Gay Israel Activist Rips LGBT Student Group After It Pulls Support for His Event to Show ‘Solidarity’ With Palestinians
A gay Israeli activist and former IDF commander told The Algemeiner on Friday that he was “baffled by the alignment of the LGBTQ community with the anti-Israel narrative,” after a University of Florida (UF) student group pulled support for his on-campus lecture to show “solidarity” with Palestinians.
Hen Mazzig — currently on a university speaking tour organized by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America watchdog group — said Pride Student Union of UF acted hypocritically when it backed out of his April 5 lecture (which went ahead with the support of student group This is Israel UF).
“Instead of fighting for equality, the LGBTQ community is showing the same type of bigotry that they should be standing up against. They are saying they want equality, but it’s limited; it’s for everyone but Israeli Jews,” he said, adding that he was doubly confounded by Pride’s actions as “Israel is the only country in the region who cares at all about these issues.”
On Thursday, Mazzig responded on social media to Pride’s charge that, “For those who may deem this action [cutting support for Mazzig] as antisemitic, we would like to add that supporting a political agenda plagued with violence and racism is antisemitic. Choosing not to support such an agenda represents solidarity.”
Mazzig wrote that Pride had given into “hatred and fanaticism…bigotry and racism against Jewish Israelis.”
The activist told The Algemeiner that he has heard comments like those made by Pride many times before, and he encouraged students torn between supporting Israel and having a place with other liberal causes to “be brave.”
“Throughout history, supporting the right side has been challenging, and the unpopular thing to do,” he said. “It is very popular on campuses today to be anti-Israel and support BDS, but it is time to take a moral stand and do what isn’t easy. It’s hard to speak up for the right side, it always has been, but you have to make that choice.”
Mazzig is currently on his first campus tour since appearing at University College London in Oct. 2016, where his presentation became the scene of an extreme protest that required police intervention. A university investigation into that incident found that cases of physical assault had taken place and rhetoric that “could be considered antisemitic” was used.