All right, I have to admit it: I snickered when I saw this. On the blog of the mainline church-supported U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (USCEIO), I came across this article:
Victory: LGBTQ Student conference withdraws conference from Israel!
Following successful campaigning by Palestinian queer groups such as alQaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society, Aswat — Palestinian Gay Women, and Palestinian Queers for BDS, the international lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth and student umbrella organization IGLYO has withdrawn their annual conference from Israel, in line with the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS).
Palestinian queer groups welcome the decision by the board of IGLYO to withdraw their annual General Assembly conference from Tel Aviv, Israel. Since June 1st, a campaign to get ‘IGLYO Out of Israel’was launched by Palestinian Queer Groups to protest the organization’s decision to hold its General Assembly in Tel Aviv, and accept funding from the Israeli government, followed by a call to boycottthe conference after IGLYO declined to change its location. We take this opportunity to salute IGLYO Member and Associate Organizations who took a principled and moral stance in support of our rights and headed our calls, including NUS-LGBTQ, Kaos-GL and Pembe Hayat from Turkey; BelonG To, the Ireland LGBT youth organization; and Helem — Lebanese Protection for LQBTIQ, and IGLCN — The International Gay and Lesbian Cultural Network. This can only be seen as a continuation of the beautiful spirit of global solidarity, dominant during the South African anti-apartheid struggle and ongoing in solidarity with the rights of the Palestinian people, and oppressed people everywhere. We also call on other member organizations, and IGLYO to fully respect the Palestinian civil society call for BDS until Israel ends its oppression of the Palestinian people.
Mahmoud Zahar, a senior Hamas leader, has criticised the West for telling Hamas how to govern, and openly denounced homosexuality.
Both the Jerusalem Post and Ha’aretz posted articles based on Zahar’s interview with Reuters. Zahar made his comments in the context of his criticism of Europe for giving support to Israel. Zahar said that Europe “promotes promiscuity and political hypocrisy”, and in a further attack against Western culture said:
“You do not live like human beings. You do not [even] live like animals. You accept homosexuality. And now you criticize us?”
Zahar has previously said that murdering Jewish children around the world was legitimate in the wake of Israel’s war against Hamas last year:
“They have legitimised the murder of their own children by killing the children of Palestine,” Mahmoud Zahar said in a televised broadcast recorded at a secret location. “They have legitimised the killing of their people all over the world by killing our people.”
As Palestinian queers, our struggle is not only against social injustice and our rights as a queer minority in Palestinian society, but rather, our main struggle is one against Israel’s colonization, occupation and apartheid; a system that has oppressed us for the past 63 years. Violations of human rights and international law, suppression of basic rights and civil liberty, and discrimination are deeply rooted in Israel’s policies toward Palestinians, straight and gay alike.