Queers Boycott: LGBTQI people and friends join the Palestinian call for BDS actions against Israel
A new list was created to facilitate relations between LGBTQI people and their friends around the world interested in solidarity with Palestinians by learning, promoting and actualizing the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
About The BDS Initiative
The Nakba (1948’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine during the formation of Israel) still occurs for 61+ years to this very day. Millions of Palestinian are living as stateless refugees. Gaza is the world’s largest open prison, forcefully separated even from the West Bank. The West Bank itself is divided into separate segregated areas, sometimes even sole cities - by the apartheid wall, apartheid (Jewish only) roads, and a set of blockades and checkpoints.
1. Ending Israel’s occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
This is a point that had also caught the attention of Palestinian LGBTQI politics - and it has received an answer through this important statement by Aswat boycotting the 2006 World Pride event in Jerusalem. Aswat’s statement also expresses protest about the extortions done by Shabak - Israeli General Security Services - of Palestinian LGBTQI people, making them work for Israel against their will and against their own people. It also protests some of the atrocities done by Israel against all Palestinians, including the apartheid wall, that annexes Palestinian lands and destroys their livelihood.
On A More Practical Note
Since the list does not sign on anything, but only acts as a network, anyone who’s committed to solidarity with Palestinians can join!
A few notes on how queers can be involved in solidarity with Palestinians:
1. It is well known within the experience of the BDS movement that distinct groups may develop an atmosphere, or set of assumptions, that the boycott call does not apply to them, because they are dissidents, different or are way too oppressed and so forth.
Queers can give the boycott of Israel its relevancy for LGBTQI communities!
2. Counter Israeli and Zionist ever growing attempts to PR for Israel through and at the expense of LGBTQI issues.
Much of it is summarized in this very good QuAIA page: http://queersagainstapartheid.org/gayisrael/
There’s also a report about June 2009 iPride conference protest.
So, the logic goes - doing nothing we let Zionism take advantage of queer issues in a whole racist way and for continuing its crimes and atrocities. This part has been going now for years.
3. There is a new Israeli project of promoting gay & lesbian tourism to Israel, violating of course the boycott call. This is very much related to PRing for Israel - as in the iPride case.
It brings the necessity of queer activism to counter that with a campaign to boycott LGBTQI tourism to Israel.
There is going to be an IGLTA conference in October 2009 in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem - after which a boost in gay & lesbian tourism to Israel is expected.
The Aguda, historically the Israeli first and most prominent “GLBT” (actually it’s pretty exclusively gay male!) organization, have made another step to being completely irrelevant - it is now promoting the IGLTA conference and gay tourism to Israel in its web site - probably for funding from Tel Aviv municipality. This is supposed to be an activism organization!
We need to get ready, counter it, and at least give that conference the context of blunt violation of the Palestinian BDS call.
To join the list - send mail to: QueersBoycottfirstname.lastname@example.org
and reply to the confirmation request message.