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December 7, 2017 2:02 pm

Anti-Israel Activists at Columbia University Fail to Condemn Hamas for Executing Gay Palestinian

avatar by Shiri Moshe

Columbia SJP hosting a presentation on “Palestinian LGBTQ+ identity.” Photo: Screenshot.

Members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Columbia University failed to condemn the execution of a man in the Gaza Strip, during a recent event on “Palestinian LGBTQ+ identity.”

In an edited recording of an October SJP lecture — released last week by Columbia’s branch of Students Supporting Israel — SSI Columbia’s external relations chair Ofir Dayan can be seen asking speakers to address instances of homophobia in Palestinian society.

Dayan called SJP’s presentation “an attempt to ‘pinkwash’” — or deflect — “the homophobia in Gaza, as well as in Judea and Samaria.”

Dayan pointed to the case of Mahmoud Ishtiwi, a commander of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas who was executed by his former comrades in 2016 after being accused of homosexuality. “Three bullets to the chest, he was killed,” she said.

Dayan asked whether SJP would be better served by raising awareness of the challenges sexual minorities face in Palestinian society, “[which is] clearly struggling with helping LGBTQ+ people, rather than just slamming Israel?”

One of the students who presented SJP’s report answered by clarifying that “our intentions were more to highlight the fact that colonialism reproduces homophobia.”

In response, Dayan asked, “and would you condemn Hamas for shooting this person for being homosexual?”

When the speaker failed to denounce the terrorist group for the killing, suggesting that it was outside the scope of their presentation, Dayan said, “You are engaging the LGBTQ+ rights but you are not willing to condemn someone for shooting” a man targeted over his alleged homosexuality.

The incident — a recording of which can be viewed below — was viewed over 100,000 times since it was shared on social media last week.

Columbia SJP did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

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