Those on the left who believe the Western/capitalist world is the source of all evil often target Israel as the one country so vile that not only should it be boycotted, but institutions must be pressured to divest from Israeli investments. This is, sadly, a view that’s all the rage on American and European campuses these days (here’s a look at Wellesley). Which is why it’s good to see ads such as this one: Hamas, ISIS and Iran kill gays like me.
More. Milo Yiannopoulos writes:
As a gay man I would be killed in at least ten Islamic countries for being who I am. … Feminists and left-wingers need to stop inventing fictitious complaints about “manspreading” and “manslamming” and tackle genuine oppression in the Middle East. So far they have been shamefully and inexcusably cowardly about speaking truth to real power.
10 Comments for “Campus Left Targets Israel, Where Gays Are Free”
posted by Houndentenor on
Agreed. And also protests against people like Bill Maher, Sam Harris and Ayaan Hirsi Ali who are critical of Islam. Rather than engaging them by debating what they say, they want to ban them outright. That’s troubling considering how important free speech rights are in a democratic society.
posted by Mark Peterson on
Agree completely. Israel’s record on gay rights isn’t perfect, but it’s light years ahead of any other state in the Middle East. (Obama, to his credit and unlike the campus left, has made promotion of gay rights an important element of soft power.) Imagine if these protesters focused on helping gays in the Middle East instead of targeting Israel.
posted by Tom Scharbach on
I would point out, for those of you who do not follow internal Israeli politics or the internal politics of the American Jewish community, that Israeli policy concerning the Occupied Territories is hotly debated internally within Israel and within the American Jewish community. Strong debate concerning Israeli policies/actions are healthy in both contexts.
To my mind, that his also true within the context of American politics in general, with two caveats:
(1) Israel, as a nation-state, should not be held to a high standard than other nation states, as (in my opinion) the left tends to do. Israel is a nation-state like any other, is entitled to self-determination, and is no different, in that respect, than any other country. I suspect that there is a degree of “soft-core anti-Semitism” (as Alan Dershowitz once called it) behind the insistence that Israel should be held to a higher standard of behavior than other nation-states.
(2) Israel is a nation-state, not a pawn in the conservative Christian theology of apocalypse. To my mind, the conservative Christian hold over Republican politics has twisted Republican policy positions on Israel, just as the conservative Christian hold over culture war issues has twisted Republican policy positions on “equal means equal”, and the twist, in both cases, is destructive of American policy and politics. As I see it, conservative Christian theology of apocalypse has pushed American policies toward “Israel, right or wrong”, which is just as unrealistic as a basis for our foreign policy as “Israel must be held to a higher standard”.
Unlike Stephen, I suspect, I have had a lot of opportunity to engage the “anti-Israeli” left on questions of American foreign policy toward Israeli, and do so frequently. The arguments for an American foreign policy pushing Israel in the direction of a two-state solution and Palestinian self-governance have substance; the arguments that Israel should recognize the “right of return” or take other actions that would eliminate Israel as a Jewish state over time do not.
posted by Jorge on
The arguments for an American foreign policy pushing Israel in the direction of a two-state solution and Palestinian self-governance have substance; the arguments that Israel should recognize the “right of return” or take other actions that would eliminate Israel as a Jewish state over time do not.
That probably sums it up.
I once ran into someone online, real biased person who said great things about living in Iran, who then turned around and posted a link to what became the most concise and fair exposition of the 1948 grievance I’ve ever seen. Maybe he thought it would create endless sympathy for the Palestinians… anyway, I don’t think most Americans understand the “right to return.” And even those who do need to contend with one or more stronger rebuttals.
posted by Throbert McGee on
Partly that (the “softcore anti-Semitism”), but also partly, I think, a “soft bigotry of low expectations” towards the Palestinian side, ’cause they’re impoverished brown underdog victims of Western colonialism, or something.
posted by Francis on
Personally, I take exception to Israel’s policy of settlements in the West Bank, which is of course in violation of the Geneva convention. I’m the last person to condone how gays are treated in a number of Muslim countries and I consider Hamas’ tactics in Gaza repugnant, but we’re never gonna get anywhere on the two-state issue if Israel cannot respect Palestinian sovereignty.
posted by Tom Jefferson III on
Well (cough…cough….again) Stephen prefers to paint all of “THE LEFT” with one particular brush (while also getting mighty upset that some people do the same thing against “THE RIGHT”.
Their is indeed quite a bit of healthy and legitimate discussion and debate (among Israelis citizens and among Jewish people) about the Israeli occupation and the ongoing ethno-religious conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis.
Much of the political right — especially of the Christian right variety — seems to define “pro Israeli” as being “Let’s use the State of Israel as a political pawn as part of our goal to bring about some Biblical end-game which we believe will mean that all unsaved folk will burn in hell or get left behind or something like that”
In terms of gay rights within Israel….their is actually very little debate because the electorate tends to have pretty left-wing or center-left attitudes about gay rights.
Yes…You get a few dedicated opponents among the religious parties and some fringe conservatives … But even the mainline conservative parties do not seriously attempt to undermine the gay rights progress that has been made and generally have to pay lip service (at least) to public sentiment.
Much of this progress — legal and social – began in the 1960s/1970s and was almost always promoted by Labour Party members…..or Neo-Liberal Parties or some of the Green or Social Democrats.
The key legal and social factors that seem to be required for a gay rights movement — much like a feminist movement — to gain ground do not exist within Palestine (and they are just beginning to exist in a handful of Arab/Muslim-majority nations).
Does this mean that you excuse a nation from its human rights record (or level of social intolerance)? No. However..if you actually care about gay people in Palestine (or Israel) you really have to look at how certain legal and social factors can come into being.
The violence and general misery between Israelis and Palestinians makes it VERY hard to have any sort of effective/progressive development program for the Palestinians (which impacts numerous issues….including gay rights) and tends to gloss over the complications within Israel itself (i.e. gay couples where one person is Arab/Palestinian descent)
Frankly…I am not sure how many pro-Israeli or pro-Palestinian advocates we really need (they do seem to make their rounds on the well paid book deal/college/lecture circuit).
I think we need people who have progressive and constructive ideas about how to end the violence/misery (that has made the lives of Palestinians and Israelis nasty…brutish…and often short) and how to address the real development challenges (human rights being one of them) within Israel and Palestinian.
posted by Tom Scharbach on
It looks like the ridiculous charade about the extent/implications of Judge Hinckle’s order is finally over in Florida. Newspapers in the state are reporting that all 67 counties will begin issuing marriage licenses on Tuesday, January 6, and Liberty Counsel challenges have been dismissed in the state courts. A few outlier counties have elected to opt out of performing “courthouse marriages” for both straights and gays, but the licenses will be issued none-the-less and marriages will proceed in those counties, performed by ministers and notaries.
The last couple of weeks have been an indicator of the kind of “massive resistance” nonsense we can expect to see going forward on all sorts of fronts, but so long as the constitution remains intact and Congress does not remove jurisdiction from the federal courts, things will sort themselves out.
posted by tom Jefferson 3rd on
Many Republicans like a Bush on the ticket, much like some Democrats like a Clinton on the ticket…..So….guess who the early front runner in each major party will probably be….
The Florida governor is hedging his best, so as not to alienate too many primary or general election voters.
posted by Throbert McGee on
You know who else doesn’t respect Palestinian sovereignty? The non-Palestinian “Hashemite” Arabs who rule over the ethnically Palestinian majority of JORDAN. This point never gets much attention from the “Boycott Israel” crowd. (Admittedly, of course, there are
many reasons why a Palestinian-ruled Jordan isn’t gonna happen — not least because it would undercut the “Palestinians are a stateless people” argument.)
As for the two-state solution, here’s a rhetorical question: If the entire West Bank became a sovereign Palestinian state tomorrow, what are the odds that militants would use the new sovereign territory as a launch base for attacks against “1967-borders Israel”, based on the grievance that they hadn’t gotten their “Arab right of return” to Israel, or whatever? (Answer: the odds are about 1 out of 1.) And as a follow-up question, what are the chances that the “official” government of the new Palestinian state would have either the will or the ability to crack down on the militants attacking Israel? (Chance: Snowball’s in hell.)