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My Recent Comments
Cathy: Couple of things:
1) BDS advocates want an end to Israel; Arabs have made it clear what will become of Jews in the region without Israel.
2) The Palestinian Arab population of Israel has increased since 1948, as have their life expectancy, education, health outcomes, etc. This is completely the opposite of the case of Native Americans (and, in fact, several tribal leaders have agreed that Israel is the return of an indigenous population and have asked Palestinians not to highjack their narrative). The real Apartheid and ethnic cleansing is that of the Arab states against Jewish communities who had been living there for millenia (look up Jewish Nakba and the Farhud).
3) Finally, Pauline Park abused her role as director of Queens Pride House to advance her own anti-Israel agenda and explicitly refused to have any Zionist or pro-Israel voices at her "forum". The Queens Pride House's resources and energies would be better spent focused on issues like lethal homophobia in Arab countries, including forced gender reassignment or the anti-LBGTQ laws in Russia or the recent anti-trans government actions in Greece.Jun 26, 2013
Leslie, you've obviously never been to Israel (or the Middle East). You're views are vastly misinformed. Israel is a vibrant democracy; its Arab and other non-Jewish citizens have rights unparalleled in the entire Middle East. They have a right to vote, they are serve in the parliament and on the supreme court. They are represented in the universities and all the professions.
The PA is not a democracy; Abbas is in year nine of his five-year term. Hamas has driven out all opposition in Gaza, and they have stripped women, LBGTQ, and non-Muslims of rights they previously had under Israel. If you want to see what you're one-state paradise will look like, you only have to look at Lebanon and Syria to see.
The PA, Hamas, and other Arab regimes engage in "Palwashing", using the Palestinians plight to cover their own human rights abuses, while they systematically deny Palestinians of the rights afforded to every other refugee group in history. That is the real crime, and one in which you choose to be complicit.Jun 22, 2013
Marla: Israel funds all kinds of schools, including non-sectarian schools that include people of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds. There are Israeli-only roads in the West Bank between various settlements and Israel for security reasons, but they are not Jewish only; Israeli Arabs, Druze, etc. drive on them too. The bus routes you describe were added by a private, joint Israeli-Palestinian Arab bus company to better serve Palestinians living in West Bank villages who needed to travel to work in other West Bank cities and villages or to travel into Israel.
South Africa didn't permit blacks to attend white universities or to work in most professions. Israeli Arabs attend universities in proportion to the population at large (including Omar Bargouti, the lead proponent of BDS who is himself a student at Tel Aviv University), are doctors in hospitals, representatives to the Knesset, at all levels of law including the Supreme Court. It's disingenuous for you to pretend you don't see the difference.Jun 12, 2013
Brad: South Africa had an explicit policy of Apartheid. In spite of BDS advocate's best efforts to pretend otherwise, Apartheid is not an Israeli policy. Israel's Palestinian Arab citizens enjoy equal rights, including the right to vote, observe their religions, attend the same universities as non-Arab Israelis, serve in the Knesset and the Supreme Court, etc. This doesn't sound anything like Apartheid to me.
As far as an LBGT issue, LBGTQ Palestinians speak very openly about their situation in Israel, America, and Europe. They don't do so in Gaza or the West Bank, and I'm sure they won't be able to do so in a future Palestinian state. THAT is an LBGTQ issue.
Finally, when Schulman and Park and other BDS proponents advocate for the end of the only Jewish state in the world when there are already 22 Arab states--all of which have abysmal records on LBGTQ issues--including one that occupies 72% of historic Palestine and is 80% Palestinian, THAT is an LBGTQ issue.
After the Six-Day War, Israel offered to return the West Bank to Jordan and Gaza to Egypt (both had been occupying those lands since 1948), but were refused. The Palestinians continue to refuse to come to the negotiating table because they are more interested in destroying Israel than in building a state; just look at what they did when they had they got sovereignty of Gaza. Jun 10, 2013
It sounds like it was a very nice evening in the anti-Israel echo chamber. Many people, including me, called on Park to include pro-Israel voices and got the same line quoted in the article. Pro-Israel events sponsored by pro-Israel political advocacy organizations are under no obligation to include anti-Israeli views. However, a community organization, sponsoring a "forum" on LBGT issues in Israel/Palestine that only includes speakers who are anti-Israel seems to me like Park is abusing her leadership position at QPH to advance her agenda.
On the Palestinian part of the trip, participants were told to closet themselves and to not be open about being LBGTQ. Yet, they see the main LBGTQ issue in the conflict as Israel using its pro-LBGTQ record for so-called "pink washing". Jun 7, 2013