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July 29, 2020 7:59 am

Palestinian Gay Activists Hold Protest — in Haifa

avatar by Elder of Ziyon

Opinion

Marchers in a past Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

AlQaws, the Palestinian LGBTQ group, will hold a protest against both Palestinian patriarchy and Israeli oppression on Wednesday.

But they won’t be holding it in Ramallah or Hebron. They’re doing it in Haifa:

On Wednesday, July 29th, alQaws for Sexual and Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society along with other queer and feminist Palestinian organizations will hold a protest in occupied Haifa to raise our voices against the patriarchal, colonial, and capitalist oppressions on LGBT and queer Palestinians, and to demand an end to violence against our bodies and lives. …

Discussions exploring sexual and gender diversity have spread broadly and can no longer be ignored or denied. Nor are they limited to specific groups in our society. These discussions have stormed our homes, our workplaces, and even our political and social spaces, making this one of the most controversial questions in Palestine. Yet the most consistent aspect of our visibility and the current debates remains the violence against LGBT and queer Palestinians. We have witnessed unprecedented physical and psychological violence on social media and beyond, reflecting various forms of homophobia and transphobia, often expressed through outdated and harmful myths and misconceptions that work to yet again demonize and exclude us from our own society, to control our bodies and repress our desires.

Of course, a Palestinian group — no matter how unpopular — must also talk about how awful Israel is:

The struggle to combat societal and state violence against the queer movement in Palestine unfolds on a complex terrain, structured by a settler-colonial power that denies Palestinian freedom and decolonization, and exacerbated by an economic system that exploits and degrades us. These violent foundations give rise to the “pinkwashing” narrative which opportunistically weaponizes our own pain against us, both on the global stage and within our communities. We stand in fierce opposition to the colonizing force that erases our struggle, then uses us as a fig-leaf for its oppression by claiming to be our salvation.

I suppose it pains them for me to point out that they chose to hold the protest in Israel and not in their own Palestinian-controlled areas — because they know that in the Palestinian territories, they would be attacked and arrested by police, while in Israel they will be protected by police.

This is the “pinkwashing” they rail against — where they choose to protest in the very nation that they claim is oppressing them.

Elder of Ziyon has been blogging about Israel and the Arab world for a really long time now. He also controls the world, but deep down, you already knew that.

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