Morrissey: Say YES to human rights, No to apartheid Israel


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Really? Northern Ireland "was not under occupation"? You've obviously not listened to 'Irish Blood, English Heart' and picked up on the reference to Oliver Cromwell, who ruthlessly put down a Catholic rebellion in the north of Ireland, thus kickstarting the Troubles in the process (it'd be interesting to see what sort of reaction your comment would get in a bar in Boston).

Boston is in America.


Re: Morrissey: Say YES to human rights, No to apartheid Arab world

Some of you people are so f***ing stupid. Israel, which holds the biggest gay parades in the Middle East, has gay soldiers, Christian soldiers, Druze soldiers, Arab's no different than any other fledgling Democracy. Apartheid? I wonder how many of you have been there in order to make such a judgment. Where were you hypocrites when he toured Indonesia, where in Jakarta gays are legally labeled as "mentally handicapped and are therefore not protected under the law," [] or Singapore...jeez, don't get me started on Singapore.

Anti-Semites and narrow-minded bigots populate this shite site - and this thread is evidence of it.

If Israel's so liberal compared to the rest of the Middle East as regards gay rights, Sparkleboy, I suggest that you read some extracts from the piece below:

U.S. Gay Rights Activists: Stop Pinkwashing Palestinian Suffering!


Gay rights, Israel’s new cudgel for beating Palestinians
For previous coverage, see Show them/hide them – gays in Israel and Palestine

U.S. Gay Rights Activists: Stop Pinkwashing Palestinian Suffering!
By Richard Silverstein
Philadelphia hosted its yearly gay rights event, the Equality Forum, in early May. It is part-human rights symposium and part-tourism booster. Each year, it highlights a different country and this year, it was Israel’s turn. Organizers invited Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren to address the International Equality Dinner as the keynote speaker. This turned the event into an official political promotion for the State of Israel. In fact, the Israeli Ministries of Tourism and Foreign Affairs were listed as sponsors of the larger event.
A number of local Jewish and non-Jewish gay rights activists who had been invited to participate decided to decline those invitations and make their views known publicly. Among them were Rabbi Rebecca Alpert, a professor of religion at Temple University and Dr. Katherine Franke, a noted Columbia University law professor. They characterize the event as one “that celebrates Israel’s good gay-rights record rather than locating it within the larger problems that plague Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.” (Click here to read their full statement published recently in Tikkun, which criticizes the Shin Bet’s recruitment and blackmail of gay Palestinians, growing religious conservatism and harassment of gays in Israel, and ongoing Israeli government policies that violate the human rights of all Palestinians.)
Rabbi Alpert, a member of the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinic Cabinet, spoke eloquently of her own divided nature when it came to Israel and its “pinkwashing”: the exploitation of Israel’s reputation as a champion of gay rights in order to rebut claims that it is a major violator of Palestinian rights. In an interview, Albert said that what troubled her was that Israel claimed to be a Jewish state and homeland for world Jewry. As such, it speaks in her name and this she could not allow. Gays historically have known dispossession and being stripped of rights as human beings. Therefore, she said, they identify with those, like the Palestinians, who have none. Finally, Alpert believes that Israel cannot be both a Jewish state and a democracy.
Local Philadelphia Israeli queer activist, Uri Horesh, decided to make his voice heard at the Equality Forum gala dinner honoring Israel and Ambassador Oren. With a friend tagging along and acting as videographer, they infiltrated the event; as Oren got his first round of applause, Horesh stood up and introduced himself (click here to see the video):
My name is Uri Horesh and I’m a queer Israeli. I am appalled that Equality Forum has chosen Israel as its featured nation. Israel only offers equality to a chosen group of Jewish Israelis with no regard to Palestinians, regardless of their sexual orientation. Palestinians, LGBT or otherwise, enjoy no equality in Israel.
Almost as soon as he began speaking, Horesh was hustled out of the hall by security guards, though he was not arrested.

In Seattle, the city’s LGBT Commission agreed to host a reception for the delegation. Jewish and Palestinian human rights activists organized to protest the tour and specifically the Seattle meeting. At a Commission hearing before the event, activists urged Commission members to cancel it since it would allow the Israeli government to promote its human rights record and ignore the oppression of Palestinians, both gay and non-gay. The protest persuaded the Commissioners that they were not ready to organize a truly diverse event that would incorporate all the voices that should be represented. They canceled the reception.
This, in turn, raised a ruckus in the pro-Israel Jewish community. Seattle’s Jewish community newspaper published an official statement from the Jewish Federation’s Community Relations Committee decrying the cancellation. It also published a news article on the same subject. Both contained errors, which I’ll outline. While the news story quoted freely from SWU leaders and community leaders favoring the delegation, those who opposed the appearance were not interviewed and barely mentioned.
When I suggested either an updated news story to correct this imbalance or an op-ed, the editor refused. He even refused to publish a paid ad unless I agreed to two separate sets of “factual” revisions he demanded (aka censorship). For this reason, I’m grateful that Tikkun has offered a venue for airing these important issues.
In an op-ed in the Seattle Times, SWU director Rob Jacobs attacked those who protested the reception for the Israeli delegation saying they violated the basic tenets of free speech. The problem with his view is that he views “free speech” as speech supporting his views. But true free speech allows the airing of a diverse range of views. In that sense, there was to be no free speech at the event. The Israeli government had supported the west coast tour to promote its gay rights brand— not speech exploring Israel’s overall record on human rights, an overarching principle that includes, but is not restricted to gay rights. Had a truly open discussion or debate been scheduled for this reception, I would have supported it 100 percent.

Casting Israel as a Gay Eden
The Israeli government discovered some years ago the resonance of gay rights as a cudgel in its fight against the Palestinians. Because Islam and Arabs in general presumably oppress homosexuals and Israel offers them full rights, the issue has been taken up as a way to cast Israel in a favorable light in comparison with its Arab enemies. As part of such political advocacy, Israel sends LGBT delegations to the West to make this case.
Casting Israel as a gay Eden neglects some uncomfortable facts. Among them: American-Israeli settler, Jack Teitel confessed to police that he shot and killed two people in 2009 at a gay youth center in Tel Aviv (according to Haaretz) and posted flyers publicly praising the murders, but police have not charged him. He faces trial in numerous other terror attacks that wounded and killed Jews, Palestinians, and a Christian. Though Israel’s far-right government invests considerably in promoting Israel as a paradise for gays, it cares more about exploiting wedge issues against the Palestinians and the Arab world than it does about actually improving the status of gays in Israel.
SWU too claims to embrace the cause of Israeli gay rights. But facts tell a different story: SWU’s founder, Roz Rothstein, has embraced Christian Zionist fundamentalists like John Hagee who fulminate against “Babylon” and “Sodom and Gomorrah” in fiery sermons to the faithful. Rothstein has spoken with Hagee and to his group, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), including at a 2007 Connecticut Night to Honor Israel, and the 2008 CUFI Israel Summit. Jewish Week also reports that Rothstein spoke at a pro-Israel rally in New York in September 2011 that was co-sponsored by a messianic “Jewish” group. She was joined there by Robert Stearns, a controversial advocate of evangelizing Jews who is also a CUFI regional director. The San Diego’s SWU chapter’s Facebook site boasts that it counter-picketed an “anti-Israel” rally in January 2012 together with CUFI. SWU’s assistant development director, the person who’s likely soliciting donations from Jewish gays for its pinkwashing work, once worked for CUFI. So one has to ask: if SWU favors gay rights, why does it make common cause with Christians who believe that gays are “the Anti-Christ?”
SWU also carefully hid an element of its campaign regarding its pinkwashing efforts. Parallel to the touting of Israel’s achievements in the field of gay rights, the group demonizes the Arab and Muslim world in a manner that fuels Islamophobia, sharpens East-West divides, and undermines the efforts of liberal Muslims to promote tolerance and acceptance of LGBTs. One SWU ad features a noose and, under the heading “Know the Facts,” details the abuse of Palestinian gays in their society. The group’s website also features “testimony” from Israeli gays affirming falsely that Israel regularly offers asylum to such Palestinians afraid for their lives.
All of this is part of a general Judeo-Islamic religious war that some in the pro-Israel community are fighting. In truth, almost every world religion and nation is fighting to advance more tolerant attitudes toward homosexuality. Israel has a ways to go before it can declare itself a gay paradise. Arab states have even farther to go. But demonizing them for that is part of a propaganda war and doesn’t promote gay rights.
apartheid israel morrissey occupation palestine
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