Don’t Pinkwash Israel’s Crimes! Palestinian Queers Call on Global Queers To Stand With Us.
While queer and LGBTQIA+ people around the world celebrate the International Day Against Homophabia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) and Pride Parades, Palestinian queers are living in a state of horror.
Apartheid Israel’s militarized police force is attacking us with tear gas and stun grenades, chasing and arrest our activists while marching peacefully in protest. What are we protesting? Israel’s massacres in Gaza; its atrocities, dispossession and ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem; Jordan Valley, Galilee, Naqab (Negev) and West Bank; and its support for far-right racist attacks against the Indigenous Palestinian communities everywhere, queer and straight alike.
Testimonies of Palestinian queers living inside present-day Israel detail the brutality of the heavily militarized Isreali police forces in repressing peaceful rallies chanting for in solidarity of Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem, where 4 families are being forcibly displaced from their homes in order to settle in them Jewish-Israeli settlers. This is gradual ethnic cleansing!
Ghadir al Shafie, co-founder of Aswat, gave the following testimony from her son who attended a peaceful rally at their hometown Akka:
A few days ago, while I was driving home from a meeting near Yaffa, my son Jude, who is 17, called. He was shouting, I could almost hear his heart racing: “Mama, the police are chasing us with tear gas bombs and stun grenades; they’re brutal. They are closing in on us.
I was in total shock, terrified for my son’s life.
Other testimonies from queer activists attending peaceful marches reveal unprecedented police brutality and repression against Palestinians.
We were just getting organized to begin the rally in Haifa when we heard stun grenades followed by an intense wave of tear gas bombs. I remember looking at the sky and it was all full of clouds of smoke. We started running to nearby allies only to be attacked by armed far-right Jewish-Israeli mobs chanting ‘Death to the Arabs’. It was horrifying!
Sisters and brothers, today we struggle for queer rights as part of our political, social and human rights. Our struggle for queer rights is also intersectionally connected to worldwide struggles for Indigenous rights, women’s rights, colored people’s lives, Black people’s lives, and for climate rights.
We call on queer and LGBTQIA+ groups and activists to support Palestinians by, at the very least, boycotting Israel’s pinkwashing events, such as Tel Aviv Pride events, Tel Aviv Film Festival or any similar activity.
As in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, we ask for your solidarity, and the most effective form of solidarity with our liberation struggle is refusing to cover up, Pinkwash or normalize our oppressors and the institutions and activities that are part and parcel of its system of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.
The courage the whole world is witnessing among Palestinians all over historic Palestine is inspiring courageous solidarity worldwide. Palestinians, including queers, need your meaningful solidarity to help us end Israel’s 73 years of brutal oppression.