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Shira Banki

  • PODCAST: Being Palestinian during Israeli Pride Week

    For many queer Palestinians in Israel, celebrating their gender identities while standing up for Palestinian rights is a balancing act — especially during Pride Week. Every year, tens of thousands of tourists descend on Tel Aviv in mid-June for the annual Pride Week festivities, which celebrate Israel's LGTBQ community with all-night parties, concerts, and a giant march across the city center. For LGBTQ Palestinians living in Israel, however, Pride Week is far more complicated. For many, participating in Pride means actively taking part in Israel's "pinkwashing" attempts by portraying itself to the world as a pluralistic safe haven for queer people to cover up its…

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  • Two years after stabbing, 20,000 participate in J'lem pride march

    Police arrest man carrying a knife, two years after 16-year-old Shira Banki was stabbed to death at the Jerusalem pride march. Over 20,000 people took part in the annual Jerusalem pride march on Thursday afternoon, two years after 16-year-old Shira Banki was murdered at the march by a religious extremist. Hundreds of police officers were on hand, forcing every participant to undergo inspection before entering Liberty Bell Park, where the march to was set to begin. Police arrested 22 people at the march, one of whom was carrying a knife. According to Haaretz, police summoned right-wing activists classified as “under watch” for clarification and…

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  • No more waiting: LGBTQ Israelis must take the rights they deserve

    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…

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  • Year after teen's murder, largest turnout ever at Jerusalem Pride

    Massive, unexpected turnout sent a powerful message in the wake of anti-LGBTQ hate speech in recent weeks. Yet the sterile police cordon in which the Pride Parade was forced to take place also served as an eerie reminder of its insecurity. [Photo gallery follows the text.] More than 25,000 Israelis turned out to march in Jerusalem's 15th annual Pride Parade Tuesday evening, the largest turnout ever in the city's history, coming a year after 16-year-old Shira Banki was stabbed to death in a hate crime targeting the march. The massive turnout was uplifting and sent a powerful message in the wake of anti-LGBTQ hate speech by prominent rabbis in recent weeks, the…

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  • Homophobia rears its ugly head in Pride month in Israel

    '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…

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  • Straight terrorism

    It doesn’t matter if the murderer in Orlando was Jewish, Christian or Muslim — the same hate crimes keep targeting us, over and over again, across the world. By Yael Marom and Ma'ayan Dak At least 50 people were killed and another 53 wounded early Sunday morning in a massacre at the “Pulse” club, a venue associated with the LGBTQ community in Orlando. The media spent the better part of Sunday trying to understand why it happened. But for many of us in the LGBTQ community, it was clear as could be: yet another hate crime in a wave of…

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  • Ahead of Tel Aviv Pride, queer activists bring the occupation home

    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…

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  • Photos of the Month: A long, hot summer of hate crimes

    A Palestinian family is burned alive in their sleep, a 16-year-old Israeli is stabbed to death during the Jerusalem pride march, a hunger-striker calls the shots, and more. These are the best Activestills photos of the month. Photos by: Keren Manor, Ahmad Al-Bazz, Yotam Ronen, Faiz Abu-Rmeleh, Omer Sameer, Oren Ziv / Activestills, Edited by: Anka Mirkin

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  • Netanyahu tells a little lie that says a lot about him

    On August 2 Raviv Drucker, a prominent and widely respected Israeli journalist, published the following status on his Facebook wall: Yesterday the prime minister made the following pre-recorded statement: “At this very moment a 16-year-old girl is fighting for her life at a Jerusalem hospital. She is a student at the high school near the university. That is the high school I attended. It is the school my children and my friends’ children attended.” This is not the most important point in the world during these awful days — it’s not even close — but still, Netanyahu attended the high school…

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