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Queens Chronicle

Israeli apartheid

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Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013 10:30 am

Dear Editor:

Regarding your editorial: Gay rights in Israel, such as they are, were won by the hard work of activists, not conferred by some mystically enlightened government. Regardless of whatever rights Israel allows LGBT people, it massively, daily and illegally violates the human rights of millions of Palestinians inside Israel and in Palestine, which it occupies.

We are beyond tired of hearing (most often from straight pro-Israel voices) about how wonderful Israel is for queers, and how that means that we as queers should not protest Israel’s racism. Palestinian LGBT groups have called for us to support them with one demand: end Israeli apartheid. The Israeli movement for BDS, “Boycott from Within”, is disproportionately queer, as are many human rights movements around the world. As queers, as people, we call for an end to Israeli apartheid, and to the anti-Arab, anti-Muslim forces in the US who fuel it. When basic human rights are not recognized, demands for queer human rights are impossible.

Please, finally, stop trying to pit queers against Arabs and Muslims. We wouldn’t enjoy a delicious meal in a segregated restaurant, and we’re not interested in gay rights in an apartheid state. What’s more, we wouldn’t dare tell anyone not to criticize a state — the Israel, the US or any other — just because it grants some rights to some of us. You should not dare either.

Emmaia Gelman
Brad Taylor
John Francis Mulligan
NYC Queers Against Israeli Apartheid
Manhattan

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