Anti-Israeli Foot First

by Stephen H. Miller on April 8, 2012

James Kirchick takes note that the Seattle LGBT Commission had planned to meet with a group of Israeli students touring the U.S. under the auspices of the Alliance of Israeli LGBT Educational Organizations. “It would be hard for anyone, outside the confines of the gay-hating religious right, to find anything pernicious about such an endeavor,” Kirchick writes. Yet the Seattle commission canceled the meeting after a protest by an anti-Israeli “progressive” academic at Seattle University. “We weren’t prepared to handle the Palestinian question,” said the commission’s co-chair.

Kirchick points out “the not-insignificant point that Israeli society doesn’t sanction the torture and murder of homosexuals, whereas Palestinian society—like the vast majority of Arab and Muslim societies—does.”

{ 5 comments }

TomJeffersonIII April 8, 2012 at 12:35 pm

I support the equal right of the Israeli and Palestinian people to exist, to live in peace, to live under democratic governments that respect universal human rights and dignity. Does that make me ‘pro-Israeli’ or ‘pro-Palestinian’? Maybe, pro-human. ;0)

I spoke with a gay American Jewish friend of mine about this issue one night over Passover (and a wee bit of ‘Jewish wine’ and Mel Brooks marathon). He was horrified at how gay people were treated in the Middle East, just as he was horrified at how Arabs or Jews or Christians or anyone else was treated.

By all means criticize a government that violates its people’s human rights and their are some international groups that their that focus on LGBT rights from a global perspective.

Certainly, the LGBT Seattle Commission should have met with the Israeli delegates. It is a good thing that (since the 1960s) gay rights in Israeli have made remarkable progress and become widely supported by the citizens and all but the ultra-right wing, religious parties.

However, that does not mean that you turn a blind eye to the situation of LGBT Arabs or Palestinians.

Tom Scharbach April 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Stupid of them, and yet another example of why gays and lesbians should be both single-issue and single-minded in pursuit of equality.

Houndentenor April 9, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Agreed. The Palistinian-Israeli conflict is an important issue, but not relevant to the issue of gay rights.

Jorge April 8, 2012 at 5:22 pm

And so once again we see a progressive movement, supposedly about justice for all, regress toward justice for none, paralyzed by the politics of personal offendedness.

“Not prepared to handle the Palestinian question”. Sheesh!

I begin to see why Ronald Reagan went to that blasted German SS cemetary instead of cancelling the damn trip.

TomJeffersonIII April 10, 2012 at 11:14 am

What planet do some people live on where they are totally ‘unprepared’ for questions dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when they host or speak with an Israeli or a Palestinian delegation?

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is really only a ‘gay issue’ in terms of what life is like for gay people in Israel or Palestine and what, if anything, the international community or NGO’s can do to try and improve that social/legal status.

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