Jun 2 2011
Last Friday, May 26, 2011, “Queers Against Israeli Apartheid” exercised their hard-won right to hold their meetings at New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Center. Their right to hate and to be grossly misinformed was, as usual, presented as a free speech right and as yet another victim-driven Intifada.
Israel is the ONLY country in the Middle East where homosexuals have full and equal rights, even in the military, and don’t have to fear being executed just for being homosexuals.
Phyllis Chesler – This meeting followed the long campaign to vilify City University Trustee Jeffrey Wiesenfeld for daring to dissent from Tony Kushner’s anti-Israel views; Kushner, who happens to be both gay and Jewish, is nevertheless being given an honorary doctorate this week. These two events are intimately connected to each other and have been further empowered by President Obama’s shameful and dangerous actions towards the Jewish State.
Right now, the world is preparing to slaughter the Jews again. As if the Muslim Brotherhood and the Gama’a al-Islamiyya in Egypt were not enough, a new swastika-flying Nazi party has emerged in Egypt—Egypt, Israel’s friendly neighbor; Egypt, which on Saturday opened the Rafah crossing to admit even more weapons and terrorist fighters into Gaza in the unending Arab war against the Jews; Egypt, where many are demanding an end to the cold peace treaty with Israel.
Here at home in America, we continue to enjoy Gazan Intifadas on our campuses. For example, the people are getting ready to party in the streets when, on June 3, 2011, City University of New York gives playwright Tony Kushner his honorary doctorate. In my view, they are feting Kushner, not so much for his art but rather for his celebrity and for his obsessively harsh views of Israel. The playwright has not led any campaigns against genocide in Sudan or against real gender and religious apartheid in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Like the “Queers Against Apartheid,” Kushner also scapegoats Israel for the crimes of the Arab and Muslim worlds.
The LGBT “queers” had threatened to storm or “surge” into the Center if they did not receive official approval for their group meeting. “Surging” and “storming,” Arab street mob behavior, is a vision and a tactic that has been recommended by none other than journalist Tom Friedman, long adopted by international “Free Gaza” activists; it reminds me of Nazi Brownshirt behavior. Think Kristallnacht.
Kushner and his supporters claim that the genuine dissent of one CUNY trustee, Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, somehow “victimized” their views because their views are supposed to triumph, not Wiesenfeld’s. His pro-Israel view is not supposed to exist and, in their view, is not protected by academic or free speech rights. Only the anti-Israel views deserve such protection.
One thousand six hundred and eighty people signed a petition to the Center on behalf of “Queers for Palestine.” Like Tony Kushner and his CUNY supporters, the aggressors first claim victimhood and protest the denial of their free speech rights; then, they “surge” forward as a mob (on petitions, on the Internet, on the streets, on other battlefields), to either murder Jews or to honor those Jews who hate Israel, and to silence gay Jews who are pro-Israel.
Siege Busters, represented by mostly older women, is an anti-Israel/pro-“Palestine” group which had not been allowed to meet at the center; now, they want to join “Queers Against Apartheid.” Those present decided to reach out to non-“queer” groups which also oppose Israeli “apartheid” and support Palestinian terrorism. They also decided to present their right to make an alliance with terrorist, homophobic misogynists as a matter of “free speech.”
What is going on? For the last five days, a 32-year old Saudi woman, Manal al-Sharif, has been sitting in jail in Saudi Arabia because she dared to drive her own car. Real gender and religious apartheid dominate the Arab and Muslim worlds in general, and in Gaza and in the West Bank in particular. Palestinian-on-Palestinian honor killings of women and gays are rampant. Palestinians are forcing Palestinian women to veiland are arresting and torturing them if they behave in too Westernized a manner. Ask most Palestinians and they will tell you that they would rather live either in Israel or alongside a Jewish Israel because it is the only country in the Middle East willing to employ them. (Palestinians are denied both citizenship and employmentin most Arab countries.) In addition, gay Palestinians have fled to Israel for asylum when their lives have been threatened.
The gay “thing” is very complicated in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Homosexuality is rampant but is more like prison-sex or pederasty than like western liberation-oriented versions of homosexuality. Women are devalued and kept apart. Many men cannot afford a wife or many wives; even when they can, many married men still have male lovers. However, one denies this. One never confesses. If denounced, or if one adopts too “Western” a style, one risks torture and death.
Failing to understand all and any of this, the “Queers Against Israeli Apartheid” have decided not to talk to center member Michael Lucas (see below), not to engage with him in any public forum. This is typical. The left ostracizes anyone with another view of reality and refuses to listen or talk to them.
Lucas is the first gay Jewish man who has actually stood up to the hate-Israel crowd at the NYC Center. It is no coincidence that Lucas grew up in Soviet Russia. He understands and recognizes totalitarianism and anti-Semitism when he sees it. When Lucas spoke for Israel at the center, he was heckled and demonized. When another gay group wanted to have him speak about Israel, they were threatened and frightened so much that Lucas decided to deliver his speech elsewhere for them, not at the center.
“We Muslims believe in capital punishment for homosexuality.”
“A homosexual should be thrown from a tall building.”