Apparently, there is no end to how you can angle anti-Israel sentiments to other issues of public interest, here is a sample taken from Gaysir, where a political activist tries to make the weirdest soup! Unauthorized translation, but I must admit straying from the original text once or twice, for reasons of “modesty”, or in order to make it more easy to read in an English context (actually, I like the British English better than US English, more fun words!… try google translate for the full blooming story, my deliberate changes are underlined).
Andrés Lekanger. (26.08.11)
If we are to fight homophobia, we must understand that the gay struggle is inextricably linked to larger social and political realities. Poke a hole Israeli pinkwash.
Queers4Palestine aroused strong reactions in the post “All gay: boycott Israel” (Gaysir.no 10/25/10). Indignant critics pointed to Israel as a democracy in the Middle East, and therefore an apparently entirely positive force for the queerPalestinians.
For the dapper gay, mainly concerned with enjoying a glass of wine at Tel Aviv’s beaches, followed by disco dancing and a bonk, this is a convenient reality. Convenient also for the State of Israel.
Despite some modest democratization processes, the countries around,mostly dictatorships. Here are the absence of laws that includes lesbians,gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT). Or, as in Gaza, are anti-sodomylaws dating back from British colonial rule.
Israel is the region’s democracy, with laws that protect LGBT. This is a legitimate claim.
Problems arise when nuances are absent. As elsewhere, Israeli LGBT are stigmatized, although legislation is in place. In Israel, like in other countries, religious fundamentalist groups constantly stand in the way of efforts to improve the lives of LGBT.
Palestinians from the Occupied Areas face to a large extent social and economical exclusion. The same applies to gay Palestinians.You have the wealthy and those with travel and residence permit in Israel,who thus enjoy the privileges. However, these apply differently.
Israel flag their liberal attitude towards homosexuality in order to take away the focus from the illegal occupation (pinkwash). To combat homophobia, we need a flow of people, knowledge, and investments. Something the occupation hampers in Palestine. Strict interpretation of Islam, may seem easier for many to embrace, rather than liberal values that represent the state that actually holds them down. The suggestion that the majority of Palestinian queer therefore will benefit from Israel’s liberal attitude, is therefore only a partial truth.
This pinkwash may be compared with the populist forces, on the right and left here at home, the national gay romanticize the struggle to promote Islamophobia.Homophobia is still a problem in Norway, but we’ve all heard why we somehow ought to freeze the image of the world’s 1 billion Muslims, as anti-democratic, and homophobic, “It is only in Muslim countries, found the death penalty for homosexuality.” Thus, Muslims are somehow special.
This myth is needed to justify the myth of Western superiority. Its pure tradition of philosophy and enlightenment, apparently not known from any otherculture, derived from ancient Greece. Those who promote it, forget that Arab philosophers brought ancient ideas to Europe.
Both India and Afghanistan were documented democracies from between 600 and 200 BCE. Philosophical thinking originated in Chinese and Indian culture around the same time as in ancient Greece (White lies, dirty truths by Stian Bromark and Day Herbjørnsrud).
Another aspect, which is easily forgotten is how Western philosophy inspired revolutionaries to reject a centuries-old Shia – Islamic tradition not to participate politically, during the Iranian Revolution (The Trap, Adam Curtis). And how evangelical Christian pressure groups from the United States, pushed to impose the death penalty for homosexuality in Uganda (the proposal was defeated).
The point is to show that homophobia and anti-democratic tendencies, can occur in all groups. In order to fight such forces, we must move beyond black /white concepts of people. We must understand that everything is connected with everything. The Gay Struggle is inextricably linked to larger social and political realities.
With regards to the Middle East, start by poking a hole in Israel’s pinkwash.
Where to start? You can read the feedback to get an idea of how roundly rejected and ridiculed he has been for this.
I can vividly imagine the guffawing this would have caused at some gay pubs in my London East End neighbourhood. I am sure Alan Carr would have made a full evening’s worth of comedy of this!