Seattle LGBT Commission Cancels Israeli Event After Complaint By Anti-Pinkwashing Activist

The Seattle LGBT Commission, the city’s chief queer lobbying group, announced at the 11th hour that it was canceling a planned panel tonight with representatives from Israeli LGBT groups—Israel Gay Youth, Choshen (their version of HRC), and Tehila (the Israeli equivalent of P-FLAG)—who are part of  the Association of Israeli LGBT Educational Organizations (AILO).

A note was posted on the group’s Facebook page:

The Seattle LGBT Commission is hereby canceling the event scheduled for Friday, March 16, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

At this time, the members of the LGBT Commission feel we are not thoroughly prepared to facilitate an event surrounding such complex topics.

We have great respect for those who have shared their comments with us this week on all sides of the issue and are open to ways in which we can support community members in continuing this dialogue while involving all diverse perspectives involved.

It looks like the Commission made its decision to pull the plug after Dean Spade, a trans advocate and law professor at Seattle University, encouraged people protest the event, which he sees as a pinkwashing cover-up for Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

Spade (right) posted on Facebook:

A bunch of pinkwashing events are being rolled out in Seattle this week. I am hoping others will join me in responding.  I’m including below the text of a letter I’ve written to the Seattle LGBT Commission about the event it is hosting. I sent a very similar message to QLaw about its event.  I hope others will send messages to organizations you are connected with who are hosting or supporting some of the others listed below, and also please consider attending and speaking your opposition to apartheid and occupation even when its wrapped in a rainbow flag.

Before the cancellation announcement, though, the commission posted:

The Seattle LGBT Commission values the comments of Dean Spade, who recently brought to our attention the concerns of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict and agenda of pinkwashing to cover up said crimes and corruption of the Israeli government. While we believe his concerns are valid, the purpose of the meeting with Israeli LGBT groups is to engage in a dialogue about their successes and progress of LGBTQ people’s rights in Israel and Seattle. While this dialogue is centered on efforts for LGBT equality we acknowledge that there is national and local concern about pink washing campaigns, occupation, and apartheid. Dean Spade’s concerns encompass a much larger issue that the commission is interested in exploring at a later date.

We guess they got cold feet and just nixed the whole thing.

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?

It’s a double standard: When Mariela Castro, the heterosexual daughter of Cuba’s president, Raoul Castro, boasts about how progressive her country is on gay issues—despite a proven track record of oppressing LGBTs and political dissidents—she’s embraced with open arms by gay activists.

According to A Wider Bridge, the admittedly pro-Israel group that brought AILO to America, some good work was done so far on its tour of the U.S.:

* In Los Angeles, the delegation met with the leaders of the Trevor Project and shared ideas and practices for helping LGBT teens in crisis and working to reduce teen suicides.

* The delegation met with the Regional Board of P-FLAG, and shared their own unique programs for helping parents deal with their LGBT children.

* The delegation visited the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, where a multitude of strategies related to HIV testing, prevention and care were shared.

* Today in San Francisco the delegation met with a diverse group of LGBT and Jewish leaders, including an LGBT Asian group and those working for LGBT inclusion in a variety of faith-based communities.   Much of the conversation was focused on dealing with the special issues faced by LGBT people in minority communities, both in Israel and the U.S.

If the Seattle event hadn’t been canceled, someone could have legitimately asked these groups if their message wasn’t compromised because they received funding from pro-Israel sources to travel here.

In this instance, silence isn’t golden.

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  • Cam

    So basically Isreal allows gays to serve in the military, recognizes foreign marriage of gays, allow gays to adopt and raise children AND grants asylum for PAlestinian gays fleeig Palestine.

    Palestine on the other hand arrest gays, many are beaten in prison and many have been killed, all with the govt. either being a part of it or ignoring it.

    How DARE Mr. Spade try to co-opt the gay rights movement in support of a country that would have us arrested or killed simply for being over there?

    Perhaps as a trans person he feels that he is now a hetrosexual male and therefore supports Palestine’s inhumane treatment of women and gays. I can think of no other reason. I doubt there were any black groups protesting Namibia for not getting along with South Africa During Aparteid.

  • JayKay

    Let’s ship that little weasel over to Palestine, let him see how well they treat him.

  • Ben Johnson

    Talk about censorship!

  • LandStander

    @Cam: Just because you are against occupation does not mean that you are FOR inhumane treatment of women and gays.

    Some people are against inhumane treatment of ANYONE, whether they are gay or Palestinian. The citizens of a country with anti-gay laws and biases should not be free game for torture, occupation, etc. All of you anti-Palestinian people are many of the same ones who say “oh nooooo do not bomb Africa that is so wrong”. So what is different here? Why is it O.K. to bomb the hell out of Palestine but not countries in Africa? I submit that crimes against either one are wrong, even if they are done by “pro-gay” countries. I do not want the Danish people murdering and occupying Russia/Russian people just because the Danes are nicer to gays then Russia.

  • LandStander

    @Queer Supremacist: Gays for Human Dignity = Gays for Israelis AND Palestinians, not either/or.

  • bob

    If Palestine doesn’t want to be bombed they should stop bombing themselves.

  • Ari

    Everyone tell them that censorship sucks. Also I really doubt they would not cancel if this was a Anti Israel event.

    This is how you can contact them
    By telephone:

    Voice (206) 684-4500
    TTY (206)684-4503
    FAX (206)684-0332
    Average response time is 2-7 days

    By electronic mail:

    [email protected]

  • LandStander

    @bob: From that very article

    “A chain of Israeli air strikes and Palestinian rocket salvoes started when ISRAEL killed Zuhair al-Qaisi, head of the radical Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees, prompting other militant groups to fire rockets over the border.”

  • Ari

    @LandStander: They happen all the time in Southern Israel not when Zuhair al-Qaisi was killed.

  • bob

    You mean the guy whose group was responsible for several terrorist attacks and the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit?

  • Queer Supremacist

    @LandStander: I think it is okay to bomb Africa. I support the total destruction of any nation where homosexuality is illegal, as long as the gays being persecuted by these illegitimate states are rescueda first. Human rights are for humans, not genocidal cultists. Christianity and Islam are genocidal, psychopathic cults. No one who belongs to these vile hate groups deserves to live.

    I don’t even support statehood for fucking ALABAMA, let alone “Palestine.” If the IDF invaded Alabama you pro-Palestinazi quislings would be jumping for joy.

    It is a zero sum because the Palestinazis and their genocidal Arab buddies decided to make statehood a zero-sum game. Note they were the ONLY actors in this mess to take that position. Not the US. Not the UN. Not Israel.

    I am against occupation. I am against the illegal hetero-gentile occupation of Earth.

  • Ari

    @Queer Supremacist: email them
    This is how you can contact them
    By telephone:
    Voice (206) 684-4500
    TTY (206)684-4503
    FAX (206)684-0332
    Average response time is 2-7 days
    By electronic mail:
    [email protected]

    This is censorship

  • LandStander

    @Ari: Yes and I suppose if your country was being occupied with no aid allowed in, you would just roll over and take it. Sure. Of course Palestine is sending rockets at Israel, are they supposed to just sit there and get destroyed? Israel says they want peace, then they continue expanding settlements and killing “terrorists” then throw their arms up in the air and chastise Palestine for rocketing them. I do not blame them a bit, if my farm was taken over by another countries “settlers” I would probably not be peaceful :-)

  • bob

    @LandStander: If Palestine is going to shoot rockets into Israel, they shouldn’t complain when Israel returns the favor. :-)

  • DB

    If ‘Dean’ Spade hates America, Israel, and gay civil rights so much, she should be deported to the Gaza strip.

  • Ari

    @LandStander: No Aid? The border with Egypt has been open for a few years now and there are no settlements in Gaza not since 2005. Also goods do pass through that border all the time. Also Hamas had made it clear they want to kill Jews were ever they are not just Israelis. Also according to the United Nations the blockade is Legal under international law but of course everything is Israel’s fault. Also, it is nice to know so called anti Israel mob like censorship and you support censorship. If it was the other way around these same people would be screaming bloody murder.

  • Ari

    @LandStander: Also if you live in North America you do live on someone else land sweetie if you like it or not

  • Danny

    Notice how “Dean” doesn’t talk about how Palestine treats Transgender people. What a pathetic hypocrite.

    Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Iraq, Turkey could each give Palestinians there only continuous piece of land for a country larger than the West Bank and Gaza Strip combined if they really cared about Palestinians. But they don’t, because the politically enjoy keeping Palestinians in limbo so they can use them as an excuse to stir up crap whenever their own policies at home get horrible and they need a distraction. Notice how “Dean” doesn’t talk about that. What a pathetic hypocrite.

  • GayGOP

    Let’s see, Israel’s parliament has a broader representation of Arabs, and Muslims, than the US Congress does of Black, Hispanic, or Asian people. Israel treats women and men equally, including some very powerful women holding positions of public trust. Israeli gays can have their marriages recognized, and they can adopt (unlike some US states, and much of Europe). Then there’s the Palestinian territories, where gays are executed, Jews are executed, and women are kept subservient, and totally covered, but for their eyes. They bomb people who are there by right, and hate anyone who is not just like them. And yet, we want to be the advocates for the Arabs?

  • Tom

    Israel DOES have some Arab representation in their Knesset—AND they are routinely silenced by the right-wing element who recently called for their ouster after calling them “terrorists”- verifiable on the internet.

    Palestine does have gays, and while they do not have the same rights or freedoms that we have in the West, to say they are executed is patently an outright LIE and I challenge you to find one case where that has happened.

    Jews are NOT executed in Palestine because of their religion-and again- this is patently a LIE-and I challenge you to find one case where this has happened in Palestine.

    Not all women in Palestine choose to wear head coverings- most notably the Palestinian Christians- who in fact suffer from the same ethnic discrimination as do Muslim Palestinian women at the hands of the Occupying Israeli Forces.

    Palestine has no tanks, planes, or armored trucks. Only Israel has those ( in addition to over 200 undeclatred nuclear war heads) – look up “Operation Cast Lead” on the internet and educate yourself as to what damage they can do.

    If you did not live through Mississippi 1950 to see what racial segregation was like- just visit Israel 2012. You will see first hand how the laws are different for those with darker skin and heritage.

    I agree with the cancellation– we should not condone such virilant anti-humanitarian behavior- even if they DO have progressive attitudes towards gay people. ( Similarly- if you ran an environmental association- would you have endorsed a speaking engagement by Hitler because he gave free grass seed to residents?)

    GayGOP -In the future- please do not try and make a point by writing complete falsehoods.

  • Quentin

    @Queer Supremacist: So Killing Christians and Muslims is ok according to you? How about killing Jews? The Old Testament is not that gay friendly as far as I remember. Seeing what some of you guys write I begin to understand why some gays cherish Aryan aesthetics.

  • Quentin


    Are you aware that the degree of your hatred for Arabs would make Israelis (who are generally decent human beings) uneasy?

  • James from Canada

    @Tom: and the US Military murdered either directly or in directly 500,000 Iraqis civilian for spreading “democracy” to the Middle East. The American government overthrew a elected government in Chile on 11 September 1973 and Establishment a dictator in his place. Established a Military government in Brazil same reason did not liked the elected government Also it was the United States that backed all of the Arab Dictators that have been overthrown last year in the Arab Spring.

    Funny care to give some examples of a legal laws that target people based on race in Israel?

  • Gabriel

    If Dean Spade wanted to visit an “occupied people” all he had to do was drive to one of Washington state’s Indian reservations. People who live in glass houses…

  • Ben Johnson

    @Tom: “If you did not live through Mississippi 1950 to see what racial segregation was like- just visit Israel 2012. You will see first hand how the laws are different for those with darker skin and heritage.”

    Really, I’m a member of the Baha’i and we found religious freedom in Israel. Yes! I been to Israel since I travel to Haifa many times of the year and I can tell you there are no laws based on race, religion or ethic background in Israel.

    Why don’t you visit Gaza and have a Gay Pride Parade there?
    This is what Palestinian Gays have to live under read from page 36-39 ( http://books.google.ca/books?id=K52a6Z-JYgcC&pg=PA38&dq=Palestinians+gay+life&hl=en&sa=X&ei=PsljT83RBITW0QHHx_mfCA&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Palestinians%20gay%20life&f=false)

  • Cam

    @LandStander: said…

    “@Cam: Just because you are against occupation does not mean that you are FOR inhumane treatment of women and gays.
    Some people are against inhumane treatment of ANYONE, whether they are gay or Palestinian.

    Don’t even try it. What you have done is attacked a country that allows gays rights in favor of one that kills us. If you are against inhumane treatment of “ANYONE” your attacking Isreal, where women have full rights and where gays are allowed to adopt, serve, etc… in favor of a country where women do not have equal rights and gays can be arrested, tortured, and killed, is to support gay bashers.

    Talk about being pathetic and self hating.

  • Cam

    @Tom: said…

    “Israel DOES have some Arab representation in their Knesset—AND they are routinely silenced by the right-wing element who recently called for their ouster after calling them “terrorists”- verifiable on the internet.
    Palestine does have gays, and while they do not have the same rights or freedoms that we have in the West, to say they are executed is patently an outright LIE and I challenge you to find one case where that has happened.””

    You are a liar. Articles like this one from the BBC


    convinced Israel to allow Palestinian gays to be granted asylum. So unless you want to call the BBC liars too you had better find another reason to be self hating enough to defend a country where we are not even allowed to exist over one that grants us rights. You are no different than somebody defending a rapist or child murderer. Shame on you.


  • Charles the Great

    Leave it to Western Leftists to hate liberal democratic systems and I wonder do any of you so called Anti Israel have any idea how the Apartheid System got the idea of the black homeland system and even the separation that existed in South Africa under Apartheid? They got it from Canada’s Indian Act that is still in place and guess what even Natives in Canada and Apartheid Laws are still in place up there source: http://www.freedomwriters.ca/2011/11/canada-native-apartheid/

    and they think Israel is a Apartheid States and believe me it is not when Grand Chief of Canadian First Nations Visits Israeli Parliament last month http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/153015#.T2PaLhHpDEU

    and many natives in Canada say there is Apartheid in Canada but Native leaders have no problem going to Israel. Wow! I bet Canada has to be Pinkwashing too! LOL

  • Charles the Great

    Also to add to this the author of this article is South African and I guess he would see Apartheid and know what it is he is quoted in saying:

    “Imagine my surprise, as a recent immigrant from South Africa to Canada, to find that Canada still has apartheid-style laws for administering First Nations in reserves. In 1913 the young Union of South Africa enacted a native land act. The act prohibited the sale or lease of scheduled areas of land reserved for natives to whites. It prohibited natives from acquiring land outside reserves. Reserve land was mostly Crown land. Natives were left in occupation, and native systems of land tenure continued. In 1936 a Crown corporation was created, the native trust, to purchase additional areas released for native occupation.
    In 1927 South Africa passed an act for native administration generally. It declared the governor-general to be ‘supreme chief’ of natives in most provinces. He had power to appoint and remove chiefs, divide and amalgamate tribes, and punish offenders. His actions as supreme chief were not cognizable by the courts. The act gave the governor-general power to make law by proclamation for native reserves. Proclamations provided for the administrative grant to natives of permission to occupy residential sites and arable allotments in reserve settlements and locations, with restricted tenure and disposal rights.
    The governor-general could make regulations for such purposes ‘as he may consider necessary for the protection, control, improvement and welfare of the natives, and in furtherance of peace, order and good government’. There were special rules and regulations for succession to property of deceased natives. Regulations forbade whites to enter native reserves without a permit. There were regulations restricting the number of shops a native shopkeeper could open in a reserve.
    Native administration was under the minister and department of native affairs. The department was a vast empire in South Africa on its own. A 1951 act provided for tribal authorities each comprising a chief and his council. A 1953 act vested control of native education in the central government.”

    Israel is Apartheid How?

  • Drew

    Dean Spade seems like a real party pooper. Someone’s always gotta be offended by SOMEthing, no matter how innocuous or simple it may seem. Le sigh.

  • Dean

    I’ve actually been to Israel, and I can say that the other Dean is a twat.

    Granted, it’s not the most progressive towards gays, but it’s still deserving of a progressive title. Gays in the military, their most successful movies are about gays too (and are actually really good), Tel Aviv, constant legislation in the favor for gays, and besides they do accept all overseas gay marriages (but not performed inside their borders, though, but that’s still progressive to accept others). I’m not going to even compare it to her neighbors (which fail miserably when it comes to gay rights), but I can honestly say that pinkwashing is bullshit.

    Would Israel be doing this (having these gay events) if there were no Palestinians? If the answer is yes, then the other Dean has no real case. And, btw, the answer is probably yes. All he is succeeding in is blocking true dialogue.

    Besides, I’ve seen personally that, while there is tension, Israeli Arabs don’t have it that bad. I’ve also been to Egypt and Jordan – trust me, I’d rather be the Israeli Arab. West Bank and Gazan Arabs, though, really screwed themselves or their families over because, really, all Israelis are concerned about is keeping themselves safe. Which they act on. You might whine about how unfair it is, until you hear some of the Israeli stories. Trust me, it’s less about actively oppressing people and more about making sure your children don’t end up like your brother.

  • Kaysar

    The arguments for pinkwashing are so amsuingly bad its not even funny…
    So we should have supported aparteid south africa because the average south african at the time was better off than other africans? or even worse we should have supported it if the whites there had respected the rights of gay white people?

  • Dmitriy


    Speaking of operation cast lead: hamas admitted in 2010 that half of the people killed were in fact terrorists just like the IDF said, this of course came AFTEr the goldstone report:http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/hamas-admits-600-700-of-its-men-were-killed-in-cast-lead-1.323776

    last time I checked the Palestine people killed 1000+ israelis by blowing themselves up when israel offered to give them the exact same thing that they ask for now, 12 years ago that it is…

    and do tell if all that they want is to not live under military rule: why these people vote for HAMAS to represent them after israel withdrew 10,000 settlers from Gaza and lob thousands of rockets into israel???

  • shannon


  • Charles the Great

    @shannon: and if you live in North America then you should not be talking sweetie

  • Marc

    @LandStander: This past weekend Palestine sent over 200 missile rockets to Israel. How dare Israel defends itself and it’s people!?!?! Palestine doesn’t want peace, they don’t wanna live next door to Jews. They are anti-semetic and want nothing but to see the Jews annihilated. Israel has always been a Jewish state. The only period in the last 3,000 years without a continued Jewish presence in the West Bank was the 19 years between 1948-1967 when the Jordanian government banned Jews from living there.For a long time, Israel was just a desert with nothing there and the Jewish Isrealis built irrigation systems and made the economy an attractive place. The British mandate that originally divided a Jewish and Palestinian state gave the much larger area, known as Jordan, to the Palestinians, and the smaller area to Israel. The Palestinians liked Israel better and elected to go where there were jobs. Also, since then, the Jews have given pieces of land away to the Palestinians in an effort to create peace, which unfortunately isn’t working. That would be like America giving parts of Texas and California to Mexico just because there are huge Hispanic populations there. Israel has always been the country that tries to initiate peace talks, Palestine has never initiated a peace conversation. Bottom line is that Palestine promotes terrorism and are killing Israeli citizens left and right and Israel has the right to defend themselves.

  • Kaysar

    @Charles the Great:
    There were two unless you’re going to count capitalization, with the first one being an obvious typo ;s Anyways, am not sure why should it matter at all where am from? but no am not, I live in the ME.

    You mention Canada for whatever reason implying that two wrongs somehow makes it right or acceptable (assuming what you linked which I didn’t bother checking was explaining some wrong doing on their part)

    Its as stupid as justifying genocide because hey other people did it too.

  • Danny

    Not to point out the obvious, but transmen do not wear lipstick like the photo shows. Anyone certain this Dean person is even real and not simply some sociopathic made-up douchebag neo-nazi-come-lately?

  • Danny

    Also, Palestine could stop persecuting LGBT people anytime they want and could provide equal protections to what Israel provides, and that would end this debate easily. And it is well within their power to do so. So the real question is why hasn’t the Palestinian Authority done so to prove their commitment to human rights? Until they do, no actual LGBTA person should claim pinkwashing, which has become an anti-LGBT phrase since it censors “our” people (i.e. claims of pinkwashing censor fellow LGBTA people, who happen to be from Israel, from being able to freely express themselves). If it was called christwashing for Israelis talking about the treatment of Christians in Israel, everyone would be up in arms if folks tried to block Christian Israelis from speaking; so, the same should go for so-called claims of pinkwashing.

  • TxHeat

    Gays for Palestine = Jews for Hitler, how any Gay person can advocate for a group that will starve, beat, torture, hang and/or stone you to death for being gay is beyond me. I think they are suffering from a severe mental disorder and need therapy.

  • avits

    As an Israeli activist for RIGHTS for all, Palestinians and Jews alike, I am appalled by the thought that the Israeli LGBT association has been slapped in the face. It is one of the few associations that nor only reaches out to the Palestinians but physically helps our fellow LGBT sufferers, something that “Spade” does not do or consider. Only good could have transpired from the cancelled meeting. I vote for giving Spade a shovel!!!

  • Rooney

    Agree completely, avits. I’m certain that Spade is someone who hides his virulent hatred for Jews behind a mask of “liberalism” and the existence of Israelis who support Palestine, Israeli lgbt who support Palestinian lgbt, is very inconvenient for the black and white world view he tries to spread. He’s the kind of self-hating lunatic who would fraternize with neo-Nazis just because they have their hate of Israel in common. He’s bottom-feeding scum of the worst kind.

  • Cam

    @shannon: said…


    Shannon, normally I have your back, but…

    1. Israelis and Palestinians pretty much have the same complexions over there.
    2. You are taking the sides of a country that arrests and kills lesbians gays over a country that gives them rights. And allows Palestinian gays to flee to ISreal and grants them asylum.

    What you are doing is no different than taking Saudi Arabia’s side if they got into a war with Sweden because you think that the blondes are somehow bad…even though Saudi Arabia would kill you for being an out lesbian.

  • Dmitriy


    Hmmm sounds like another disgruntled person of color.
    First off here’s a history lesson sweetheart:
    1. The word Filistin comes from the Hebrew word Peleshet refering to Gaza, where the Philistines an Aegean sea people settled. The world Peleshet is derived from the word Pelash which means to break through(akin to invading). These Aegean people would have referred to themselves by a different name.
    2. The Romans referred to the entire region not just Gaza as Philistia after 135AD.
    The Palestinians of today are LEvantine Arabs, who are almost culturally identical to Syrians, Lebanese and Jordanians.
    3. The Jewish people predate the Arab invasions of the 7th century by thousands of years in the Land, there was always a Jewish presence in “Palestine”. The world Jew if you’re not means person from Judea, you know the “west bank”?
    4. Do tell me if everyone in Israel who is Jewish is “white” then why is over 50% of the Israeli Jewish population made up for Jews from Arab and Muslim countries?
    5. When exactly were Jews in Europe considered white people? Oh I know after 1948 after two thousand years of exclusion white europeans decided that now they’re going to claim Jews as their own people to once again deprive them of something: nationhood.

  • Myles MacLean

    To forgive and forget Apartheid,apparently any and all excuses are justifiable!

  • Stephen

    I think we should take into account that homophobia in Palestine has largely to do with European colonization that took place there. The law that is often enforced in dealing with GLBTs is the British Mandate Criminal Code Ordinance, No. 74 of 1936. This is usually practiced in stopping homosexual practices between men and often turns a blind eye to lesbians. It obviously wouldn`t have been a law if Palestinians weren`t at some point accepting towards homosexual practices or same-sex attractions. European colonization changed all that.

    I think everyone from the West should have all the facts as to why Palestine is in the state it is today and it is because of European rule in the area. I think everyone needs to let Palestine decide its own fate. Everyone has an opinion about Israeli/Palestinian relations but the fact is we aren`t from these areas and make blind judgements. Contrary to popular belief their are Palestinian gay rights organizations. We don`t hear about those.

  • Dmitriy

    Really genocide?
    How come then does the population of Palestinians keep growing and growing and growing and do tell, if Israelis hate palestinians so much, why do 1.5 million live in Israel????

  • HM

    Israel is a Jewish State surrounded by Islamic States. What do they have in common? Exactly.

    When the foundation of your culture and society is not freedom or democracy….but religion….bad things happen. If you’re gay and haven’t learned that by now, you’re in a coma. Our nation’s Founders warned us repeatedly of that as well…

    In the 21st Century, the US can no longer afford to play half assed traffic cop to a thousand year old family fued over religion. It’s their tree, they’re sitting it. Time to detatch.

  • Miriam

    Hey, guys! How’s the conversation going?

    *looks around*

    I see.

  • lohen

    fuck the muslims….
    i used to be for everyone…. and i still kinda am…. but the good muslim people are hiding behind the crazy ones and not standing up for themselves in their own country so fuck ’em, they can rot and I wont lose any sleep.

  • CVillarreal

    “According to A Wider Bridge, the admittedly pro-Israel group” – that’s the point; pinkwashing doesn’t have to be just tours, groups, art sponsored by the government of Israel; after looking at the group’s website it is clear that their agenda is one focused more on getting gays to support Israel than anything else; indeed – I’d be surprised if they didn’t receive any funding from official Israeli entities. The fact is that the Israel they are trying to bolster and promote is an apartheid state that currently is engaged in an occupation of Palestinian land and regularly terrorizes and murders Palestinians – gay and straight. The racism and bigotry inherent in that occupation is obvious from the comments here. It isn’t about censorship – it is in fact about bringing attention to the plight of Palestinians and the crimes of the Israeli government.

  • CVillarreal

    @TxHeat: Right because there are no gays in Palestine, apparently, and the Jewish settlers just love gays. You don’t need therapy – just an education.

  • CVillarreal

    For those saying Dean Spade should go to Palestine where, I guess, you believe he would have his head cut off or something, he has been there and, along with other “lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and trans activists” and they wrote this great letter: http://www.queersolidaritywithpalestine.com/

  • CVillarreal

    @Cam: Since when does Israel grant gay Palestinians asylum? What is this state you speak of that discriminates against gays. Palestine is not allowed to have a state because Israel won’t allow it. Perhaps there could be a vibrant gay rights movement in Palestine, but it certainly can’t happen while Israel is occupying it, starving its people – gay and straight – and laying siege to it. Guess what – one can oppose Hamas, the Palestinian Authority AND the Israeli regime. If you care about human rights it is quite simple; and if you care about human rights, then you recognize that Israel is the oppressor in the region and the purveyor of the greatest injustices in the region. So when pro-Israel groups try to sell apartheid Israel to gay Americans, I will call them on it. Question for you: if South Africa under apartheid allowed gays to serve in its military and had a gay parade in Johannesburg, would you ignore its crimes?

  • Charles The Great

    @CVillarreal: It’s called censorship and which he did.

  • Charles The Great

    @CVillarreal: Also it is clear that Anti Israel activist do not even have a clue what they are talking about. The Apartheid System created in South Africa was a copy of Canada’s Indian Act which is still in place in Canada(Native there say they are living under Apartheid) but of course many who say Israel is an Apartheid state seems to ignore this.

    Also Assad murders 9000 people over the last year and yet many on the Anti Israel iodits seem to ignore this

  • AL

    How dare gay people support a country that doesn’t torture and kill gays!

    QUOTE: “Perhaps there could be a vibrant gay rights movement in Palestine, but it certainly can’t happen while Israel is occupying it, starving its people – gay and straight – and laying siege to it.”

    So, give Palestinians independence, and it will momentarily turn into a gay paradise? How delusional are you? There are plenty of INDEPENDENT Muslim nations, and I am yet to see a vibrant gay rights movement in any of these nations.

  • LandStander

    @Charles The Great: “the Anti Israel iodits” lol

  • Charles The Great

    @LandStander: It looks like the so called Anti Pinkwashing like censorship they even seem to like to party when they do it

    Note to everyone Queerty for got to report something they celebrated this censorship they pulled off: http://www.facebook.com/events/315259248533780/

  • LandStander

    @Marc: Did you not read WHY Palestine sent those rockets into Israel? It is not because Israel gave them a hand job. I keep hearing “Israel has the right to defend itself” but do you not realize that this argument goes the other way? PALESTINE has the right to defend itself to. So the chicken or the egg?

  • Charles The Great

    @LandStander: and they are firing at Civilian areas? and not a military target? How is that justified? but of course the left will justify anything when it comes to violence

  • CVillarreal

    @AL: There are plenty of countries that aren’t a “gay paradise.” Hell it wasn’t that long ago that a gay guy was hung up on a fence in this country. And for the record, Lebanon is quite gay-friendly but I assume you simply believe Arabs are incapable of gay liberation? That’s pretty racist.

  • CVillarreal

    @Charles The Great: Censorship is about trying to keep a point of view from people. Clearly that isn’t the objective here. The pro-Israel perspective is ubiquitous and our corporate media and political leaders are cheerleaders for the cause. Principled boycotts are different.

  • Kev C

    Gay hipsters have been lobotomized in order to execute the agenda of their marxist homophobe overlords, for which they recieve no reward but to be called loyal comrades in arms against the elite kleptocracy of global banksters.

    Pretty much that.

  • Charles The Great

    @CVillarreal: It’s Censorship Sweetie if it was the other way around I bet it would be. Also maybe you need boycott Canada and the real Apartheid System up there. After all that were South Africa got it from.

  • CVillarreal

    @Charles The Great: You keep talking about Canada. I live in California. If there was a principled boycott of California – say because of Prop 8 – I’d support it – sweetie. If it was the other way around? You mean Zionists kept pro-Palestinian groups from doing something? Happens all the time. It is more like censorship because there is real fear there of people hearing both sides of the story. But it is more relevantly called “racism;” which is what it is.

  • Charles The Great

    @CVillarreal: My point it you seem not to have a clue about the Apartheid system at all in South Africa and how they came up with it. It was a copy of Canada’a Indian Act which is still in place sorry if the so call Anti Apartheid seem not to have a clue how it even develop(that is really sad). But again, it is censorship either way. Also it is nice to know you live in a American State that belongs to Mexico and the native population that lived there.

  • CVillarreal

    @Charles The Great: Well I am Latino, as you might have guessed from my user name, so I certainly recognize the colonialism of the nation I live in; I only wish Zionists recognized the colonialism of the nation-state they support.

  • Charles The Great

    @CVillarreal: and you live in a country that still does this? I can think of many examples. Also you live in the Americas? In which is current political make up is a result of Spanish, American, Dutch, British, and French Colonialism? English, French, Dutch, and Spanish are not native to the Americas.

    Also yes I think Israel is in the wrong place but nothing is going to change that. You people sound a lot like Middle Eastern Dictators. They blame Israel for everything that goes wrong in their countries and even the people there no longer buy that.

  • Parson Thwackum

    No one would ever cancel a pro-Palestinian event because of the treatment of gays in Arab societies. The message from this jackass is clear: “Arab rights are more important than gay rights.” I’m no friend to Israel’s policies but why do the professional anti-Israel people have to make EVERY FUCKING THING about being anti-Israel, to the exclusion of other causese?

  • Ridiculous

    I’m a big critic of Israel’s behavior in the Palestinian territories.

    However, cancelling this event reeks of antisemitism. There is a large and active LGBT community in Israel that deserves discussion and a voice.

    This sort of bullshit is equivalent to a forum about gay Americans in Canada or the UK being labelled a “pinkwashing for the Iraq War” and being cancelled accordingly.

    When you have to stoop to censorship, you’re already on the losing side.

  • Ridiculous

    “homophobia in Palestine has largely to do with European colonization that took place there”

    This is the biggest pantload of apologia-esque bullshit promoted in modern times.

    “European colonization” ended in the 1940s — over 2/3 of a century ago. The vast majority of Palestinians’ parents weren’t even alive when it ended.

    Countries that were far more devastated by colonial aggression during the same era in Europe — like the Czech Republic and other Eastern European nations utterly destroyed by the Nazis — have had equality under the law for years now.

    Don’t expect me to swallow the bullshit line that something that happened the better part of 100 years ago “causes people to be idiots.”

  • Rich Dweck

    When did a speaker from Israel speaking about Bullying and Gay rights in Israel have anything to do with The Israeli -Palestinian conflict! “In this instance, silence isn’t golden.” It is disgusting that you gave in to peoples politics. ISRAEL GRANTS ASYLUM TO ARABS AND ANY OTHERS THAT ARE FACING A POSSIBILITY OF DEATH IN THEIR COUNTRY, BECAUSE THEY ARE LGBT! Wake up and stop this nonsense!

    Check out my blog called “The Pink Elephant” about Judaism and Homosexuality. Site: http://richdweck.blogspot.com

    Please fight against this nonsense!

  • Kaysar

    Hmm I never said that Israel committed genocide I said its ridiculous to justify wrongs like genocide by saying hey other people do it to.

  • Ofir


    After reading in the news that you decided to cancel and event with the Israeli LGBT, i felt a need to email you.
    Israel is the only country in the region that allows Gay life and rights. The Arab- Israeli conflict is not the only problem that the world is facing. By canceling the event, you only hurting us, the LGBT community of the world. Instead of putting aside politics and wars (which will always take place somewhere), you decided to have cold feet. What about the other problems of the world such as Iran, N Korea, African hunger, violence, child abuse and so on… Will you be canceling events from all around the world now? Every country has problems, every region of the world.
    Our task is to fight for gay rights everywhere, and to over come boundaries, instead of giving up, like you just did.
    Why dont you conduct a vote and let us decide if this event should take place or not?

    This decision hurts teen gays in the region, that need us. I hope that you will reconsider it asap, or let the politics win and the community loose.

    Best Regards,
    SF, CA

  • Dmitriy


    Defend itself against what? Israel granted 1.5 million palestinians freedom by leaving Gaza in 2005 and received thousands of rockets in response.
    So why didn’t land for peace work in that instance?
    In the 2007 election Palestinians in Gaza voted for Hamas, they got the largest number of votes.
    The Hamas Charter calls for the killing of Jews.
    That’s why.
    Leaving the West Bank without a true commitment to peace will open up all of Israel, not just the south to rocket fire from large land mass with a higher elevation than all of israel.

  • Stephen


    Yes, because we all live in a historical vacuum and what happens in our past couldn`t possbily affect our present or our future. So go ahead and reference more European nations to call upon that ¨pulled itself together.¨

    For too long Western nations want to tell brown countries what to do and what not to do. stand up, sit down, jump in the air! Our judgements and our influence should be out of other nations so that they can find their own path to peace and liberty. its a process that doesn`t just happen over night and only makes it worse when Westerners talk down on brown countries when your own countries have their share of problems. just because israel preaches tolerance doesn`t mean there isn`t a lot of homophobia, racism and sexim that doesn`t go on there.

    I think Palestine is a classic example of you reap what you sow.

  • bob

    >>Westerners talk down on brown countries when your own countries have their share of problems. just because israel preaches tolerance doesn`t mean there isn`t a lot of homophobia, racism and sexim that doesn`t go on there.

    We’ll stop talking down when they stop killing gays.

  • AL


    I am well aware of that. I was just pointing out that Muslim nations and Israel are miles apart in terms tolerance for gays. Only an ignorant and delusional fool might think that Muslim countries are even close to the Israeli level of acceptance of homosexuality. Sure, I hope some day Muslims will be more accepting. That will be something to look forward to. The fact that gay-friendly nations of today’s world used to be homophobic in the past does not validate violence against gays elsewhere. Otherwise, you are just sliding into that dangerously grey area of moral relativism.

    P.S.: I doubt that Lebanon is any gay-friendlier than some Whitetrashville, Alabama.

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