (Hebrew) his sexual experiences with other men. In the interview, Nehama said that while he did have sexual encounters with men, he does not define himself as a homosexual, since these encounters were merely sexual, and not emotional. This…

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  • Pushed aside, Israeli gay rights movement searches for footing

    It is not as severe as Iran's nuclear program, not as consensual as the movement calling for a universal draft, and not as hip as the growing fight for social justice. The gay struggle just can't seem to find its place. By Amnon Brownfield Stein There wasn't much pride in the Jerusalem air Thursday evening. The annual pride parade - once a matter of critical national importance, was serene. The pride parades in the city, which started 10 years ago, were no stranger to public controversy. In 2002, Shas MK Nissim Ze’ev said of the marchers, "We must exterminate this…

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  • Is the IDF the world's most liberal institution?

    If you read the international press and watch the images of female and gay soldiers, it can sometimes seem that way. Yet an institution cannot be separated from its main function. Our company's staff sergeant at basic training was a short bald man, who used to terrorize us in our first days at camp with endless "repeated training" – a punishment for bad behavior that came in the form of push ups, jumps and running up hills with all kind of gear – bags, machine guns – once we even had to carry our beds. He also used to refer…

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  • Film on gays and IDF could reinforce Israeli militarism

    When "Yossi and Jagger" appeared 10 years ago, I found it both heartrending and groundbreaking. Opening up the still-taboo subject of homosexuality in the army, the film provided a sharp critique of the militarist-machoist complex that reigns over Israeli society in general. It exposed simply but precisely how that complex is the source of various social ills that touch the lives of many ordinary Israelis. The central plot revolved around the secrecy of gay life, but the film smoothly incorporated low-volume sub-plots that exposed the other sinister consequences: the exploitation and abuse of women, the alienation of parents from their…

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  • Upcoming amendment will test Israeli gov't regard for LGBT rights

    Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren recently boasted about Israel's record on gay rights - however the LGBT community in Jerusalem has faced repeated intolerance and push back from the government. A proposal to be presented this Sunday to extend protection from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation will be the real test of its commitment to gay rights.  By Elinor Sidi "In Israel, LGBT rights is not an issue that divides us, it is a vision that unites us," said Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, in Philadelphia two weeks ago. In his keynote, Oren took…

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  • Controversy over Israeli envoy's address at gay rights forum

    WASHINGTON - Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren delivered a keynote speech at the 20th Annual Equality Forum held over the weekend in the U.S. city of Philadelphia, but his selection as the featured guest angered some pro-Palestinian activists in the LGBT community. The forum is intended to celebrate the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Transgender, Queers and other individuals, often referred to as LGBT.  This year, the Forum's executive committee chose to honor Israel, with its culture capital Tel Aviv recently listed as the number one gay destination in the world.  The committee invited Israel's Ambassador to Washington to address…

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  • Ambassador Oren boasts Israel's record on gay rights - but gets facts wrong

    Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren claims "Israel fought for gay rights even before 1967." Problem is, homosexuality was illegal until 1988. Michael Oren, the American Jew turned Israeli ambassador to the US, is apparently not content with embarrassing himself about Israel's record regarding its Christian citizens. In an interview with the Philadelphia newspaper Metro, Oren said that "Israel was fighting for gay rights before the 1967 war. Even when terrorists were blowing up our buses and cafes, there was equality for gays." Leaving aside the second and particularly ignorant part of this statement – what the hell is…

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  • Israeli paper runs controversial NY Times 'pinkwashing' piece

    A couple of months ago, the New York Times run an op-ed titled "Israel and ‘Pinkwashing,’" which accused Israel of using the issue of gay rights to whitewash its deteriorating human rights record. Quote: In Israel, gay soldiers and the relative openness of Tel Aviv are incomplete indicators of human rights — just as in America, the expansion of gay rights in some states does not offset human rights violations like mass incarceration. The long-sought realization of some rights for some gays should not blind us to the struggles against racism in Europe and the United States, or to the…

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