LGBTQ activists block Tel Aviv Pride March: ‘There is no pride in occupation’ | +972 Magazine LGBTQ activists block Tel Aviv Pride March: 'There is no pride in occupation'

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LGBTQ activists block Tel Aviv Pride March: 'There is no pride in occupation'

The activists were protesting what they called the Israeli government’s cynical exploitation of the LGBTQ community to appear liberal and progressive and cover up its violation of Palestinians’ human rights in Gaza and the West Bank.

By Yael Marom

Israeli LGBTQ activists block the Tel Aviv Pride March. The sign says "there's no pride in occupation" and "end the siege." June 8, 2018. (Yael Marom)

Israeli LGBTQ activists block the Tel Aviv Pride March. The sign says “there’s no pride in occupation” and “end the siege.” June 8, 2018. (Activestills.org)

Several hundred LGBTQ activists briefly blocked the path of the Pride Parade in Tel Aviv on Friday. The activists said they were protesting the Israeli government’s use of the LGBTQ community to cover up its discriminatory and racist policies and the maintenance of the occupation of the West Bank and siege of Gaza.

The activists voluntarily dispersed when police declared it an illegal demonstration.

The demonstrators claimed that the Israeli government is exploiting the LGBTQ community to present itself as liberal while violating the rights of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The anti-pinkwashing activists said they wanted to remind the Pride Parade participants that while they were celebrating and demonstrating in Tel Aviv, those demonstrating in Gaza at the same time were risking their lives.

“We came here to protest against the cynical exploitation of the LGBTQ struggle for the good of the Israeli government’s crimes, which is why we came with a fence,” said Tamar Ben David, one of the demonstrators. “While we’re demonstrating here, just a few kilometers away [Israeli soldiers] are shooting people exercising the right to protest.”

“Our struggle as LGBTQ people is not disconnected from the struggle for the rights of others,” Yuli Novak said. “In every struggle that celebrates freedom and liberation, we will be here to [protest] the crimes committed in our names.”

An estimated 200,000 people participated in Friday’s Pride Parade, including members of the LGBTQ community, family members, and supporters.

LGBTQ activists protest pinkwashing during the Tel Aviv Pride March. June 8, 2018. (Activestills.org)

LGBTQ activists protest pinkwashing during the Tel Aviv Pride March. June 8, 2018. (Activestills.org)

Below is the full text of a flyer activists handed out to participants during the march.

We don’t want to bring down the mood, we swear. We are queers who want to celebrate our amazing identities and struggle for our rights together. But not at the expense of the rights of others.

The Israel government is exploiting us to appear liberal and progressive, while violating the rights of Palestinians on a regular basis — this is called pinkwashing. The government markets Tel Aviv as a city of freedom, and yet 70 kilometers away from here there are two million Palestinians jailed in Gaza. The army says its gay friendly, but it uses intelligence information gathered about Palestinians’ sexual orientation as blackmail.

Rights are for everyone. We are speaking about the right to marry, while the government prevents family unification between Israeli citizens and Palestinians who live in the West Bank or Gaza. We are struggling for the right to be registered as the parents of our children and raise them in our houses while hundreds of Palestinian children sit in Israeli jails.

Political protest is the heart of the Pride March. Pride Month is celebrated in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots when LGBTQ people protested against the oppression and persecution of the community. They were not civil, they were not polite, they rose up.

Palestinians also have the right to protest, but since the beginning of the Great Return March in Gaza, more than 100 demonstrators have been killed. As members of a community that is still fighting for full rights and equality, we will not be silent in the face of human rights violations and repression of the freedom to protest. We will stand in solidarity with the Palestinians living under occupation and under siege. We oppose pinkwashing. We are proud of who we are, and we are shouting — there is no pride in occupation.

Yael Marom is Just Vision’s public engagement manager in Israel and a co-editor of Local Call, where a version of this article was originally published in Hebrew.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Ziv

      There is also no pride in getting murdered just because you are gay. In this is happening in many Muslim countries and in Gaza Strip.
      But sure, blame Israel….

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        This is such an unthinking, stock, off the shelf reply. Glaringly misses the point, completely, and I have to think, purposefully. Really, is the average Israeli this un-thoughtful about things, this unable to make the not all that complicated connections the activists are making here? And people wonder why BDS and pressure is needed. Here’s your answer.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Ben

      Absolutely excellent. Gets right to the heart of all the slick dishonesty, disinformation, and hypocrisy. And how even the most progressive sectors of society are co-opted. Wickedness.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ido

        I was always amazed by the hypocrisy of the progressives supporting people like Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank who murder gays and are opposed to Israel’s existence and their silence over Islamic extremism. Let’s protest against the only safe place for gays in the Middle East about something unrelated to this parade. Iv’e read about pro-Palestinian supporters who claim gay rights in Israel are part of a political conspiracy to divert attention from the Palestinian issue. Madness.
        Why are they silent over the horrible nightmare of being gay in a Muslim controlled land like Gaza ? From Iran to Gaza, being gay is a death sentence. The lucky ones are simply executed by hanging or thrown off a tall building. Others experience torture first.
        Remaining silent in the face of the genocidal ideology of the Palestinian leadership, their calling for the murder of a group of people based on their race, religion or sexual orientation is a form of hatred in its own right, making one complicit in evil of the worst kind.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          “Let’s protest against the only safe place for gays in the Middle East”

          Only, they’re not protesting against that. That’s a distortion. (And a quite typical, routine one, for you. No one is surprised.) They’re protesting against PINK-WASHING of the occupation.
          (And by the way, in what safe place for gays did a religious zealot recently shoot a young gay-pride marcher in the back and murder her? Look below. There’s an Israeli named Itshak Gordin Halevy who writes “If the Sodomites and the Gomoreans are not happy in Israel, why do not they leave the country? They know very well that Judaism condemns this vice.”)

          “Iv’e read about pro-Palestinian supporters who claim gay rights in Israel are part of a political conspiracy to divert attention from the Palestinian issue.”

          Only, the vast majority of supporters don’t claim that. That’s a distortion. (And a typical one, the kind of thing you do every day. But no one is surprised. By now they’d be shocked if you didn’t distort.) Supporters claim that pink-washing is going on, the TOUTING of gay rights as a way of EXPLOITING the issue to appear liberal and progressive, while violating the rights of Palestinians on a regular basis.

          The rest of your post is the usual robo-caller nonsense.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            “Only, they’re not protesting against that” – I know, that was my point. That is the hypocrisy I mentioned.
            “And a quite typical, routine one, for you. No one is surprised” – still having issues with the fact That I proved in great detail how you’re a clueless liar who has no idea about some of the basic facts of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and with a habit to
            ignoring evidence presented to him over and over again ? like in the comments section here:
            https://972mag.com/how-gazas-return-march-can-elevate-the-one-state-movement/135870/

            “They’re protesting against PINK-WASHING of the occupation” – treatment of gays in Israel has zero to do with the West Bank. One would think that on the day we have the Pride Parade, if they are concerned about gay rights and Palestinians, they’ll do something about a place not far from where they stand where people are tortured and executed for being Gay but not a sound.
            “in what safe place for gays did a religious zealot recently shoot a young gay-pride marcher in the back and murder her” – you’re comparing a single incident of a madman to a policy dictated by the governing body of Gaza ? to the day to day behavior in the West Bank ?
            The zealot was arrested and thrown to prison, his actions were condemned by everyone (besides the minority of madmen like him) in Gaza the same guy would be considered a hero, would be honored and respected by the local government and public, and he’ll probably be a family member of the victim.
            You’re comparing ? seriously ? are you insane or simply have no clue about this as well ? what is going on in Palestinian society (and Arab in general) compared to Israel ?
            “There’s an Israeli named Itshak Gordin Halevy” – by his words I’m assuming he’s an Ultra Orthodox Jew, belonging to the same group of madmen. If you think he’s the image of the typical Israeli you are out of your mind.
            “Only, the vast majority of supporters don’t claim that, That’s a distortion” – I never claimed that. That’s you “paraphrasing” again.
            “the kind of thing you do every day” – I didn’t say that, I have no idea why you would lie about this as well. I’m still waiting for you to refute the facts I provided, proving in detail how you’re a clueless liar, or for you to address the list of lies you told, listed in the link in this post.
            “the TOUTING of gay rights as a way of EXPLOITING” – utter nonsense. You’re really reaching here.
            “The rest of your post is the usual robo-caller nonsense” – you didn’t even address the hypocrisy of the “progressives” I mentioned, the point of my post. Which part is wrong ? treatment of gays in Gaza ? how they torture and execute gays ? please point it out, I’ll be happy to show how wrong you are again.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            This is what I mean by robo-caller-like obtuseness, inanity. In response to an article about pinkwashing, what do you do? You pinkwash. “Let’s protest against the only safe place for gays in the Middle East” is pinkwashing on the face of it. A cartoon caricature of it. All the rest of yours comments are a fusion of pink washing and whataboutism. Classic. So these protesters are making an intelligent statement about pinkwashing and your spectacular lack of engagement with anything meaningful, your automated reply, is to spit back….pinkwashing. Congrats.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Now, if you should still need further explanation because it still doesn’t sink in, here is an article all about what you just did:

            ‘Just be grateful you’re not gay in Gaza’
            https://972mag.com/just-be-grateful-youre-not-gay-in-gaza/136027/

            “The “grateful” discourse is spread by internet trolls [can’t think who that would be], Knesset members, Supreme Court judges, and some members of the LGBTQ community, and is based on several significant contradictions…
            A more complicated contradiction is in the comparison between LGBTQ rights in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. First, because those who raise the issue never have to substantiate their claims: they all argue that homosexuals are being thrown off rooftops. But if you try to figure out just how many gay people have been murdered in Gaza, and under which circumstances, you’ll find it very difficult. The official position of Israel, as stated here (Hebrew), is that LGBTQ individuals are not systematically persecuted in the West Bank.
            The status of LGBTQ people in Palestinian society is far from perfect, but it is not the business of those who raise the issue as a means of silencing criticism of Israel’s actions. Furthermore, if we look at it from the viewpoint of Israeli LGBTQs, the claim that Palestinian or Muslim society is inherently more homophobic than Jewish society seems like a crude generalization. In both societies one can find forces that accept LGBTQs and those who oppose them. Both sides have organizations fighting for LGBTQ rights. Religious elements threaten the community on both sides. The LGBTQ movement in Israel has faced violence, resistance, and difficulties — just like its Palestinian counterpart….” (Don’t stop reading here, read the whole article. It shoots down everything you just wrote. You won’t admit that, but it does.)

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            “Just be grateful you’re not gay in Gaza” – trying to link treatment of Gays in Israel to the West Bank occupation, two very different situations under different circumstances, as if the two have anything related is quit pathetic.
            I like how your article completely ignored that the ones who pose the biggest threat to Gays in the West Bank are the same as the ones who pose the biggest threat to gay Israeli Arabs, their own families. It’s a cultural thing. Their family kills them to “save their honor”.
            And they even lie like you: “the claim that Palestinian or Muslim society is inherently more homophobic than Jewish society seems like a crude generalization” – not it isn’t, it’s the obvious to anyone who lived in a country with a large Arab population.
            “The LGBTQ movement in Israel has faced violence, resistance, and difficulties — just like its Palestinian counterpart.” – nope. Nothing alike. I will name this “pink-lie-washing”.
            “Unfortunately, Israeli parents still kick their queer children out of the house” – That’s a stupid generalization. mostly Orthodox Jews who are the minority. It’s far more likely for Arabs parents (or uncles/brothers) to kill their children if they don’t escape on time. Some more “pink-lie-washing”.
            “Israeli minors are still being sent to conversion therapy” – again, maybe in the minority Ultra Orthodox community.
            “These rights are being deprived of Palestinian LGBTQs by the State of Israel.” – again, nothing, absolutely nothing to do with it. It has everything to do with the Palestinian leadership who refuses to accept the legitimate existence of Israel, who repeatedly calls for the elimination of Israel and refuse any and all attempts to negotiate for peace.
            I suggest you talk to gay Palestinians, met quite a few last week in Tel-Aviv, they can tell you what happens to gays in Gaza and the West Bank.
            “read the whole article. It shoots down everything you just wrote” – hilarious. No it didn’t. I repeat: the Pride Parade and the Gays in Israel have nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the West Bank and the Palestinians. Different situation with different circumstances and “pink-lie-washing” will not somehow change that.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            I see, so pointing out the hypocrisy of the “progressive” (which you again ignore, of course), pointing out that the Gay Pride parade has nothing to do with Palestinians (which you ignored), pointing out how you lied again (which you ignored), pointing out what happens to Gays in Gaza and the West Bank (which you ignored) is “pinkwashing”. Never mind that my post was specifically about the hypocrisy of the “progressives” supporting people like Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank who murder gays and are opposed to Israel’s existence and their silence over Islamic extremism. We’ll ignore all of this, all the facts you ignored, again. We’ll stick with the latest thing that will hopefully divert attention from the facts and the evidence.
            The Pride Parade and the Gays in Israel have nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the West Bank and the Palestinians. The pathetic attempt to link the two, apparently pro-Palestinians Gay rights activists (who turn a blind eye on what the people they’re championing actually do to Gays) will not make all the uncomfortable facts about the Palestinians and their leadership who call for the elimination of Israel and the killing of Jews, who see all of Israel as theirs, who openly say that “Palestine” (all of Israel) should be cleansed of Jews, disappear and saying “pinkwashing” won’t somehow cancel that out.
            “the only safe place for gays in the Middle East” – that’s a fact if you like it or not. Apparently not. But hey, if saying “pinkwashing” helps you avoid what actually the Palestinians actually do to gays, I’m not judging. It’s not pleasant.
            “All the rest of yours comments are a fusion of pink washing and whataboutism.” – and we have another lie. The rest of my comments pointed out how there are a very large amount of posts, which I linked to, proving in great detail how you’re a clueless liar who has no idea about some of the basic facts of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and with a habit of ignoring evidence presented to you over and over again as if that will somehow make it all go away.
            It’s written right there, you must have missed it.
            “pinkwashing” – keep saying it, let’s see if your lies, ignorance and denial of reality will somehow go away. Nope ? Oh well.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Classic Geller. What a waste of time. Such obtuseness, such confusion of basic issues, such an inability to even engage the subject at hand honestly. Wow. Bye bye.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            You mean pointing exactly where you lied again ? how you ignore repeatedly facts not to your liking ? how you again ignored what I actually posted ? the hypocrisy of said “progressives” ? how you fail to grasp how trying to link the treatment of gays in Israel to the West Bank occupation, two very different situations under different circumstances, as if the two have anything related is quit pathetic ? the actual subject you raised (which was unrelated to what I actually posted), how you again ignored the many posts in this link:
            https://972mag.com/how-gazas-return-march-can-elevate-the-one-state-movement/135870/

            proving in great detail how you’re a clueless liar who has no idea what he’s talking about ? how the very people you’re defending are refuting your nonsense about them to your face ?
            It’s hilarious how you mention “engaging the subject at hand honestly” after the huge amount of posts showing in great detail how you fail to do so over and over again, refusing to address the evidence refuting your nonsense.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            How about that. Another mind numbing robocall. We’re bowled over.

            If fatuously misusing the words “evidence” and “proof” were a felony you’d be in a maximum security prison for life. “Felony abuse of the word ‘proof’ in the commission of slander, with multiple offenses,” would be just one item on the charge sheet. Come to think of it, you practice this with the same impunity the IDF-settler complex has in the occupied territories. (When you say you oppose the occupation you are an utter fake.)

            But the comic relief you provide is a service to society. So in your case it kind of balances out.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            Continuing to say “what evidence, what proof?” when I link to it over and over again, when I post it in detail over and over again, does not cancel said evidence out, it only makes you look like a joke.
            “When you say you oppose the occupation you are an utter fake” – I have no idea why you think lying about this as well after I explained in detail what my position is on the West Bank and how I’m in favor of a settlements removal as part of a legitimate peace agreement, is a good idea. Haven’t you lied enough ? I just pointed a couple of examples in this comments section and also provided a link to an article with a comments section including a detailed list of your lies.
            Would you like to address them, finally ? or are you still in denial about it just like you’re in denial about the goals and actions of the people you’re defending even though I linked to evidence including videos of them proving you wrong over and over again by saying it to your face (which you of course ignored).
            “But the comic relief you provide is a service to society” – That’s adorable after I proved in great detail how you’re a clueless liar who has no idea what he’s talking about, who think ignoring links with detailed evidence showing how wrong he is will somehow make it go away.
            I lost count how many times your clueless nonsense could have been part of a standup comedy routine, how you gloss over posts proving in detail how you’re out of touch with reality when the people you’re defending contradict you themselves. The “no, you are!” approach is very mature of you.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            You are an utter fake. Representative of the Benjamin “settlements are not an obstacle to peace” Netanyahu line of con artistry. The whole hand waving slanderous schtick about “evidence…proof…links..lies” fails to disguise this.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “when I link to it over and over again”

            Ido, the mad linker strikes again! He can’t help himself! Somebody get this poor fellow some help!

            Do continue to amuse us, it’s your only saving grace.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            Ben: “hmm.. the link is right there (3 posts above) with all the posts where he proves I’m a clueless liar who has no idea what I’m talking about, I know! I’ll call him names! ‘the Mad Linker’! that’ll do the trick! I’ll avoid addressing the facts that prove that I’m a clueless liar!” how’s that working out for you Ben ? a lovely combination of childish and stupid. Now that takes talent, good job!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            What Ben was really thinking: “Troll.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            Did thinking it make the huge amount of posts including the ones in the link 6 posts above that you’re having such a hard time acknowledging disappear ? did it refute all the facts backed by evidence I posted ? proving in detail how you’re a clueless liar who has no idea what he’s talking about ? did it somehow cancel out your lies which I listed there in detail ? oh well. Another amusing effort from you to ignore the apparently uncomfortable reality. Just as pathetic as name-calling or ignoring the posts and link exist.

            Reply to Comment
    3. Itshak Gordin Halevy

      If the Sodomites and the Gomoreans are not happy in Israel, why do not they leave the country? They know very well that Judaism condemns this vice.

      Reply to Comment
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