Part two. Following the attack, our night owl returns to Jerusalem in drag for a rally, and walks into an emotional pitfall.
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Someone else was murdered on Thursday, the night of the Jerusalem Pride stabbing. In the northern West Bank village of Duma, a group of hooded men, most likely members of the extremist Jewish “Price Tag” cell, set fire to two family homes and left threatening graffiti in Hebrew on the walls. A baby, Ali Dawabsheh, was burned to death. His parents and bother were rescued but remain in an Israeli hospital in critical condition.
Both the Jerusalem and Tel Aviv LGBT communities organized rallies in the wake of the pride stabbing, to be held on the following Saturday night. I decided to go to the one where little Ali was most likely to also be mentioned. That was clearly going to be Jerusalem.
Organizers at Tel Aviv courted mainstream politicians, some of whom participate in hateful discourse. The Jerusalem team booked Israel’s president Reuven Rivlin, the only high ranking Israeli politician who speaks consistently against all forms of intolerance. Sadly, the Israeli presidency is only a ceremonial position which has little impact on the system.
I got back in drag and took the minibus to Jerusalem with a sign I had made. It read: “Pride-stabbers and baby-killers all heed the same call.” I raised it high as Rivlin spoke and heard him say just that, in different words. He mentioned the murder at Duma in his first sentence. Other speakers followed him onstage, including three rabbis, two of whom also mentioned Duma. I was in the right place and I was in tears.
She should give me a break
Tears returned to my face later, further demolishing my eyeliner. After the rally, I sat with my friend, Irit, at “Hataklit,” a casual West Jerusalem bar. I told her a story that involved another friend of mine, and mentioned that she is Palestinian.
“Where is she from?” Irit asked.
“Oh, that’s very convenient, to call yourself a Palestinian when you live in Haifa.”
The concept of “Israeli Arabs” tends to be highly contrived in the eyes of the people we label with it. Irit, a journalist, surely knew this. She made a political statement. I decided to skip giving her the...Read More