Haneen Maikey

“It’s really pathetic that the Israeli state has nothing besides gay rights to promote their liberal image. Ridiculous, and in a sense hilarious, because there are no gay rights in Israel”

SOUNDBITES — “It’s really pathetic that the Israeli state has nothing besides gay rights to promote their liberal image. Ridiculous, and in a sense hilarious, because there are no gay rights in Israel. There are specific court cases that, when won, allowed certain individuals for instance to adopt a child. What is worth noting is that these decisions are case-specific, in the sense that they are made for this specific case, for this specific child and for these two mothers. You cannot build a human rights campaign on court cases that are not ratified.” —Palestinian gay rights activist Haneen Maikey, who holds Israeli citizenship, arguing Israel is not the happy place for gays everyone would have you believe. She adds: “Many Palestinians perceive themselves as hopeless, helpless victims that can’t do anything. But you can, and sometimes even without breaking the rules. Change doesn’t have to be creating a women’s group in the West Bank or telling your parents you are gay. It can be smaller things within yourself and with your friends. Drive a car, drink a beer, and stop blaming the occupation for all your problems.”

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  • Tanya

    LOL. Like anyone’s going to listen to a Pro-Palestinian activist. I’m getting sick of Queerty and their anti-Israel rhetoric. Apart from the shitty “news,” I now finally have a reason to move over to the Advocate fully once and for all.

  • Cam

    This is actually false, the adoption case isn’t specific to that couple, the military allows gays to serve openly, Israel recognizes gay marriages performed in other countries and grants them full marriage rights in Israel, and Israel recognizes common law marriages for gays.

    It’s funny, she is speaking out….something that she would have trouble doing in Palestine as a women, and yet I don’t see her running over to Gaza to live…why? Because rather than being given a forum to speak out she would be jailed, locked in a mental instituion or killed outright.

  • edgyguy1426

    Well the telling phrase is the last 8 words.

  • Cam

    @edgyguy1426: Wow! Nice call!

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    So this stupid cow left Palestine for Israel, then claims Israel is not a good place for gays and that Palestinian gays have it good in Palestine? If it’s so great being queer in Palestine, why didn’t she stay there and do as she tells others to do, “But you can, and sometimes even without breaking the rules. Change doesn’t have to be creating a women’s group in the West Bank or telling your parents you are gay. It can be smaller things within yourself and with your friends.” A feminist telling Palestinian women not to start women’s groups. What a silly twat

  • Dale

    @Tanya: Bashing Israel is all they have left here beyond Davey Wavey, and I think posting his videos is a human rights violation.

  • mitt

    Why is it always a sore point for some to hear that Israel may indeed be in fact run by politicians, thereby not infallible and likely corrupt?

  • Jon B

    UGH… Israel – Palestine debate again? I think we just had that debate the other day and it went on forever!

    Besides, the very fact that this WOMAN gets to speak out against the Israeli government without any legal ramifications is proof that Israel is a liberal society. Her whole argument is voided by the fact that she can make the argument. Ironic, huh? Either way, there must be a reason she left Palestine and hitched her wagon to Israel. Just saying.

    @mitt: Israel can definitely do corrupt things. But it gets tired hearing about how Israel is the worst offender of this and that when they are protecting themselves from terrorist attacks daily. You know, for a long time, the Red Cross and the UN would include suicide bombers in the death toll of Palestians killed in the Israel – Palestinian conflict. How absurd is that?

  • alan brickman

    Israel doesn’t execute people for being gay…ok??…

  • Distingué Traces

    @alan brickman:

    Yes, Alan, that is ok. Just barely ok, but ok.

    However, barely ok, or “not as bad as Iran” is not something to on which build a reputation for social justice.

  • Tommy

    Any country that won’t even grant its most basic of civil rights – the right to vote, the right to run for public office, citizenship in general – to a resident because of their religious decent is a country that’s full-on deserving of our criticism.

    The only sin greater than treating a people as second class is preventing them from doing anything about it.

    Israel gets too much slack from the United States. They are as undemocratic an ally as we have (South Korea gives them a running, tho). They’ve got significant culpability when discussing the reasons why there is no peace in the Middle East. For some reason, we can’t muster the political will to put them in check.

  • spindoc

    @Tommy: You said “Any country that won’t even grant its most basic of civil rights – the right to vote, the right to run for public office, citizenship in general – to a resident because of their religious decent is a country that’s full-on deserving of our criticism.”…”They are as undemocratic an ally as we have…”

    Arabs in ISreal can vote, there are many in public office. Arab politicians make up around 10% of their parliament, yet in many of the other countries in that area gays are imprisoned, women aren’t allowed out of the house without male relatives, aren’t allowed to drive, cannot accuse a man of rape unless there is a male witness because women aren’t considered trustworthy and are not thought to be able to think as adults but rather will only say whatever their closest male relative tells them, yet Israel had a woman leader decades before European countries.

    So again by trying to make up false problems in Israel, you are defending a countries where people like us are imprisoned or killed just for the mere fact of our existence. If you need to make up lies to back up your point, your point most likely isn’t valid.

  • GirlyQ

    @Cam: Thank you for saying everything I was going to say. Is Israel perfect? Hell no. Is it this all-encompassing evil people seem to want it to be? Hell no. Is it a way better place to be queer than most, if not all, of the Middle East? Hell yes.

  • Jon B

    @Tommy: Can you check your facts when you speak out of your asshole? 1) Israel allows all Israeli citizens the right to vote, and the right to run for public office. 2) Israeli citizenship is NOT based on religion. In fact, there is a very large Arab-Israeli population (Muslim Arabs, not Jewish Arabs), as well as a large Christian population, both with all of the rights that Jewish-Israelis have. Israel is also home to many smaller religions such as the Druze. Like America, people are free to practice whatever religion they chose. The only place where religion comes into play is in the case of immigration, where being Jewish is an advantage to gaining citizenship. 3) There is no democratic country in the world that allows non-citizens to vote or to run for public office. Palestinians are not Israeli citizens. At one point they were offered Israeli citizenship. Some of them took Israel up on that offer and are currently Israeli citizens, again, with all of the rights that Israeli citizens have. Others refused the offer. They have no rights in Israel.

  • Joey

    @Tanya: If you’re leaving then get the fuck out. Don’t let the door hit your yeast infected cunt on the way out.

  • OhYeah

    Probably another article by that awful self-hating Jew David Hauslaib.

  • Qjersey

    My ex-BF was Israeli and it was his opinion that outside of Tel Aviv, things were not good for LGBT persons, even with legal social progress (military, court cases, etc). He also said that most of his LGBT friends couldn’t wait to get out of Israel.

  • spindoc

    @Qjersey: You said “He also said that most of his LGBT friends couldn’t wait to get out of Israel.”
    Really? And yet it would be my guess that none of them were planning on moving into Palestine or any of the other countries in the area.

  • Mark

    Most jews are full of hatred. The same goes for gay jews.

  • Brian Miller

    I don’t have a dog in this fight, but the Israeli government is undoubtedly the most liberal in the region on gay rights — including asylum. That doesn’t make it a leading light around the world, but given the comparative situations of torture/execution in “Palestine” and second-class status in Israel, most gay people would choose the latter (and rank it higher).

    It’s similar to the civil rights debates of the 1930s and 1940s. While the segregation in the US Deep South was morally abhorrent, my deceased ancestors in Hitler’s cattle cars to Auschwitz would have undoubtedly chosen a “Jews” entrance to the theatre and seats on the back of the bus in Birmingham AL over their circumstances.

    Usually, comparisons are relative. It does not absolve the wrongdoing being seen in the “better” place.

  • The Gay Numbers

    I like the way she gives it to both sides. I also like the way the biased here can not read long enough to realize she’s giving it to both sides.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @mitt: Because they are zealots. Zealots rarely have time for political complexity.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @spindoc: This strikes me as the McCain versus Obama construction of reality. If you don’t like Obama’s policies, then you must have wanted McCain’s. You know- shit is shit. Telling me that one version of shit is better may be true, but it does not change the fact it is shit.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Brian Miller: Actually, if you read the posts here, clearly the point is absolving. Not merely saying one is better, but that “how dare you even mention anything bad about Israel, and, oh, by the way look over here.” I can say this with some certainty because when the gay attack happened a while back in Israel many posters were claiming Israel did not have any problems with homophobia, and how can the U.S. act all superior, and blah, blah blah. It is simple zealotry masking itself as an interest in gay rights. They could careless when prioritizing between their support of Israel versus gay rights whether and how to improve rights of gays in Israel. They are circling the wagons for Israel not gay rights.

  • jason

    I am really getting sick and tired of the anti-Israel, pro Palestinian views that are reflected in this site. the point of view of queerty is so skewed toward palestinian propaganda, and so lacking in factual basis, it makes me question the veracity of the issues discussed here in general. A total turn-off. I will not be checking out your sight in the future. You have completely lost credibility. Realty check????

  • Scott in NYC

    I am beginning to agree with those who are lamenting the openly anti-Israel bias of this site. I am not asking for anyone at Queerty to be reflexively pro or anti-anything. I am asking them to look objectively at the facts and stop providing a platform for propaganda. Is that too much to ask?

  • Fitz

    It’s not just Querty, it’s lots of supposedly progressive communities where it is en vogue to be anti-Israel without having done any research at all into the issue. When i drive to Berkeley I see all sorts of groovy people with their ‘Israel out of Palestine’ stickers, etc. Do any of them know about the four attempts in the last 50 years to create a Palestine? Do they know how the rest of the Arab world views Palestine? Do they see the strategic necessity of having one ally in the area? It’s just a neat, hip way to say ‘Fuck the Jews’. people have been saying that for a long time, we shouldn’t be surprised.

  • holla

    Yes, gays have more rights in Israel than in any other country around them. Yes Israel recognizes gay marriages from other jurisdictions, etc. This woman may, in fact, be wrong on the implications of the case she cites, however it doesn’t mean that she cannot criticize the realities for LGBT folks in Israel. There was an attack on a youth centre, remember? And yes, Israeli women may have more rights than those in other parts of the region, but they have also been illegally occupying Palestinian territory for decades. It seems that whenever queer people criticize the occupation they get told that since the Palestinian Authority is not queer-friendly they need to stop backing indepedence for the people. They are separate issues. And, to be clear, the occupation has not made life better for Palestinian queers, so it seems like a red herring.

    Finally, this woman is an Israeli citizen. This means she is Israeli. It also means there is a good chance she was born in Israel. So enough with the “she left the territories to move here, and then criticize it” bullshit. She is Israeli. She speaks from a position of citizenship.

  • Scott In NYC


    Not long ago, there was an ad campaign for Israel where a bunch of guys are playing soccer on the sand and some really hot guy gets out of the water and catches the attention of one of the soccer players. It was a cute way of playing up Israel as a destination for gay tourists.

    Let me ask you this – can you imagine a campaign like this for, say, Saudi Arabia? Or would you imagine Hamas playing up Ramallah as a gay Mecca, as it were? No thinking human being could possibly say so.

    If gay rights were Maikey’s true concern, she would be turning her attention to the growing radical Muslim segment that thinks they have the right to kill someone for being gay. She would be attacking governemnts like IRan that claim not to have any gay people (though they hanged young boys in the past for being gay.). She would be focusing her efforts on nearly every Muslim country – and certainly on Sharia law.

    But gay rights ARE NOT HER CONCERN. Her concern is attacking Israel…so she comes up with some outrageous statement – outrageous by any objective, humanistic point of view and Queerty dutifully repeats it. Sure, it’s presented as non-judgemental (they don’t officially make a comment on it) but the pattern is clear.

    You mentioned Berkeley…where these self-styled progressives defend the most fascistic regimes and attack the most liberal ones. Can’t you see it’s not principle these people protest for? It’s social vanity. What the hell do they know?

    When will Queerty and other media outlets realize that it is self-defeating to claim journalistic integrity and then publish propaganda because it aligns with their political and social identification?

  • Fitz

    Scott: “Social Vanity” is a phrase I hadn’t thought of, but you are right on. Look at the post right before yours. ‘illegal occupation”.. um dude… the Palestinians were on the wrong side of the war. Japan got bombed, germany got quartered, Italy was bankrupted, etc.

  • Cam

    I find something interesting. In a different interview this same person said the following in an interivew…

    The association’s director, 29-year-old Haneen Maikey from Jerusalem, says the parties are only one aspect of the group’s activities, which include local support groups. “We also provide a personal response to people who come for advice, information and a sympathetic ear, and we organize events as well,” she says.

    Al-Qaws is the first Palestinian-Israeli organization to cater to the entire gay and lesbian Palestinian population.

    “”Maikey says the Arab gay or lesbian in Israel “remains a stranger even in an accepting environment.” Usually their relationships are conducted in Hebrew in an environment different from their original cultural milieu. “So even if it’s an accepting environment, you remain a stranger, a kind of ’guest of the culture,’ and you have to behave according to rules determined by the other,” she says.””



    So not only does she say twice that Israel is an “Accepting environment for gays…but the mere fact that she is head of an organization that would not be allowed to exist under the governments of any of the other surounding countries would seem to indicate that Israel does in fact have gay rights. Her complaints about Arabs having to speak Hebrew, are the same complaints by anybody living in a country where the official language is something else. People in the U.S. overall have to speak English to deal with much of the society here, people in France French etc…

  • Scrufff

    For a look into the lives of marginalized gay Palestinian youths rent “Gan” – International title “The Garden”. These boys can’t go home because the will be killed by their own family members but can’t stay in “relatively” safe Israel due to immigration issues. One boy’s story is particularly heartbreaking. I think that the filmmakers did a good job at humanizing a tough situation without making it overtly political.

    Between these last two Queerty postings regarding the Israel/Palestinian conflict and all the comments it has provoke please take time and rent this movie.


    PS: as a proud out gay American born to a Palestinian father, I’m very lucking to have not been born into that hellish situation.

  • Cam

    @ No. 32 · Scrufff

    I read the reviews but could not find it for sale. It sounds interesting but a bit heartbreaking.

  • Scrufff

    Oops guys, after a quick google search it appears that this movie is not available on DVD. Sorry. I believe I saw it on Sundance’s documentary series. Keep an eye out for it.

  • alan brickman

    queerty is so sad to hate jews…are the gays next queerty???…

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