Let’s not pinkwash Israeli violations and our complicity in them
We are writing in response to the letter published in the January 22 issue the Dal Gazette, [Re: Let’s make our union a more ethical one].
We couldn’t help but notice the assertion of Israel’s status as a democratic safe haven for queers – a so-called “LGBTQ capital of the Middle East.” This is a common and racist tactic used to obscure Israel’s colonial practices and human rights violations in Palestine, by positioning Israel as an enlightened safe haven for queers in the midst of the ‘backwards’ Middle East. This tactic is called pinkwashing, and we as queer people in solidarity with Palestine condemn it in the strongest terms possible.
We wish to remind readers that changing laws does not ensure the full safety and acceptance of marginalized people, and that homophobia and transphobia exist in every country, the world over. If Israel was truly committed to LGBTQ rights, it would end the state of occupation and apartheid that prevents LGBTQ Palestinians from exercising their full human rights and freedoms – including the freedom to travel, engage in political activity, and exist free from everyday violence.
We are in solidarity with Students Against Israeli Apartheid at Dalhousie University, and with LGBTQ groups in Palestine such as alQaws and Aswat. Most importantly, we are also in solidarity with the Palestinian people as a whole, queer or not.
-Halifax Queers Against Israeli Apartheid