Skip to comments.New York City Funding for Anti-Israel Hate-Fest [CUNY-Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies]
Posted on 07/23/2012 7:06:47 PM PDT by SJackson
The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) at the City University of New York (CUNY) has announced a two-day conference which serves no purpose, except to condemn Israel, reflecting a simple double standard.
In Gaza, Kuwait & Lebanon, homosexuality is illegal and the guilty (if lucky) face 3-10 years in jail. In the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, homosexual acts are punishable by death. After Qatar was awarded the 2022 Football World Cup, the President of the sports governing body in the country, said that gays should refrain from sexual activity. The Arab world, to put it mildly doesnt tolerate homosexuality.
In Israel, gays are treated as equal citizens, and there are laws against discrimination. So, it is only in a world where the Jews are always the bad guys, that a conference could be planned by the gay community to attack Israel. As if that isnt bad enough, New York City tax-payers, by footing the bill, are being used to further the Anti-Israel political agenda of this despicable conference. Israel has been a champion of gay rights, a place where tens of thousands march in an annual gay pride parade, same sex cohabitation is recognized and gays serve openly in the military and government. The Mayor of Tel Aviv recently said, We are trying to create a model for openness, pluralism, tolerance live and let live. So, do you think its fair and decent for New York tax payers to fund this racist conference against Jews?
Faced with intensifying criticism and the threat of economic boycott, the conference website states, the Israeli government expanded their marketing plan by harnessing Homonationalism to reposition its global image. No matter what Israel does, to some they are simply evil. The fact that gays would be put to death in much of the Arab world is simply ignored.
A few months ago, Abdellah Taia wrote an article in The New York Times headlined A Boy to Be Sacrificed, where he discussed growing up in the Arab world as an effeminate boy, where homosexuality did not, of course, exist.
An excerpt from the article:
I no longer remember the child, the teenager, I was. I know I was effeminate and aware that being so obviously like that was wrong. God did not love me. I had strayed from the path. Or so I was made to understand. Not only my family, but also by the entire neighborhood. I learned my lesson perfectly. Now, over a year after the Arab Spring began, we must again remember homosexuals. Arabs have finally become aware that they have to invent a new, free Arab individual, without the support of their megalomaniacal leaders. Arab homosexuals are also taking part in this revolution, whether they live in Egypt, Iraq or Morocco. They, too, are part of this desperately needed process of political and individual liberation. And the world must support and protect them.
These issues are ignored but the Jewish state isnt. Zionist leader Zeev Jabotinsky once said: It is not the anti-Semitism of men, it is, above all, the anti-Semitism of things, the inherent xenophobia of the body social or the body economic under which we suffer.
Nobody could have said it any clearer than the great civil rights leader Martin Luther King: When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews, You are talking anti-Semitism. This conference is plainly and clearly Anti-Semitic.
Homonationalism: "Collusion between homosexuality and American nationalism that is generated both by national rhetorics of patriotic inclusion and by gay queer subjects." (Puar, Terrorist Assemblages, 39)
Homonormativity: A politics of liberation through individual inclusion in heteronormative institutions that does not challenge the heteronormativity of the systems themselves.
Pinkwashing: Using rights protections for one group (in this case, gay and lesbian people) to conceal rights abuses against another group.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in all configurations around the world have always experienced dramatic differences in representation and power. Today, after generations of sacrifice and organization, some LGBT people have won full legal rights with different degrees of implementation. Once hard to imagine, protection from discrimination, full relationship recognition, and inclusion in representation are now daily possibilities for some. In the United States, lesbian, gay, and bisexual people have been invited into an equality defined, not by rights, but by the ability to participate openly in immoral wars. The co-opting of some LGBT people by anti-immigrant and in particular anti-Muslim political forces is widespread and growing. Rutgers Professor Jasbir Puar has coined the term “Homonationalism” to define collusion between LGBT people and identification with the nation state, re-enforcement of racial and national boundary, and systems of supremacy ideology no longer interrupted by homophobia. Homonationalism has spread far from its roots in European xenophobia and US militarism to become an increasingly potent tool in the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Faced with intensifying criticism and the threat of economic boycott, the Israeli government expanded their marketing plan by harnessing Homonationalism to reposition its global image. The campaign intended "to improve Israel's image through the gay community in Israel," The Jerusalem Post quoted one government supporter of the campaign. This deliberate and highly funded program is what anti-occupation activists have named "Pinkwashing."The campaign not only manipulates the hard-won gains of Israel's gay rights movement, but it also ignores the existence of Palestinian gay-rights organizations. These groups rightly note that the oppression of Palestinians crosses the boundary of sexuality; as Haneen Maikay, a keynote speaker at our conference and the director of Al Qaws:For Gender and Sexual Diversity in Palestinian Society, said in a recent lecture tour in the United States, "When you go through a checkpoint it does not matter what the sexuality of the soldier is."
Homonationalism and Pinkwashing mark a crucial turning point for Queer Scholars and Activists. This conference provides an opportunity to examine Queer Resistance and Complicity globally, in all of their complexities, with a political maturity that acknowledges the responsibility of access, the activism of necessity, the potential and impossible communities, identifications, solidarities, unities and consequential calls for action. Acknowledging these conditions make it imperative for Activists and Scholars to convene and bring together the theoretical and the applied, repositioning our resources to focus on a rejuvenated Queer future, movement, movements, efforts, actions, organizing and focus towards a vision of freedom that finally includes us all.
-Conference Chair, Sarah Schulman
All events on this page are open to the public. With the exception of major conferences as noted, all CLAGS events are free of charge. Pre-registration is not required unless otherwise stated in the event description.
All events at The Graduate Center are co-sponsored by Continuing Education & Public Programs, The Graduate Center, CUNY.
All events in the Graduate Center are wheelchair accessible. Please contact the security office at the Graduate Center at 212-817-7777 for further details.
Please call the CLAGS office at (212) 817-1955 for additional information or arrangements.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
More evidence that Mao might have been right when he sent the eggheads into the countryside to do farm labor.
Gays and Muslims - strange bedfellows....