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LGBTQ

  • Israel, the occupation is at the core of who you are

    If Jewish leaders and activists are going to speak up against Israel’s recent anti-democratic trends, they cannot remain silent on what has been corrupting its democracy for decades. By Nadav Bigelman It is not news to many Israelis that their government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, is pushing all those who do not align with his spirit of nationalism and racism to the margins of society. Ongoing legislation against the LGBTQ community, the Jewish Nation-State Law, and intense incitement against left-wing activists continue to degenerate Israel's delicate social fabric. Recent detainments of Jewish American public figures and activists at Ben Gurion Airport, including the journalist…

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  • Overcoming bigotry, Be'er Sheva to hold first pride march

    A year after the Be'er Sheva march was cancelled following threats by extremists, the LGBTQ community in the city wins its greatest victory to date. By Daniel Beller A year after it was cancelled by the municipality, the southern city of Be'er Sheva will hold its first ever pride parade this coming Thursday. Last year's cancellation came after organizers were forced to march on side streets and in a closed-off area, following pressure by the religious community in the city, and after the police claimed they had received concrete intelligence that extremists were planning on attacking the marchers. [tmwinpost] This year, after months-long…

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  • Queer Jews should think again before celebrating Israel

    We were labeled homophobes and racists for disrupting a group of queer Jews at a pro-Israel parade this month. But as queer Jews ourselves, we could not stand aside while being used to distract from Israel's treatment of Palestinians. By Stephanie Skora Just under two weeks ago, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation, members of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) staged six disruptions of the Celebrate Israel parade in New York City. There were several points of protest, including support among New York politicians and Jewish organizations for Israeli policies; the NYPD’s participation in the parade; and exchange programs between Israeli…

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  • Pinkwashing: Is it really so black and white?

    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…

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  • Anti-occupation LGBTQ activists block Tel Aviv pride parade

    Activists hold up signs resembling the separation wall reading: 'There's no pride in occupation.' By Yael Marom Dozens of Israeli LGBTQ activists against the occupation blocked Tel Aviv's annual pride parade on Friday, holding up signs that read "There's no pride in occupation," and for a few minutes preventing the march from proceeding through the city center. [tmwinpost] The police immediately responded to the action, pushing the activists toward the sidewalk. Members of "Likud Pride," the LGBTQ group affiliated with the ruling Likud party, joined the police and began shouting at and shoving the activists. As opposed to the police,…

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  • Jewish activists arrested for protesting New York pro-Israel parade

    New York's annual, lavishly-funded Celebrate Israel parade was interrupted by scores of American Jewish activists, several of whom were arrested in the process. Seven Jewish protesters were arrested in New York on Sunday afternoon as over 100 activists disrupted the annual Celebrate Israel parade. The event, which sees thousands of participants march down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue accompanied by elected officials such as Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, has received nearly $800,000 in funding from the Israeli government over the last seven years. [tmwinpost] The counter-demonstrations were held by Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow, who blocked the progress of…

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  • LGBTQ Israelis come out against occupation and homophobia

    In response to online homophobic attacks, over 50 LGBTQ left-wing activists and NGO workers in Israel-Palestine release a statement condemning the occupation, racism and pinkwashing. By Yael Marom The week before last a notorious extreme right-wing Israeli rapper posted another homophobic status on his Facebook page. The post, which was not the from a right-winger to put LGBTQ members of human rights organizations in the crosshairs, was the catalyst for an initiative to bring together LGBTQ left-wing activists ahead of the Tel Aviv Pride march this week. [tmwinpost] As part of his post, the rapper attached pictures of five of our…

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  • The far-right is wooing LGBTQs for one reason: Islamophobia

    From Donald Trump, to Marine Le Pen, to the Israeli government, the far-right is rebranding itself as uniquely equipped to protect LGBTQ communities from homophobia — so long as it is coming from Muslims. On June 13, 2016, Donald Trump gave a speech in response to the mass shooting at an Orlando LGBTQ nightclub the previous night, in which Omar Mateen murdered 49 people before being killed by police. [tmwinpost] “I refuse to allow America to become a place where gay people, Christian people, Jewish people are targets of persecution and intimation [sic] by radical Islamic preachers of hate and violence,” Trump…

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  • Tel Aviv's week of Pride and militarism

    Next week, as tourists descend on Tel Aviv for the yearly pride parade, a separate international contingent will touch down in the city for a high-profile arms fair. By Tanya Rubinstein The upcoming Tel Aviv Pride parade has set social media, the streets and the queer community alight. In preparation for the June 9 march, the city’s streets are already filling up with rainbow flags and cute tourists. Luckily for the parade’s organizers, this year's event is taking place in the second week of June rather than the first, which marks 50 years since the start of the 1967 occupation. We already…

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  • Israel's deafening silence on Chechnya

    Israel claims that its attitude towards the LGBT community within its borders is proof of its 'light unto the nations' status. So why is the government silent when LGBTs overseas are rounded up and tortured? By Ilan Manor One winter morning during his second tenure as British prime minister, Winston Churchill awoke to a scandal: two backbench MPs, it is said, had been caught in a homosexual act in one of London's public parks. "Two men, in a park, in January?" Churchill wondered aloud, before adding: "Makes you proud to be British.” [tmwinpost] Much has changed in the public perception of…

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  • Hillel must put Jewish diversity and social justice above Israel allegiance

    Just as Israel has banned BDS supporters from entering the country and demonizes those who show dissent, Hillel has sent a message to Jewish students that it only recognizes a certain type of Jew, and sees the rest of us as disposable. By Ally Fernandez I am exactly the kind of Jew whom Naftali Bennett thinks should not exist. I am a proud, Puerto Rican, feminist, Jewish woman of color who stands in solidarity with Palestine and supports the call for BDS. I am the product of an interfaith and interracial marriage, a strong Ashkenazi mama and an amazing Boricua…

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  • WATCH: What is Israel really doing for LGBTQ rights?

    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 day

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  • What happens the 'day after' Netanyahu?

    Even as the end of Netanyahu's reign seems to be approaching, it's no time to celebrate — the problems in Israel run far deeper than one man. Over the past few years, the top echelons of the Jewish Israeli Left have been trying to figure out how to remove or "replace" Prime Minister Netanyahu. [tmwinpost] Those who have been following these conversations over the past few years, could have, for a moment, become confused and think that the criticism of the government and regime in Israel are the result of Netanyahu's rule — not the occupation, discrimination, racism, not abandoning…

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