UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the International Criminal Court Prosecutor: Investigate the Possibility that Israel is Committing the Crime of Genocide Against the Palestinian People
As is known across the world, the government of Israel has, over the decades, carried out systematic and genocidal violence against the people of Palestine, whose land they illegally occupy. The Israeli government has established a regime that is brazenly discriminatory, majoritarian, racist, and Islamophobic. I see such an opposition to be urgent, because people and governments across the world are beginning to find acceptable the absolute violation of the rights and liberties of certain citizens, and the decimation of social and cultural fabrics…
Linn da Quebrada, a prominent voice of marginalized Black and poor LGBT people in Brazil, was expected to take part in the Festival’s Queer Party on June 6. She said:
Knowing that in Israel there are also people who suffer from oppression over their bodies and desires, I decided to cancel my participation, joining the cultural boycott that has grown in the last few months around the world, as a form of protest against Israel and its genocidal policies over Palestinians.
In coordination with Quebrada’s cancellation, Brazilian directors Claudia Priscilla and Kiko Goifman announced they are withdrawing their documentary “Bixa Travesty” from TLVFest. The film, which won the Teddy Award for best documentary at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival, is an intimate biographical portrayal of the life of Linn da Quebrada.
We decided to BOYCOTT TLVFest due to our profound disagreement with Israel’s genocidal policies. We cancelled the participation of the film “Bixa Travesty”. ENOUGH MASSACRES. Respect for the Palestinian people
Dean Spade, a professor at the Seattle University School of Law and a member of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, told The Electronic Intifada, “It is disturbing to learn that the Israeli government is sending a trans Israeli army commander on a public relations tour in the US, [and] to see this blatant attempt to co-opt the trans liberation struggle to make a brutal colonial military seem like a site of diversity and inclusion. How can it be a victory for trans liberation when trans people become embedded in the most violent operations of settler-colonialism and genocide?” Spade added. “How can we celebrate trans people clearing the land of indigenous people, arresting children, maintaining checkpoints and launching tear gas?”
… About a week before this month’s event with the Israeli officer, two members of the LGBTQ Commission resigned. “We all have issues that we stand for and for me I stand for the boycott, divest and sanctions movement. For me, it is an issue similar to South Africa apartheid,” Luzviminda Uzuri Carpenter wrote her colleagues in a resignation letter on 28 March. “I personally stand against the genocide of Palestinian people and cannot support militarized efforts or military personnel regardless of gender identity, gender expression, or sexuality or other identity markers,” Carpenter added.
There is no “constructive dialogue” to be had about the deliberate genocide of Palestinians, or the detainment of queer and trans people of color. There is nothing good that can come out of the “inclusion” of those who occupy, those who kidnap, those who incarcerate and those who terrorize. As Brown people for Black power, we recognize that the actions and positions of I.C.E. and A Wider Bridge not only affect Palestinians and Latinos, but also affects Afro-Palestinians, Afro-Latinos, and undocumented Black people.
Israel’s record on LGBT rights justifies the illegal occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Many non-Muslim, non-Arab countries in the world have terrible records on LGBT rights, including Russia, Hungary, Nigeria, Jamaica; no one suggests that they deserve to be subjected to foreign military occupation. Would anyone support or even propose a German invasion and occupation of Russia simply because Germany has a much better record on LGBT rights than Russia? No amount of progress of LGBT rights in Israel can possibly justify the illegal and increasingly brutal Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem or the incremental genocide being pursued against the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip all of which the United States subsidizes with more than $3 billion in US aid to the Israeli government a year. LGBT organizations based in Israel, Europe and especially the United States play a crucial role in advancing the discourse of pinkwashing, often directly coordinating with the Israeli government and sometimes funded directly by the Israeli government.
“It is not an organization focused on LGBT Jews, or an organization focused on LGBT Israelis,” wrote Spade. “It is an organization focused on linking LGBT people in the US to Israel, the settler colonial nation engaged in apartheid, condemned by the world.”
“It is an organization whose promotion of Israel is designed to make people think of Israel as a site of liberation and freedom rather than a regime producing colonization and genocide,” added Spade. “As a Jewish trans activist who has sometimes attended Creating Change over the years, I like the idea of having a Shabbat service at the conference, but I do not want Creating Change to invite any Israel advocacy organization to lead it or host programming focused on promoting propaganda about Israel.”
Almost ten years ago, queers who support the Palestinian struggle tried to get Frameline, the San Francisco LGBT film festival, to stop working with, and accepting money from, the Israeli government. This is consistent with the call from hundreds of organizations in Palestinian Civil Society for boycott, divestment and sanctions to oppose the genocidal policies of Israel. Despite emails, postcards, petitions, and protests by the many queers who do not want to partner with the Israeli government, Frameline has refused to seriously consider this issue.
The organization “A Wider Bridge” is one element of a concerted effort by the state of Israel to erase its ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people by portraying itself as a tolerant, modern haven for queer people and a prime site for LGBT tourism, including study abroad programs. Participating in a study abroad program in Israel means participating in the ongoing apartheid and genocide of the Palestinian people. Do not become co-opted by Israel to cover for its violent and oppressive policies.
We are not interested in a dialogue with organizations such as A Wider Bridge and Slugs for Israel. Dialogue has no meaning while apartheid and genocide continue.