Mar. 24th, 2012

eumelia: (queer rage)
I'm part of an organisation that was boycotted in Seattle last week.

The Seattle LGBT Commision cancelled a planned evening with Israeli representative of the Association of Israeli LGBT Educational Organisations. Organisations which include IGY (Israeli Gay Youth), Tehila (Parents and Family of LGBT people) and Hoshen (Education and Change - the org I associate myself with).

It happened because a local Seattle activist made the case that by having an Israeli event, the Commission would be participating in pinkwashing - in which the use of LGBT rights are culture are appropriated and used to diminish the human right abuses and violations committed by Israel in upon Palestine and the Palestinian people.

The Seattle activist, Dean Spade (Facebook link) was not wrong. Due to the recent history of pinkwashing the Occupation, it would be safe to assume that any and all events regarding Israeli LGBT groups would perpetuate this stance.

The Queerty article rightly states:
Debate has raged both on Queerty and elsewhere about whether the Israeli government’s efforts to publicize the country’s gay-friendliness are a smokescreen to distract from its mistreatment of Palestinians.

And that’s a valid debate.

But the AILO participants are from nongovernmental groups who might very well have a problem with their leaders’ actions. Are anti-pinkwashers like Spade now saying that all gays from Israel should be silenced in the public arena, lest they accidentally encourage someone to visit their homeland?

Are we calling for the end of civil discourse and kicking Israel’s LGBT off the bus?
Emphasis by me

Yes, a great many of the people I know who volunteer for any number of these orgs oppose pinkwashing. Not everyone sees the cynical use of the Israeli government of the LGBT community as pinkwashing, because hey, things better in Israel than, say, Russia or Croatia.

But that isn't the point. Gay rights are human rights. To "brag" about one groups progression from marginalised and debased (which some of us still are, sad to say, because only a certain type of gay is actually "okay") while trampling on the rights of another group simply due to their ethnic, national and religious affiliation is beyond hypocritical and disgusting.

And no, LGBT Palestinians from the Occupied Territories do not actually "seek asylum" in Israel - seeing as Palestianian refugees are a class of their own according to the UN, practically all LGBT Palestinians who have fled the territories are illegal residents in Israel, subject to deportation back the Territories at any time - and seeing as heterosexual straight couples get no slack when it comes to "family reunification", you can bet same sex couples get zero tolerance.

It is telling that I know of no Arab LGBT volunteer in any of the AILO orgs, but I know of several Palestinian specific LGBT orgs that operate within Israel or have no specific base of operations.

Pinkwashing is heavily debated and is a hugely divisive subject within the Israeli LGBT community (whatever that may mean), it has been so since 2009 as far as I'm aware even though the discourse has existed for longer.

My own opinions are of the radical and liberationist kind. I do not think queer people need or should pander to straight society in order to be "accepted" or heaven forbid "tolerated". I've long come to the understanding that as a gay Jewish woman person there is no "true" place for me on this planet - not as long as religion, nationalism, patriarchy, racism, heteronormativity and homophobia prevail - but I know that doing nothing and just complaining about shit is a useless state of being.

So I joined a liberal org that panders to straight society. Being a role model for younger people is a privilege that I have the ability to leverage into a type of activism that may piss a lot of other radicals off, but has been proved to be effective in the long run.

And being a part of that org means that I participate in pinkwashing, just like being part of the local economy means that I participate in corruption and land appropriation. It is a double edged sword that I grip.

I don't know how much longer we can bleed into this blood sodden earth.

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Eumelia

June 2015

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V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on me...an adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.

*KABOOM!*

-"V for Vendetta"

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