We must remain critical when the Israeli government co-opts the LGBTQ struggle to divert attention from the occupation. But let's not minimize the urgency of the situation for many queer people in Israel and across the Middle East. By Frederick Hertz There’s a tendency towards extreme dualism when it comes to the LGBTQ community in Israel. Two recent essays on the subject of “pinkwashing” in +972 Magazine exemplify the tendency to show that a country that does bad things (i.e. Israel) cannot possibly do anything right, and the victims (i.e. the Palestinians) can do nothing wrong. This approach pushes the entirety of Israeli gay…Read More... | 2 Comments
Much fanfare accompanies the Knesset's annual LGBTQ rights day. But this year, as last year, the event coincided with a raft of LGBTQ rights legislation being shot down. Read more: Why the struggle for LGBT rights in Israel is far from over Why I interrupted a pro-army LGBTQ event in Tel Aviv Increasing homophobia mars Knesset LGBT dayRead More... | 6 Comments
As the Knesset marks first ever 'gay community rights day,' new reports on homophobia in Israel show 80 percent increase in documented homophobic incidents, alarming statistics about levels of violence faced by the LGBT community. The state of LGBT rights in Israel can effectively be summed up in a series of events surrounding the Knesset's first ever LGBT rights day. As much of an achievement as that was — although with caveats — the day was overshadowed by a number of proposed bills to advance LGBT rights that were shot down before before even getting off the ground. [tmwinpost] A day earlier, a…Read More...
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.…Read More... | 7 Comments
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/Activestills.org 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…Read More... | 31 Comments
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/Activestills.org 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…Read More... | 5 Comments
This week: A hunger striker bakes bread, African immigrants celebrate refugee rights, LGBT activists take to the streets around the world, price tag attacks hit Palestinian East Jerusalem, weekly West Bank demonstrations continue, an eviction is avoided, and privatization protests spread to Jerusalem.Read More...
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…Read More... | 4 Comments
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…Read More... | 17 Comments
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…Read More... | 10 Comments
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…Read More... | 13 Comments
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…Read More... | 5 Comments
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…Read More... | 3 Comments
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