Israel is the sole liberal democracy in the Middle East, a champion of gay rights (even under the current “conservative” government), and a place where tens of thousands march in the annual Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade. As the Mayor of Tel Aviv recently said: “We are trying to create a model for openness, pluralism, tolerance — live and let live.” Surely, Israel is one of the most open places in the world for homosexuals.
Contrast that with Israel’s neighbors, where homosexuals can be hung. It’s simply amazing that leading gay activists declared this week their support for a boycott of Israel. After Qatar was awarded the 2022 football World Cup, Sepp Blatter, the president of the sport’s governing body, said gays should “refrain from sexual activity” if they go to Qatar, because homosexuality is illegal in the emirate. And of course, as we all know from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, there are no gays in Iran.
It seems that Jew-haters will always find a reason to hate the Jewish state –- and mask that hatred with asinine arguments. Leading gay activist Peter Tatchell this week signed a letter criticizing Israel for “pinkwashing” –- trying to use the acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgenders as a smokescreen for supposed human rights violations against the Palestinians.
In a recent letter to the media, activists from the Gay Liberation Front, Stop Clause 28, and others stated support for the Palestinian “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” campaign against Israel, claiming it was “ironic” that Israel, “in an attempt to gain a veneer of respectability by promoting itself as liberal,” has grown tolerant towards gay people while the “oppressive regime routinely violates human rights.” So Israel, the sole country in the Middle East that supports gay rights, is also boycotted by the gay activist community.
One wonders what these gay rights activists can possibly know about these supposed human rights violations and the about the situation on the ground in Gaza or the West Bank. Surely they haven’t traveled there and spent time or they would have discovered they may not be safe with the Hamas and Palestinian Authority government officials. They also haven’t spoken out about the violence Jews face in these regions, of course. One wonders what justification Tachtell and other gay activists can have to boycott Israel, their strongest supporter in the Middle East.
Tachtell’s boycott clearly started a few months earlier, when he criticized the IGLYO –- the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Lesbian Youth and Student Organization — for accepting an invitation from its Israeli chapter to hold its general assembly in Tel Aviv. He was among the first in line to criticize IGLYO for agreeing to a conference in Israel, saying he “fears that Israel may not be accessible to delegations from Arab countries.” He neglected to mention the fact that Arabs can visit Israel -– unlike Jews seeking to visit Arab countries.
Tachtell was successful in his campaign to move the meeting moved from Israel –- despite the fact that for obvious reasons there is not a single member from the Arab world in the General Assembly of this organization. Perhaps a PR agency or publicist somewhere has convinced these gay activists that Ahmadinejad is right — there are no homosexuals in Iran.
Amazingly, when it comes to hating Jews there can be strong bedfellows. Israel is a liberal democracy and a champion of gay rights surrounded by a sea of hate. As I wonder today where the flotilla for peace to Syria is, so too am I amazed as gays and others pretend there’s a reason for hating Israel other than anti-Semitism. The heroic defender of human rights, Martin Luther King, said it right when he said, “Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.”