Mar 3, 2011

#BDS: alQaws and Aswat Statement to the LGBT Center in NY

"We, Palestinian queer activists from alQaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society and Aswat Palestinian Gay Women, are writing to you to express our shock and dismay at your recent decision to cancel the "Party to End Apartheid" event and ban activists working for human rights in Israel/Palestine from the LGBT Center.
We have recently concluded a first of a kind  tour to the US, where we shared our personal, social and political struggle as Palestinian Queers living in Israel and Palestine with diverse audiences and activists in 6 cities, including New York city During those open discussions, we met with human rights activists, lawyers working at the forefront of LGBT rights campaigns, and LGBT people of color who organize on a grassroots level, and were greeted warmly and enthusiastically at every venue at which we spoke. The support and acknowledgment we encountered were both overwhelming and inspiring.

We wish that you could have attended one of our panels. Perhaps, instead of acquiescing to the demands of a neoconservative gay pornographer, you would have the courage and insight – like so many members of the LGBT community in the US – to conclude that the struggle for human rights in Israel/Palestine is a queer struggle.
Certainly, this connection is clear to us. As organizations that work with and for LGBTQ Palestinians in Israel and the West Bank, we are forced to deal with the server consequences of the Israeli occupation and its apartheid system on a daily bases. Israel' apartheid wall, army checkpoints and frequently imposed curfews on entire populations oblige us to deal with legal issues and face many challenges, including mobility. In addition, some of our members live in the US and have been relying on the Center for vital services and activities. They draw much inspiration from the Center’s history and the LGBTQ struggle in the US."
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