Some time ago, a friend of mine called me to meet a Muslim Gay teen who had escaped certain death by his West Bank family. He seemed so stressed — surely he could use some therapy. So, I met him. But he couldn’t talk to me. He just stared at me in total panic.
My friend later explained. He himself wasn’t so religious, no kipah, no tzitzit, no peyot, no suit, no white shirt or T-shirt. In other words, he looked like any Gentile. But I looked like a Jew. And Jews kill. That’s what this refugee (he had fled from Muslims, not Jews — let that be clear) had been taught. He was consequently smuggled out of Israel, a bit less spectacular than in this dramatic movie, but nevertheless, and is safe now in the Americas.
Gay refugees fleeing the West Bank can’t stay within the Green Line for two reasons. 1. Israel doesn’t absorb Muslim refugees. 2. It’s too close to home and so, too dangerous — as we recently saw again in the news.
I met another Gay fellow from East Jerusalem. He’s in his 30s, unmarried, and needs to come home and sleep there every night or his brothers will find and kill him — for too obviously having gone Gay. But in the daytime, he’s free to travel, even to Tel Aviv. He doesn’t fear or hate Jews. He cares as little about religion and nationality as most Israeli Jews.
Against such a background, I understand that the only Queer organization operating in the West Bank loudly hates Jews (“the occupation”). Even as the PA police threatens to jail them if they dare to get together again anywhere at the West Bank. And that an openly Gay singer who performs at the West Bank equally hates Jews.
I understand it. It’s sad and even a bit shocking but still understandable. It’s centuries of hatred for and demonization of Jews, spoon-fed from the cradle. Not everyone will buy it. Look at the guy from East Jerusalem I mentioned above. Meeting Jews may help cure anti-Semitism. But that typically takes time. And won’t work for everyone. Also, solidarity from a distance by Israel’s Gay organizations will not do much. It’s just brushed aside as “pinkwashing.” Just being nice to haters seldom helps.
An Israeli Arab city, Muslim stronghold, deemed an Arab singer’s lyrics too “modern” and “indecent” for its taste. An Israeli judge then ruled that freedom of expression exactly covers the freedom to say things that others may dislike. Known for promoting feminism and criticizing patriarchy in Arab society, his music further expresses support for “equality between Arabs and Jews” but also (gasp): “ending Israel’s military rule over the Palestinians.” He thanked the many who supported “the right of young men and women to attend my performance or any artistic performance.” Yet, the singer decided to cancel the show, not to have to be escorted by [Israeli] police for his protection.
In further unhappy Gay news, the Ethiopian Gay Israeli who, through public and parliamentary pressure, finally had his jail sentence slashed and was freed from the lengthy imprisonment that he had received for murdering his abuser, is back in jail for another year. Supposedly for parole violation. His lawyer said that he received no help at reintegrating into society. That hopefully will be improved before he’s let free again.
Israel’s Mr. Secularization, Avigdor Lieberman, repeatedly suspected of anti-Gay sentiments, has now, ahead of the elections, written to Gay leaders that he’s for fairness to all, by which he means: shops can stay closed on Shabbat in predominantly ultra-Orthodox areas and neither should there be Pride marches there. But mostly secular areas should have shops open on Shabbat. He did not retract of apologize for past homophobic attacks.
At the other side of the Pond, lawsuits by many boys allegedly sexually abused by Jewish higher education teachers, decades ago, and hushed by staff, are gaining traction after the statute of limitation was extended.
In separate news, the Jewish-run Palestinian Post has again (but still shockingly) taken the side of Hamas. One of the prominent critics of Gaza’s Gays-killing junta, who was completely healthy, suddenly has mysteriously died in Europe (the Post cites three implausible causes of death) and it has a friend describes him as, I quote the tabloid: one of tens of thousands of Palestinians who emigrated from the Gaza Strip in recent years to escape Hamas [sic] “oppression,” end of quote. (For if you didn’t get it, it’s like talking about Hitler’s “genocide” on the Jews.)
All the above is news from the last couple of days, the past week. Those who ask why we still need Pride Parades, show them this blog post.