Tuesday, March 01, 2011
"Because Separate Has Never Meant Equal"
Watch this powerful PSA from Palestinian Queers for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. PQBDS have also issued a excellent statement about BDS that also addresses how Israel's liberal laws on homosexuality shouldn't discourage lesbian and gay activists from taking a stand for solidarity with the Palestinian people. An excerpt:
"We believe that, as Queer communities, we must pay close attention to any grave human rights violations on our way to support the LGBTQ struggle, especially in a context where the country in question that oppresses, discriminates, and implements an apartheid system. We should question the ethics and the values of Queer organizations or groups that voice fervent support for and participate in an apartheid state’s institutions. Human rights should not be compartmentalized, and the human rights of a certain group should not be more important than others’. We, as Palestinian queers, cannot ignore the struggle and the rights of the Palestinian people. To us, the two struggles go side by side.
For 62 years, the Israeli occupation and expanding apartheid system has denied the Palestinian people their basic human rights. Palestinians in the West Bank have been living under a brutal military occupation manifested by illegal Israeli colonies, checkpoints, and a system of walls, barriers and roads accessible solely to Israeli settlers. Palestinians living inside Israel are continuously facing discriminatory policies. There are currently over 25 laws which specifically target them as non-Jewish and reduce them to second class citizens of Israel. Palestinians in the Diaspora and in UN administered refugee camps are by default denied their UN-sanctioned right to return to their lands. Finally, over 1.8 million Palestinian in the Gaza Strip are living in an open air prison under an illegal siege, described by many prominent international experts as “slow genocide.” Israeli oppression, racism, and discrimination does not distinguish between Queer Palestinians and Heterosexual Palestinians."
Read the whole statement here.