On July 3, Madrid will hold its annual gay pride celebration. Undoubtedly, hundreds of thousands of gay men and some women will descend on Madrid from all over the world for a long weekend of parties, drugs, dance, and sex. At some point, there will also be a march.
A contingent from Israel's LGBT organization and the Foreign Ministry was to have its own float in the parade. There was going to be a big party, headlined by Israeli DJs, and a concert by Dana International, Israel's famous transgender singer who broke gender barriers when she won the 1998 Eurovision song contest and is probably the most famous transsexual in the world. None of this will happen.
After Israel stopped the Turkish "peace flotilla," which tried to run the Israeli blockade of Gaza, the Israeli participant were summarily disinvited. Antonio Poveda of the Spanish Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transexuals, and Bisexuals said, "After what happened with the flotilla, it seemed barbaric to us as human rights campaigners to have Israelis take part in the parade. We don't just defend our own little patch." This, of course, is not true. Gay people always only fight for their own "little patch," with one exception: protecting the terrorists in their fight against Israel.
It would have been useful for Mr. Poveda to go on Google and check on the many videos of beheadings, including those of gay people, which are proudly posted by those he defends. Because Muslim "fighters" like to record their cruelties for all the world to see.
He should also compare two records on the "little patch" of human rights for LGBT people -- that of Israel and that of any other Middle Eastern country.
In Israel gay people thrive, and the list of the evidence of their equality is robust: There is no place in Israel where gay people cannot hold hands; there are no laws against homosexuality -- on the contrary, Israel passed comprehensive laws banning discrimination against LGBT people 20 years ago; gay people have the right to serve in the army; Israel recognizes gay marriages performed in other countries and has its own institution of common-law marriage for LGBT people, similar to the PACS in France; gay and lesbian couples can jointly adopt children; there are openly gay representatives in the Israeli parliament; every year, tens of thousands of Israelis and their straight allies march through the main streets of Tel Aviv to celebrate gay pride, and there are gay parades in six other major cities, which is impressive for a country with a population the size of New Jersey's; gay-themed events are covered in the mainstream press -- even my appearances in Israel generally make it into every local newspaper; and we must not forget the desperate attempts of LGBT Palestinians to secure residence in Israel, legally or illegally, to escape family and community violence against them in the territories.
So let's look a little closer at the situation of LGBT people in Gaza: They are widely and institutionally discriminated against; they are incarcerated, stoned, and beheaded. End of the list. It's a short and sad list.
It seems peculiar that the Spanish activists don't have a word to say about the difference in what LGBT people have achieved in Israel and what they have achieved (or not achieved) in the rest of the Middle East. Just as it's peculiar that LGBT groups in Spain have never said a word about Muslim groups responsible for terrorist attacks on civilians in Israel, Europe and, indeed tragically, in their own country. There was not a peep from any LGBT organization about the bombings of trains in Madrid in 2004 in which almost 200 people died and over 1,800 were injured.
Let's not forget that gay pride celebrations, overshadowed as they often are by the raucous party scene around them, do have a profound meaning. They remind us that we should be proud of our sexual orientation and gender identity and that diversity is a gift to be cherished and makes everybody richer. None of these beliefs are popular in Muslim countries, and so it's not surprising that there was never an official float of any Muslim country in the gay parade in Madrid or in any other country in the West. And of course the Muslim groups that lobbied against the Israeli participation in Madrid pride also did not take part in the parade. In fact, they are always the first ones to condemn that very parade.
The Spanish decision is not just morally repulsive. Ironically, from the point of view of Europe's liberal left, it is also politically counterproductive. The majority of LGBT people are always on the far left, and the same is true in Israel. In light of these events, gay Israelis got a taste of their own medicine. Israeli flags, which to Israel's LGBT community typically had the effect of holy water on Linda Blair, were flying high during this year's Tel Aviv pride. And that is the only good outcome that I see.
Europeans are not very smart. In their hatred of Jews, they killed 6 million and exchanged them for 20 million Muslims. Today, united with Islamists in their hatred for the Jewish state, they are making another ugly mistake. In the near future I envision a Europe where liberal institutions will be replaced with mosques and minarets, the glass of wine with a glass of camel milk, Speedos and miniskirts with jellabas and burkas, music with calls for prayer, and gay parades with public executions. And gay Europeans will be the first to go.
I invite Europeans to reason, but I fear my invitation will be declined.