Mar 15, 2011

#BDS: Palestinians, Israelis, Allies Oppose Exploitation of LGBT Rights at Berlin’s International Tourism Fair


"A broad coalition of queer, trans and straight Palestinian, Israeli and allied international activists are protesting the Israeli government’s “Tel Aviv Gay Vibe” promotional events at the International Tourist Fair in Berlin March 12-13. The activists are asking the fair organizers to refuse to allow the “Gay Vibe” stand at the fair.

Tel Aviv Gay Vibe Campaign in Berlin is sponsored by the Israeli government. Activists argue that this portrayal serves to distract the international community from Israel’s serious and ongoing human rights violations of Palestinians in Israel and the OccupiedPalestinian Territories (OPT). Additionally, Israel makes political use of homophobia in their portrayal of the surrounding Arab states.

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanction National Committee is therefore calling for a tourism boycott: “Supporting Israeli tourism comes at the cost of further destruction to Palestinian communities, heritage and culture. Tourism is used by the occupation to promote a "progressive", "peaceful" and "multicultural" face to the world despite the daily crimes committed against the Palestinian people. In the campaign against tourism to Apartheid South Africa, activists sought out tourist exhibitions or agents promoting travel to the regime under the slogan "Apartheid is NO Holiday".”

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