A discriminatory surrogacy law sparks mass protests by LGBTQ Israelis, tens of thousands of whom take part in a nationwide general strike. Some 80,000 fill Tel Aviv's Rabin Square. By +972 Magazine Staff The Israeli LGBTQ community staged a nationwide strike on Sunday to protest discrimination and inequality, sparked by a new law to ease surrogacy regulations that left male gay couples without the ability to use a surrogate to have a child. [tmwinpost] An estimated tens of thousands of members of the community joined the one-day strike to protest the law, tying the action to the broader discrimination many members…Read More...
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 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. [tmwinpost] The…Read More... | 20 Comments
As long as Palestinians are deprived of their rights by the occupation, we cannot view the achievements of the Israeli LGBTQ community as an indication of tolerance. By Noa Bassel Every year in June, during Pride Month, the inherent paradox built in to Israel's political discourse reaches a fever pitch: the more oppressed a social group is, the more grateful it is expected to be for those things that are taken for granted by the rest of the population. Palestinians should be grateful that they can attend university, feminists should be thankful to Israel for not living in Iran, Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia should say thanks that they are…Read More... | 5 Comments
The Israeli government doesn't believe LGBTQ Israelis should be able to adopt children, yet continues to tell the world what a wonderful place Israel for the queer community. By Yael Marom The past few days have been a stark reminder of just how the Israeli government views the LGBTQ community. The Welfare Ministry's statement calling LGBTQ families "irregulars," who should not be allowed to adopt children, is just the latest in a number of legislative moves and court decisions that go directly against LGBTQ rights. As the annual Jerusalem pride march approaches, the queer community in Israel can clearly see the…Read More... | 4 Comments
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…Read More... | 10 Comments
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
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…Read More... | 3 Comments
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…Read More... | 4 Comments
'Sick,' 'perverts,' 'abomination,' 'blasphemers,' 'handicapped': Hate speech against Israel's LGBTQ community has reached fever pitch this week, and comes as police have detained queer activists and the High Court has capitulated to homophobia. The last seven days in Israel have been particularly hostile for the country's LGBTQ community. A steady stream of homophobic slander from nationalist and ultra-Orthodox rabbis has been bookended by two major pride parades facing serious threats and calls for counter-demonstrations. [tmwinpost] The sequence of events began with Be'er Sheva's pride parade, slated to take place Thursday last week. It would have been the southern Israeli city's first march, in lieu of…Read More... | 1 Comment
LGBTQ activists hang banners and graffiti anti-occupation slogans across Tel Aviv in the run-up to the city's annual pride parade. 180,000 people are expected to take part in the festivities, at least half of them tourists. By Yael Marom In the run up to Friday's Tel Aviv Pride festivities, Israeli LGBTQ activists hung banners and spray-painted anti-occupation graffiti across the city. The signs, which read "Occupation: Israeli Pride" and "You cannot pinkwash the occupation" were hung from bridges at the main entrances to the city. Meanwhile activists graffitied slogans such as "You can't pink wash occupation" in both Hebrew and English…Read More...
Until the Israeli LGBTQ community truly begins caring about Palestinian oppression, Palestinian queers will have to keep checking our identity at the door. Fady Khoury (translated by Tal Haran) This past March I took part in a panel as part of Washington D.C.'s Independent Film Festival, where Jake Weisfeld's new documentary, "Oriented," was screened. The film, which was also screened this week as part of Tel Aviv's LGBTQ film festival, TLVFest, tells the story of three gay Palestinian men living in Tel Aviv. I assume that plenty has and will be said about the movie itself, but the point I wanted to…Read More... | 11 Comments
LGBTQ organizations in Israel are threatening to cancel Tel Aviv's yearly Pride Parade unless the government allocates more money to their groups and causes at home — and not just use the parade to promote Israel as a bastion of progressive liberalism overseas. The government's response? Pull the international promotional budget. By Yael Marom The LGTBQ community in Israel is threatening to hold a huge demonstration instead of the internationally lauded annual Tel Aviv Pride Parade this year. The bold threat is the result of an announcement that the Tourism Ministry was budgeting NIS 11 million ($2.9 million) to promote…Read More... | 4 Comments
Slowly but surely, the process of shedding democratic characteristics in favor of 'ethnocratic' ones is becoming clearer and clearer for all to see. By Tomer Persico (translated by Maya Haber) Over the last few weeks we have heard about the collapse of the delicate duality the Israeli government has been trying to preserve for years. It is the duality of occupation at home and democracy for abroad, religious coercion at home and a booming high-tech industry abroad, the stabbing at Jerusalem's pride parade and pinkwashing abroad. It is a strategic duality. It allows Israel to play a part in the…Read More... | 2 Comments
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