Queers for Palestine?

Of all the slogans chanted and displayed at anti-Israel rallies over the past month, surely "Queers for Palestine" ranks as the most oxymoronic.

BY James Kirchick

January 28 2009 12:00 AM ET

But gays will
never get anywhere as long as they view the world in this
constrictive and counterproductive way. Indeed, if one
wanted to construe a “gay” position on
the Arab-Israeli conflict -- that is, examine the
issue purely through the prism of the welfare of gay people
-- the inescapable stance is nothing less than
partiality for Israel. Israel, after all, is the only
state in the Middle East that legally enshrines the
rights of gay people. Gays serve openly in the military
and occupy high-profile positions in business and
public life, and Tel Aviv is an international gay
mecca. As clichéd as it may sound, Israel is an
oasis of liberal tolerance in a reactionary religious
backwater, and if gay people want to stand with the
“oppressed” of the region, it is the
Palestinians seeking a peaceful, two-state solution,
not the murderers of Hamas or their backers in Tehran, who
merit support.

None of this is
to say that gay people are wrong for sympathizing with
the downtrodden and genuinely oppressed; on the contrary,
it’s an admirable quality. But all too often,
ideologues with ulterior motives and radical agendas
pervert this worthy instinct.

It’s one
thing to express concern about the humanitarian conditions
in the Palestinian territories. But to stand alongside
the enthusiasts of religious fascism isn’t
“progressive.” It’s obscene.

Tags: Politics

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