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Gay Palestinians Seek Israeli Entry

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While gay Israelis tramp about Tel Aviv, their Palestinian brothers language on the West Bank. Although the Israeli government prides itself on being the most progressive in the Middle East, their renewed border controls are making it increasingly difficult for Palestinian pansies to escape their nation’s homophobia.

The Economist recounts the story of a man named Imad, who travels from Ramallah to Jerusalem to perform as a drag queen. At one point in time, Imad had no problem crossing into the holy land, but Israeli authorities are making it increasingly difficult. The Israeli government’s certainly aware of the plight of the Palestinians, but apparently aren’t willing to lend a helping hand…

Over the past 12 years some 60 gay Palestinians have asked the [Israeli gay rights organization] Aguda for help getting asylum because their lives are in danger back home. Hardly a flood—but Israel has not granted one request. Nor will it give residence permits to those with steady Israeli partners, as it routinely does to its citizens’ same-sex partners from other countries. At best, says the Aguda, it lets the Palestinians stay a while to seek refuge elsewhere.

Other states also show little sympathy. Only 20 of the 60 have won asylum abroad. The rest are in jail or living illegally in Israel, as are hundreds more who have not even sought asylum as it means losing any chance of returning home. Samir (not his real name either) has just run out of time on his latest three-month visa and risks rapid deportation if caught. But after eight years with his Israeli partner, he says, “I’m not going to leave now.”

The government will, however, grant asylum for Palestinians who help them spy on their Islamic country. It seems to us everyone’s problems would be solved it Israel and Palestine would stop acting like children and just unite. But that’s just us…

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           Jun 8, 2007
Tagged: , , , , ,
  • 2 Comments
    • Paul Raposo
      Paul Raposo

      “The government will, however, grant asylum for Palestinians who help them spy on their Islamic country.”

      Absolutely nauseating.

      “Nor will it give residence permits to those with steady Israeli partners, as it routinely does to its citizens’ same-sex partners from other countries.”

      And then straight people wonder why we want equal marriage rights.

      Jun 8, 2007 at 10:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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