Bnai Brith denounces Queers Against Israeli Apartheid

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Lord Palmerston
Bnai Brith denounces Queers Against Israeli Apartheid

Quote:
"Queers Against Israeli Apartheid" is being held Saturday to "reignite Toronto’s queer community in the fight against apartheid," according to an announcement on the Ontario Public Interest Research Group Web site.

"Israel has now begun to frame itself as a tolerant, queer-positive democracy," the announcement read. "This can never be reality under occupation."

The keynote speaker is El-Farouk Khaki, co-founder of Salaam: Queer Muslim Community and Pride 2009 Grand Marshall.

B’nai Brith Canada called on members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to reject the program.

“It is the height of irony to single out democratic Israel in this fashion when it is the only country in the Middle East that guarantees the fundamental freedoms of all its citizens without distinction," said Frank Dimant, the executive vice president of B’nai Brith Canada. "In stark contrast, the rights of the LGBT community in neighboring Arab countries are routinely trampled on.

http://jta.org/news/article/2009/05/21/1005320/queers-against-israeli-ap...

Star Spangled C...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v5yJULDm54

 

Look at this gay pride parade in Nablus! Oh wait. That's Tel Aviv.

Lord Palmerston

I can't wait to see Bnai Brith's float in the pride parade.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Yes. Looking forward to that. Isn't the CJC going to offer one up too? How about a joint float!

Star Spangled C...

Yeah, I anticipate the Hamas and Hezbollah floats. They have such gay-friendly attitudes.

Go to a gay bar in Tel Aviv and see how many Palestinians are there. Go to a gay bar in Gaza and...never mind. There are no gay bars in Gaza.

Unionist

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:

Go to a gay bar in Tel Aviv and see how many Palestinians are there. Go to a gay bar in Gaza and...never mind. There are no gay bars in Gaza.

You ridicule the victims of the Israeli mass murderers for not being as enlightened about homosexuality as their murderers are.

That you don't even grasp the fundamental immorality of what you just said shows how evil Zionism or any form of ethnic chauvinism is. It turns people's hearts to stone.

 

Star Spangled C...

Supporting the right of gay and lesbian people to live in dignity is now an indication that one's heart is made of stone? Applauding the country that's been msot welcoming to the community of any country in the region (some countries there punish the "crime" of homosexuality by death) is "immoral"?

And since when do Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, etc. not also qualify as "mass murderers"?

Cueball Cueball's picture

So. First off, you have to come up with some kind of proof that Arabs are more homophobic than Israelis, at the core of their beliefs. Now you have to justify repression through marshal law and murder on the basis that Arabs are more likely to be homophobic than Israelis. You have a moral dilema, it seems to me... you don't have any.

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:

Yeah, I anticipate the Hamas and Hezbollah floats. They have such gay-friendly attitudes.

Go to a gay bar in Tel Aviv and see how many Palestinians are there. Go to a gay bar in Gaza and...never mind. There are no gay bars in Gaza.

Actually the only time I participated in the Gay Pride Day event as a member of the parade was with a Palestinian group. Where is the proof in your pudding? When will the CJC and B'nai Brith be taking up their legendary part in the community as active anti-prejudice campaigners, and put a float in the parade?

Star Spangled C...

Cueball wrote:

Actually the only time I participated in the Gay Pride Day event as a member of the parade was with a Palestinian group. Where is the proof in your pudding? When will the CJC and B'nai Brith be taking up their legendary part in the community as active anti-prejudice campaigners, and put a float in the parade?

I think it's great that Palestinian people can celebrate gay pride. I jsut wish they were able to do it IN Palestine, not Toronto. or Tel Aviv. I'm not a member of either Bnai Brith or the CJC. If they WERE to enter a flaot in the parade, I'd certainly applaud that.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Any parade, or gathering of more than 4 people on a street corner in the occupied territories is an invitation for an Apache helicopter attack. Palestinians and Palestine have nothing to do with this. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Until the B'nai Brith and the CJC actively promote public participation in this parade, under their own flag, their words are nothing more than a convenient instrumentalization of gay rights as a political tool to forward their own agenda.

The mayor goes, as does the police chief. I don't see why Bernie Farber can't.

Star Spangled C...

Cueball wrote:

The mayor goes, as does the police chief. I don't see why Bernie Farber can't.

neither do I. He SHOULD be there.

But i find it odd that there's a group called "queers agaisnt israeli apartheid" as if being queer had anything to do with the issue. Or as if gays and lesbians in Israel weren't infinitely better off than anywhere else in the region. i mean where is "queers against iranian executions of gay teenagers"?

Cueball Cueball's picture

I see so queers should only talk about queer things. Gotcha.

genstrike

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:

But i find it odd that there's a group called "queers agaisnt israeli apartheid" as if being queer had anything to do with the issue. Or as if gays and lesbians in Israel weren't infinitely better off than anywhere else in the region. i mean where is "queers against iranian executions of gay teenagers"?

Yes, how dare LGBT people oppose bombings, mass murder and occupation if the state that is doing it allows gay marriage!  LGBT people should all take direction from you on which issues to discuss or act upon. (note the heavy sarcasm)

I'm not sure whether to file this under homophobia or simple support for the oppression of Palestinians.  Little bit of both, really.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Naw its just cogniphobia.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Interesting lineup:

Quote:
Speakers include:
Nayrouz - A queer Palestinian currently studying at York, and a founding
member of ASWAT, a Palestinian gay women's group.


Jenny Peto - A queer, anti-Zionist, Jewish activist living in Toronto, and
also a member of Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid.
Natalie Kouri-Towe - A PhD student enrolled at OISE, exploring the history
of queer movements in the Middle East.
John Greyson - A York professor and filmmaker who has documented and
explored queer organizing, particularly in relation to anti-Apartheid
struggles.

ASWAT:

Solidarity with Gaza, Aswat Palestinian Arab Lesbians ,Gay Women, transexuals, bisexuals, queer, intersexual, LQTBQI

aka Mycroft

This article has everything you need to know about the Bnai Brith's position on human rights in general and LGBT rights in particular.

Unionist

genstrike wrote:

 

Yes, how dare LGBT people oppose bombings, mass murder and occupation if the state that is doing it allows gay marriage!

Israel doesn't allow gay marriage. Neither does the country where Star Spangled lives - but he'd rather ridicule the Gazans, or the ones still alive, for homophobia. Oh, did I mention that Israel doesn't even allow civil marriage between opposite sexes. That's ok too, because they're, like, almost Americans, so we're all in this together.

 

remind remind's picture

Wow, quite the article aka. Who knew that the BBC, and presumedly the CJC  too, want all Jews in Canada to move to Israel.

One wonders if there was a dispensationalist Christian totalitarian government in Canada, if Jews would all be expelled, and just how people would be determined to be Jewish? ;)

remind remind's picture

Meanwhile, BBC does this, when the International Day for LGBTTQ was celebrated last Sunday. And I notice that no other political party acknowledged this other than the NDP.

"Statement by New Democrat Leader Jack Layton on the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia

Today, I stand in solidarity with Canadians across this country, and with citizens around the world, in marking the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. I also stand in solidarity with my caucus, member of the New Democrats and with the LGBTTQ community in speaking out against violence, discrimination, and prejudice.

New Democrats are committed to ensuring equality, diversity and understanding among all people. We will continue to work towards the day when the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transsexual people are recognized around the world and homophobia and transphobia will no longer exist."

***know it is a thread drift but if people can start carrying on about Layton's statements about Victoria Day in a CAW thread, I can certainly carry on about this here.

 

al-Qa'bong

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:

Cueball wrote:

The mayor goes, as does the police chief. I don't see why Bernie Farber can't.

neither do I. He SHOULD be there.

But i find it odd that there's a group called "queers agaisnt israeli apartheid" as if being queer had anything to do with the issue. Or as if gays and lesbians in Israel weren't infinitely better off than anywhere else in the region. i mean where is "queers against iranian executions of gay teenagers"?

 

Or US Members of Congress?

 

Quote:

As the House of Representatives debates an expansion of hate crimes legislation, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) has taken the rhetoric to a new level, claiming that those who say Matthew Shepard was murdered in Wyoming for being gay are perpetrating a "hoax" on the American people.

"I also would like to point out that there was a bill -- the hate crimes bill that's called the Matthew Shepard bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn't because he was gay.

Unionist

remind wrote:

New Democrats are committed to ensuring equality, diversity and understanding among all people.

"Committed to ensuring ... diversity?" Hahaha. This must be the same braindead speechwriter who made Jack say we were celebrating "our roots in Europe". Surely a cheap style book would have produced many acceptable verbs, like "celebrating diversity", "respecting diversity", "cherishing diversity", whatever... But "ensuring diversity", from the same pen that just got through Europeanizing everyone, is just plain titillating.

 

Stockholm

Europe is my favourite continent - why not celebrate the fact that it is part of our planet!

al-Qa'bong

I think the point is that Jacko isn't being the inclusive politically-correct smurf he's supposed to be.

Some of us have roots in Asia.

Lord Palmerston

To be fair to the CJC (I can't believe I'm saying this), they haven't said anything about this...not yet, anyway.

But I agree that this whole line about "gay-friendly Zionism" is just opportunistic.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:

Cueball wrote:

Actually the only time I participated in the Gay Pride Day event as a member of the parade was with a Palestinian group. Where is the proof in your pudding? When will the CJC and B'nai Brith be taking up their legendary part in the community as active anti-prejudice campaigners, and put a float in the parade?

I think it's great that Palestinian people can celebrate gay pride. I jsut wish they were able to do it IN Palestine, not Toronto. or Tel Aviv. I'm not a member of either Bnai Brith or the CJC. If they WERE to enter a flaot in the parade, I'd certainly applaud that.

There's no way that continuing the Occupation and building more settlements, or the overkill retailiatory bombing inflicted on Gaza, can possibly lead to anything positive for Palestinian gays and lesbians.  And I think we can assume that almost no Israeli gays and lesbians would have voted for Likud or Yisroel Beitenyu.

Jaku

Cueball wrote:

Yes. Looking forward to that. Isn't the CJC going to offer one up too? How about a joint float!

In fact I recall that CJC did have a float in last year's Pride parade.
Edited to add- To make sure my recollection was correct I Googled for reference. The only thing I found was from an unabashed rightwing site (who else would complain about CJC having a float in the Pride Parade?) but at least it proves my memory is not whacky!
"Why, look-there's a float from the Toronto District School Board. Hi guys! Nice to see you could take some time out from deliberating about whether or not to go on strike come fall! And, gadzooks!, isn't that the Canadian Jewish Congress?
http://scaramouche.motime.com/post/718477

remind remind's picture

al-Qa'bong wrote:
I think the point is that Jacko isn't being the inclusive politically-correct smurf he's supposed to be.

Some of us have roots in Asia.

Hmm, I don't think so, if ones looks at the NDP website he pretty much covers statement to everyone.

And what do your Asian roots have to do with Victoria Day? Not trying to be insensitive here, just asking, seeing as how it was the European colonialist activities, that caused other peoples immigrations to Canada to become possible.

Cueball Cueball's picture

If that is the case. Fine. Though I don't remember it. I do remember that there were some activists in the CJC promoting gay rights within that organization, and these may indeed be the ones. Lets be clear on the principle here, the rights of queer people are fundamental rights, and not to be construed as a battleground for winning talking points for one particular cause or another. Participation in the parade should be predicated on the principle that community organizations are showing their soilidarity and their support for Toronto's queer community first and foremost, and that they are proud to be doing so. That is my fundamental opinion.

In the light of their recent associations with the Christian homophobic right and their lack of vocal support for the Canadian queer community, it would seem their recent statement attacking Palestinian and Muslim (and indeed some Jewish) queer people for their political stands against Israeli Apartheid on the basis of the alledged superiority of the attitude of Israeli culture toward LGBT people seems opportunist at best.

Winnifred

Cueball did CJC make the same comments as Bnai Brith? And I was at the Pride Parade last year and saw the CJC float.

Cueball Cueball's picture

I wasn't there. I don't usually go anymore because its turned into such a commercialized corporate thing, but that is my personal view. If you say there was a float there was a float. Good. Nonetheless this thread is not about the CJC, it is about the B'nai Brith. Are you suggesting that because the CJC had a float that covers off for the B'nai Brith? I had know idea that the organizations were wedded like that, even though it is hard to tell them apart.

Max Bialystock

Meanwhile, the world demands Bnai Brith disappear from the galaxy.

Lord Palmerston

Quote:
B'nai Brith accused the organisers of the forum of "hijacking" the gay agenda. McCaskell, well known in the queer community as a co-founder of AIDS Action Now and co-organiser of the 1981 protests against the bathhouse raids, responded with disappointment: "The B'nai Brith press release saddens me. One cannot be a credible voice for human rights while acting as an apologist for ethnic cleansing in Palestine."

B'nai Brith's sudden interest in the gay agenda has surprised some, including Andy Lehrer of Independent Jewish Voices. He spoke at the community forum from the audience, saying, "B'nai Brith discovered gay rights this week."

He spoke about their refusal to take a public position during the same sex marriage debate, and accused them of actively deciding not to support hate speech protections for the LGBT community for fear of alienating their evangelical Christian supporters.

http://www.rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/andrew-brett/2009/05/pro-israel-lobb...

Cueball Cueball's picture

Yes, that is heavily implied.

Skinny Dipper

It seems some Jerusalemites are not very happy about Pride celebrations in their city. Hmm?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6225444.stm

remind remind's picture

As I stated in the other thread about their trying to get the funding pulled from the event, 2 birds one stone, it keeps their evangelical friends happy by getting rid of the pride parade, and silencing voices in support of Palestine.

From other thread

 

"This is a bigger issue than that, 2 points are converging into public face of this.

The BB knows that there would not be exclusion occuring on the part of Pride parade organizers. Therefore, attacking the funding effectively would shut down the parade, which is what the Christian fundamentalists that they are now closely associated with want.

2 birds 1 stone.

And one wonders who the real fascists are?"

remind remind's picture

Not very happy is a understatement!

Quote:
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man was arrested for planning to bomb the parade, Israeli police said.

At least 18 other people were arrested during the march, which came after Israel's High Court rejected an appeal by religious groups to ban it.

More than 7,000 police were deployed to secure the parade to prevent clashes.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said officers found an explosive device in the bag of the alleged bomb plotter.

"He admitted he planned on planting it on the route of the parade today," Mr Rosenfeld said.

...Several hundred ultra-Orthodox Jews held protests against the parade at the entrance to the city, setting rubbish bins on fire and waving banners that said "Shame".

The community has protested repeatedly against the march in the past week, burning tyres, confronting police and damaging police cars.

More than 1,000 firefighters went on strike last week, refusing to grant a licence to the parade's organisers, forcing them to cancel a rally at the end of the march.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Quote:
Media reports made much of the fact that 7,000 policemen and women were required to protect the 2,000 marchers. The parade ended, mostly uneventfully, after an hour. At one point, the march was stopped for several minutes after a disturbance caused by two men - dressed as marchers - who started insulting the gay parade participants.

A dramatic two days in the Supreme Court - Wednesday and Thursday - ended with what both sides called a victory. Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupoliansky, Trade Minister Eli Yishai and others filed suits against holding the parade in Jerusalem, but the Court rejected all of them, ruling essentially that "freedom of expression" overrides - in this case - the offense caused to public sensitivities.

Fireifghter's Strike Douses Gay Post-march Rally

al-Qa'bong

In somewhat related news...

 

Lebanon's First Queer Book Now Out

 

Quote:

Join us on May 30 at 6pm at Al Madina Theater in Beirut for the launch of Bareed Mista3jil, the first book about the lives of queer women and transgenders in Lebanon!

Maysie Maysie's picture

I'm enraged. I can't write any of my own words at this time.

The latest news:

Pride Toronto has banned Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from marching in the parade this year.

Quote:
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA), an anti-Zionist protest group that made corporate sponsors squirm by flying banners at last year's Toronto Pride parade, has been banned this year, along with any other group that would advance a political agenda.

"We will be very much more careful this year. We will make sure that we have a presence to ensure that people don't slip into the parade," Pride Toronto executive director Tracey Sandilands said today.

The number of volunteer marshals along the barricades is to be increased from 25 to 80 to prevent unauthorized people joining the parade, she said.

"What happened last year was ... people on the sidelines who pushed into the parade and put up banners. We were totally not expecting it," she said.

Her announcement came with a warning to grand marshall El-Farouk Khaki not to use his ceremonial position as a pulpit to promote an anti-Israeli boycott.

Frank Dimant, executive vice-president of B'nai Brith Canada, today called for disciplinary action against Mr. Khaki, a founder of the national support group Salaam: Queer Muslim Community, because he spoke to a QuAIA event on the weekend.

Fucking bullshit.

Full story here. Of course the article is in the National Post.

Tim McCaskell's letter to Toronto Pride (it's circulating on the net so I'm reproducing it in its entirety):

Quote:

Dear Pride Committee,

I have just finished reading an article in the National Post's Posted Toronto, headlined, "Toronto Pride organizers ban anti-Zionist group."

For the moment I am assuming this is a distortion of Pride Toronto's position and the organization will demand a prompt correction.

Queers Against Israeli Apartheid is a legitimate LGBTQ group and is no more a hate group than was the Simon Nkodi Anti-Apartheid Committee under whose banner I marched for many years in different Pride parades. Apartheid is legally considered a crime against humanity, and Israel's illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories falls within the definition of Apartheid. I don't expect you to take my word on it, but I attach here the executive summary of a recently released report from the prestigious South African Human Sciences Research Council. I quote below one paragraph but I highly recommend Pride board members read the document in its entirety. If anyone knows about what Apartheid is, it would be the South Africans.

This study is the outcome of a fifteen-month collaborative process of intensive research, consultation, writing and review. It concludes and, it is to be hoped, persuasively argues and clearly demonstrates that Israel, since 1967, has been the belligerent Occupying Power in the OPT, and that its occupation of these territories has become a colonial enterprise which implements a system of apartheid.

Pride has always been an opportunity for diverse LGBT groups to reach out to the community and the public and to speak about their issues. Government policies here in Canada and around the world have often been held up for criticism. I am appalled that B'nai Brith would try to bully the Pride Committee into silencing those speaking out against human rights violations in the occupied territories. At this point I am still refusing to believe that the Pride Committee would give in to such bullying.

I am looking forward to your clarification of this issue.

Sincerely

Tim McCaskell

Tim McCaskell, co-founder of AIDS Action Now, was one of the organisers of the 1981 protests against the bathhouse raids. He was a founding member of the Right to Privacy Committee and a member of The Body Politic collective.

 

RabbleRacist

SAME SHIT (aka Mycroft, Unionist Cueball) DIFFERENT DAY.

 

Don't you bigots have anything else to talk about??  Go get some self tanning cream and join the rest of the people who go OUTSIDE everyday.  I can just imagine how big your dimpled asses must be from sitting on your computers 24 hours a day.

aka Mycroft

Evidently some people are mightily embarassed by the mess Bnai Brith has made and are defensively lashing out. I don't think we need a Rabble Racist. Thanks for coming out though.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Whatever. RabbleRacist is gone.

Caissa

tick,tock,tick,tock...

aka Mycroft

I have to thank RabbleRacist for giving me the unique experience of being attacked by anti-Semites and pro-Israel advocates on the very same day (though in different forums).

Unionist

We appear to have two threads on the same issue. I read Mark Singh's letter, and it seems to confirm (by its silence) the allegation that they have banned QAIA. Whoever made this decision must be condemned. The oppressed and marginalized people either stick together, or they are all lost. Succumbing to the pressure and dollars of the wealthy and powerful is the beginning of the end for any struggle.

 

Star Spangled C...

Maysie wrote:

Quote:
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA), an anti-Zionist protest group that made corporate sponsors squirm by flying banners at last year's Toronto Pride parade, has been banned this year, along with any other group that would advance a political agenda.

"

Um....don't organizations in the parade like the Liberal party, the NDP and the PC Party advance a "political agenda"??

remind remind's picture

Do they carry banners for political parties, and address their political platform? No that I have seen in Vancouver anyway!

Maysie Maysie's picture

I know that the CPC and the Liberal party have had booths at the Toronto Pride fair in the past, don't know about the parade as I haven't bothered to watch it or march in years.

I had the misfortune of being across from the PC Ontario party's booth one year at the community fair. They had a giant inflated gorilla (I'm not joking) which I had to stare at all day. I never understood what it meant, and don't really want to think about it too much, as it's so frightening.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And maybe I'm missing something, but wasn't the creation of the Pride Parades part of a "political agenda" in the first place?

Star Spangled C...

remind wrote:

Do they carry banners for political parties, and address their political platform? No that I have seen in Vancouver anyway!

They certainly carry banners for political parties, yes. They don't "address their political platforms" because it's a festive parade not a policy seminar.

Star Spangled C...

remind wrote:

Do they carry banners for political parties, and address their political platform? No that I have seen in Vancouver anyway!

They certainly carry banners for political parties, yes. They don't "address their political platforms" because it's a festive parade not a policy seminar.

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