Is it time to divest from the LGBTQ Task Force?

Political coalitions are founded, in large part, on mutual self-interest.

LGBTQ groups, for example, routinely support pro-union legislation. And it’s not simply a matter of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people liking workers. The decision is also highly political. Gay groups know that unions have political muscle. And there is an expectation that, when the time comes, the unions will return the favor, and support the LGBTQ cause of the day.

It’s a simple political quid pro quo.

Which raises the question of why the National LGBTQ Task Force continues to pander to its membership’s anti-semitic fringe, as it did this past week when “the country’s oldest national LGBTQ advocacy group” canceled, and then following withering criticism, uncanceled, a Shabbat religious service and reception hosted by two Israeli Jewish groups at its annual Creating Change conference.

Then, once the service went ahead, the Task Force did nothing to stop its membership, carrying signs accusing Israel of “apartheid,” from shutting the religious event down and forcing its Israeli LGBTQ hosts to flee for their safety. The protesters openly called for the annihilation of Israel. (See the 3:30 mark in the video below, where the protesters chant: “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea.” This is an oft-repeated phrase referring to Israel’s borders, and meaning that Palestine should replace the state of Israel in its entirety.)

A number of leading voices in the community were appalled by the entire spectacle. Here’s Roberta Kaplan, the lawyer of LGBTQ hero Edie Windsor:

roberta-kaplan-

And Evan Wolfson, the man responsible for marriage equality in America:

wolfson

All of which raises the question of why the Task Force, a self-described LGBTQ group, believes that the Palestinian issue, regardless of the merits, is an LGBTQ issue at all.

Israel has been historically, in many important ways, more pro-LGBTQ than even the United States. As AMERICAblog’s Jon Green noted in an earlier story:

[Israel] stopped enforcing its anti-sodomy laws in 1963, prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in 1992, let gays serve openly in the military in 1993 and recognized same-sex unions in 1994  (in other words, in many ways it’s been ahead of the United States on LGBTQ rights, to say nothing of its neighbors in the region).

Israel also handily beat its Middle Eastern brethren, including the Palestinians, in a 2013 Pew Research Center survey of worldwide attitudes towards gay rights.

When asked whether “society should accept homosexuality,” 93% of Palestinians said no, while 4% said yes — putting the Palestinians on par with gay-hating Uganda, which also had a 4% yes vote.

In Israel, on the other hand, 47% did not believe that society should accept homosexuality, while 40% said it should. That puts Israel behind Europe and the United States, but far ahead of much of the rest of the world — especially its neighbors Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia, whose sentiments were even worse than the Palestinians. (See poll to the right.)

When in the history of politics has any political organization, let alone a civil rights group, formed an alliance with people who don’t even believe in its members’ right to exist? The Log Cabin Republicans come to mind.

Their abysmal lack of support for gay rights is not to suggest that the Palestinians don’t have a legitimate gripe with Israel. Perhaps they do, perhaps they don’t. But the simple fact that Palestinian society doesn’t believe in the right of gays to even exist does not have any bearing on whether Israel is justified in its defense policy. The issues are entirely unrelated.

And that’s the point. The linkage of the Palestinian cause and the LGBTQ movement is pink-washing at its most blatant. It’s a prime example of someone with an outside agenda trying to score political points by wrapping that agenda in the increasingly-popular rainbow flag. And before anyone points to the LGBTQ community’s support for the anti-apartheid movement as a historical parallel for rallying around Palestine today, South Africa’s post-apartheid government has been incredibly pro-LGBT — the political quid pro quo in action. The Palestinian Authority, on the other hand, has already shown that LGBT rights, and human rights more generally, are, to put it generously, not a priority. And not a peep from the Task Force about that.

But, some argue, X% of all Palestinians are LGBTQ (since X% of a typical population is LGBTQ). So when those LGBTQ Palestinians are killed by Israelis, their struggle becomes an LGBTQ struggle. But what about the X% of Israelis who are LGBTQ and killed in Palestinian and Arab terrorist attacks (including children and babies)? This line of argumentation would make those Israeli deaths (along with every issue and cause known to man) also an LGBTQ issue, and thus the Israeli struggle an LGBTQ one.

I’d be remiss not to mention one final inconvenient truth: American Jews have been some of the LGBTQ community’s (and the American left’s) oldest and strongest allies. The Task Force’s attempt to whitewash the historic and ongoing support of American Jews for progressive politics, and Israeli Jews for LGBTQ rights, is offensive. If anyone should be facing a boycott over Middle East politics, it’s the Task Force itself.

In fact, another leading voice in the community, Tony Varona, who was at Creating Change, appears to be doing just that:

Last night’s appalling incident has cast a shadow of anti-Semitism, insularity, and reckless extremism over what have long been jewels in the LGBTQ movement’s crown – the Task Force and its marquee annual conference. Creating Change has become overwhelmingly negative, fractured, even at times dangerous and toxic.

Until and unless the organization addresses the harm(s) done, course-corrects, and distances itself from the anti-Semitism, bullying, and censorship soaking this conference, I am afraid I can no longer support the Task Force in any manner nor attend another Creating Change. I also will no longer recommend that my LGBTQ and allied students attend the conference, and will strongly encourage other academics and administrators across the country to do the same.

Here’s a little more background on the Palestinians’ abysmal record on LGBTQ rights in the West Bank and Gaza:

"LGBT rights in the Palestinian territories."

InsideOutsider
InsideOutsider is a longtime Democrat who has worked for a variety of progressive organizations and causes. He lives in Washington, DC.

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  • scottrose

    More to the point, a majority of Gazans voted for Hamas, which kills known homosexuals as a penalty for the “crime” of being homosexual.

    Islamic Jihad and Fatah and Hezbollah are all virulently anti-gay.

    The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank does not allow gay rights groups to operate there, which is why none do.

    So — if the Israel bashers got their wish of eliminating Israel — WHO would provide for the safety and freedom of the LGBTers living in what is now Israel?

    Hello?

  • hiker_sf

    Oh noes. I can’t tell you how much this stresses me. No really, I can’t.

  • dcinsider

    I really could not care less what you believe or what groups you wish to belong to.

  • Ray Muñez

    Good comment about the Task Force, but you are wrong to put all LGBs in the same boat with that crappy group. As you yourself point out, it is not representative and never was. If you see my comment above, the Task Force has become unable to generate revenue to sustain itself. It ran a huge deficit and drew down on assets in FY2013-14. A lot of its revenue comes from a foundations or wealthy individuals, not ordinary LGB people. How ironic that the radical, queer, and social justice-oriented Task Force depends on corporate money and the wealth of the .1%. It’s always the “queer” groups that claim to speak on behalf of the gay masses, but when the rubber hits the road, the masses just aren’t interested in what they are peddling.

  • Ray Muñez

    If you repulse a repulsive person, you’re doing it right, AmericaBlog!

  • Ray Muñez

    Well said. 99% of these people’s schtick is to pose “Do you still kick your dog?”-type questions about Israel. Although it is tedious, we should keep unpacking their bogus tactics and their false statements about Israel.

  • Ray Muñez

    I am surprised that people are only now tuning in to how foul a cesspool the Task Force is. It sucks up millions of gay and lesbian dollars and provides no value. It does virtually nothing, other than host the so-called Creating Change conference, which has never been shown to yield any tangible results, and churn out press releases and tweets. It barely deals with gay issues any more, since it earns more “intersectionality” points by focusing on other “social justice” issues. It did not lift a finger on DADT repeal. It ceased working seriously on marriage equality years ago because the issue was too “respectable” and bourgeois. Even when we won momentous victories in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, the Task Force made every effort to play them down, to say just enough nice words to avoid a backlash, but to make certain that neither marriage or any gay issue was considered as important as, say, abolishing prisons and releasing serial killers (which is apparently a social justice position). The group’s greatest accomplishment during this same period was to add “Q” to its name.

    In its latest disclosure to the IRS, which goes through June 2014, it showed a $2 million deficit, which is larger than that of the deflating National Organization for Marriage. But somehow, the gay press completely missed the Task Force’s death spiral and focused solely on NOM. BTW, its latest disclosure for the period through June 2015 was due weeks ago and it has not yet posted it on its website. It will be interesting to see whether it was able to halt the downward spiral or whether it will be forced to acknowledge its decaying condition. Maybe AmericaBlog could request a copy? It is required to provide one if requested.

    Finally, it is worth noting the disturbing extent to which this group obsesses over race. It is one thing to acknowledge racism and to be aware of racial bias. But this group obsesses over race and racial conflict the way that a religious zealot dwells over his sacred texts. Everything that the Task Force does is racialized. There was one speaker at the conference who went through all the different blood that was in her veins. Apparently, there was oppressed Latino blood and “colonizer” blood. Other speakers would suddenly start talking about “brown skin” and “blackness” and “whiteness” even when it had nothing to do with what they were talking about 1 second earlier. There’s a bizarre cult-like atmosphere to it. In that atmosphere, individuals don’t exist; your fellow conference attendees are reduced to representations of their racial and ethnic tribe, forever in conflict over “oppression” and “privilege.” It is toxic, cruel and inhumane.. So it is no surprise that some attendees would have no problem mobbing the employees of this Jewish nonprofit. Those employees ceased to be people. They were just representations of “privileged, cisgender, white, zionist oppressors of brown-skinned Palestinians” and thus were the enemy. IMHO, the sooner this group fails and dissolves, the better off we all will be.

  • hiker_sf

    I’ll lecture any idiot who claims that all Muslims – or all members of any demographic group are ‘the same.’

    Coming from a mixed religious childhood household that included influences from all three of the Abrahamic religions, I know much more than you.

    Even though we are pretty closely aligned regarding religion in general, I’d never ‘belong’ to any group that included you as a member. Your extreme views are similar to those that you hate.

  • dcinsider

    Oh, I stand corrected, “thousands” of the approximately 1.6 billion muslims worldwide support us. Let’s go even further. Let’s assume a million muslims support us. That is less than one-tenth of one percent of all muslims.

    Boy you got me there. I really exaggerated that one.

    I have a suggestion. Go to your local mosque and announce you’re gay and just wait for the love. I have no doubt they will embrace you warmly. I just hope you wear sneakers.

    And by the way, I’m an atheist and have no use for any religion because they are all as bad as each other, but islam has really cornered the market on anti-gay, with the imprisonment, torture, and murder committed by islamic countries on a daily basis.

    So go ahead and believe that Rep. Ellison is the voice of the majority of muslims (or even more than one-tenth of one percent), if you are that naive I can’t help you. But don’t dare come here and lecture me about tolerance or theological ideology of islam because you do not have the slightest idea what you are talking about.

  • goulo

    Well, if not commenting on some outrageous thing is proof of approval of it, then we are all pretty evil. :)

    Seriously, I don’t expect every regular commenter to weigh in with comments on every significant news story (or even to agree with me about which ones are important). Back then it also seemed easier to dismiss Trump as an unelectable buffoon not worth spending too much time and energy writing about (analogous to Ben Carson). (I know I rather hoped and expected that Trump and Carson would both fade away, as it turns out only Carson did…)

  • FLL

    I was really expecting Bill to explode when Donald Trump demonized all Muslims at the beginning of December (that is, if he was going to be consistent). But he didn’t. Not at all. That, to me, remains an unexplained mystery. OK, I’ll call it an unexplained mystery instead of an obvious pattern.

  • goulo

    I honestly didn’t recall him saying that disapproval of ISIS executing gay men was Islamophobia. Out of curiosity I went looking e.g. at these plausible posts:
    http://americablog.com/2014/09/liberals-need-stop-mansplaining-isis.html
    and couldn’t find him saying anything like that, but perhaps I missed the post(s) you are thinking of. (Do you by any chance have a link to it?)

    I have noticed that you and I often interpret Bill’s motives differently (not just about the Trump quote). E.g. I honestly suspect that I would disagree with your characterization of Bill’s reaction to the throwing-off-the-roofs story as “It’s islamophobia to criticize ISIS for throwing gay men off of roofs”, but I’m happy to be proven wrong if you find a link.

    I’ve seen him often say things like (e.g.) compare ISIS’s murders to Obama’s drone strikes, and people seem to sometimes miss the point and think he’s defending or praising ISIS, or something. (Somewhat similar to you interpreting him as praising Trump when I took it as clearly expressing disdain of politicians in general.)

    Certainly he is not as specifically focused on gay issues as many here (but then americablog seems to have long since expanded beyond its original specific focus on gay issues), and he brings up his own pet topics frequently. But (to answer your question about whether I see the “obvious pattern”) FWIW I sincerely haven’t thought of him as “obviously homophobic”. I do often see him grind tangential axes (e.g. complaining about Israeli policies, or Obama’s drone wars, or whatever) in a post about gay issues, but to me that is not homophobic; that is just off-topic. (Something we’re all guilty of at times… at least I admit I’ve sometimes posted off-topic about something which a post made me think of.)

    But evidently we each interpret Bill through our own lenses. :)

    PS: FWIW, perhaps you may find it funny or ironic that I also feel like I rarely disagree with you… AND I feel like I rarely disagree with Bill! A paradox? :) The main times I remember disagreeing with you are when you are talking about the terrible evil homophobic etc motives of Bill!

  • FLL

    Projection.

  • hiker_sf

    Problem solved! Buh bye troll.

  • FLL

    I can’t resist just one little shout-out to karmanot. The “like” button is one easy little click, but we know, karmanot, that you’re intelligent enough to disagree with an argument with more than a “like” button. You’ve read comments now from me, hiker_sf, goulo, Doug and others. Come one, karmanot. The “like” button is not the end-all and be-all. Share with the rest of the class. LOL.

  • FLL

    OK, I’ll accept your reading of Bill’s estimation of Trump. I’ll accept that Bill was simply noting Trump’s cynicism, which is typical of many politicians. I even gave your reply a “like.” But that wasn’t my main point. My main point was that during September I watched the spectacle of Bill throwing tantrums when Jon Green, as well as other bloggers and commenters, expressed their disapproval of ISIS executing gay men by throwing them off the tops of tall buildings. Bill screamed “Islamophobia” over and over. The first conclusion that the reader would make is that Bill is very touchy about anything that negatively affects Muslims. Isn’t that the first conclusion that you would make? Now fast-forward to December when Donald Trump was calling for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S., maybe throwing out the Muslims already here, etc. You would think that someone as hypersensitive about Muslims would say something… anything about Trump’s astounding demonization of Muslims. Nope. Not a word. ISIS and the national Republican Party are both homophobic, therefore… well, you get the idea.

    Now goulo, there have been almost no occasions on which I’ve disagreed with you, but surely you can see the obvious homophobic agenda in Bill’s hypocrisy in this particular instance. And there are other unrelated instances to complete the patter, for example, the popularly elected government in Ukraine that just passed an anti-discrimination law protecting gay people in the workplace—something that the U.S. still doesn’t have on a national level. Bill is still bitter about this, demonizing the popularly elected government of Ukraine as a “fascist putsch.” Do you or do you not see the obvious pattern? I really don’t think this nonsense is cute or clever. I think it’s just stupid, and I’ll call it out whenever I see it. I’m hoping that, at the very least, you don’t disapprove.

  • hiker_sf

    “However, muslims — and I mean ALL muslims — oppose our civil rights. ”

    O fuck off. Keith Ellison has always supported our rights. Thousands of other Muslims do as well.

    Your demonetization of all members of a religion reminds me of Hitler’s tactics. Your ideas are just as despicable as those who you oppose.

  • 2karmanot

    “imperialist agenda of drone strikes” You just saw Star Wars huh?

  • dcinsider

    The Task Force has ALWAYS been the main group for gay and lesbian nitwits. Since way back in the 80’s (my youth) the Task Force was always out of step with the mainstream gays and lesbians. The fact that it remains so today is laughable but not surprising.

    However, how does this differ from gays and lesbians who get their panties in a bunch over the treatment of muslims? Many gay and lesbian organizations have spoken out on this, and more gays and lesbians get all uppity about how muslims are being singled out for discrimination.

    However, muslims — and I mean ALL muslims — oppose our civil rights. The “moderate” muslims are not beheading us, or imprisoning us, or throwing us off buildings, they are just sitting silently by while their buddies do the work. Yet, there we are crying crocodile tears over discrimination against muslims. Give me a break.

    Gays and lesbians often cannot help themselves for jumping on a “downtrodden” group’s benefit, all the while ignoring that the particular group they are defending would beat the crap out of us if given the chance. If for the Task Force the group today is Palestinians, tomorrow it will be muslims. We will hear about islam being a religion of peace, all evidence to the contrary. Sheer nonsense.

    I had hoped that after 30 years my community would be a more politically mature and experienced group. Good grief.

  • 2karmanot

    Sorry sweep pea, but I hate to disturb you with some facts. There is absolutely no archaeological what so ever about about Moses leading the Jews out of Egypt durning the reign of Ramses….none, zilch, nada. About the only facts that are known about the Jews is that they were a particularly blood thirsty collection of tribes that pillaged and rampaged throughout the land grabbing territory and killing the locals. Hmmmm….much like today. As for being Gawd’s chosen people……there ain’t no imaginary sky fairy….got it. Oh by the way I love your Donald Duck impersonation. Have a nice day and remember not to do Pilates on Saturday. :-)

  • 2karmanot

    Ya got your yamaka in a bunch yadda, yadda, yadda. “Spare me your BS you fascist!” Make that Zionist and you are looking in the mirror

  • goulo

    >>>
    Bill Perdue made some neutral-to-mildly-positive comments about Trump,
    stating that he was just an “ordinary, run-of-the-mill” politician.
    <<<

    I think you significantly misread Bill if you interpret that as a "neutral-to-mildly-positive" comment about Trump. I would say that it is clearly meant rather as a cynical negative comment about ordinary run of the mill (i.e. most) politicians, i.e. along the lines of "Sure, Trump is bad – and what's unusual about that? Most politicians are bad."

  • FLL

    Problems with the English language again. I said you can. I didn’t say you do. I didn’t claim to be psychic. I’m raising a reasonable point because I pointed out that Bill called criticism of the ISIS executions of gay men “Islamophobic.” Instead of addressing my point, you supported Bill. What possible conclusion can the reader come to other than to think that you suffer from personal problems? There is such a thing as an implied main idea, and you make it very clear what your implied main idea is.

  • hiker_sf

    “By the way, you can certainly champion the anti-gay public opinion consensus among Palestinians (93%) or the ISIS folks throwing gay men off the tops of tall buildings. . .”

    You are a despicable liar. I have never “championed” any of that. I’ve flagged your post for this.

  • FLL

    “Bill doesn’t support Republicans and your implication that he does is despicable.”

    You feign outrage, and it’s downright silly. Half the blogosphere (at least) has taken note of the obvious, which is that Bill specializes in character assassination pieces directed at every Democratic candidate with any chance of being elected without, of course, treating Republican candidates (especially the frontrunner) in the same fashion. That is Bill’s longstanding method of operation. You lose on that point. By defending Bill’s talking points, you’ve made it clear that you share Bill’s goal of Republican victory. Sounds like a sexual agenda to me.

    “…your stunningly superficial analysis combined with your willful ignorance is laughable.”

    Would you mind explaining to us how my analysis is superficial and laughable other than by simply saying that it is? The only crime that Jerusalem Open House has committed is providing services for the LGBT community, both Jewish and Arab. In fact, Jerusalem Open House is one of the few resources available to gay Palestinians who are being persecuted in their own communities. I’ve raised an issue which is substantive rather than superficial, unless you just find oppressing queers amusing.

    …your threat…[blah, blah blah]

    It’s childish of you to pretend that you’ve temporarily forgotten how to communicate in English, which I’m reasonably sure is your native language. When you order someone to do something (using real or pretended authority), you believe that you can threaten the person with harm if they don’t do your will. When you invite someone to explain themselves or STFU, the other person can either accept or reject your invitation. Did you accept my invitation to explain yourself? Since you haven’t answered a single one of my substantive points, it’s clear that you can’t explain yourself (other than to call my analysis superficial and laughable) because you just don’t have an argument. Go back to freshman-year composition class and try… just try… to formulate an cogent argument. Until you can address any of the points that I’ve raised, please accept my cordial invitation to get the hell off these comment pages. And that’s obviously not a threat because I’m not the owner of this blog.

    By the way, you can certainly champion the anti-gay public opinion consensus among Palestinians (93%) or the ISIS folks throwing gay men off the tops of tall buildings, but I would do that in private here in the United States. In the workplace or in the public square, I would keep those sentiments under my hat if I were you. And that’s not a threat—just good, sound advice.

  • hiker_sf

    Bill doesn’t support Republicans and your implication that he does is despicable. But he can speak for himself. As for the rest of your post, your stunningly superficial analysis combined with your willful ignorance is laughable. As is your threat that people with whom you disagree need to ‘get the hell off these comment pages.’

  • Doug105
  • FLL

    I watched the video and saw the crowd push the members of Jerusalem Open House out. It was clear that they had to leave for their own safety. But who are the members of Jerusalem Open House? They are not members of the Israeli government, nor do they in any way represent the Israeli government. They are simply a grassroots organization of LGBT people and their allies who work to provide services for the LGBT community in Jerusalem and further LGBT rights in Israel as a whole. Now what would you think if an attack like this was directed at an American LGBT rights group that was visiting a European city during the George W. Bush administration? Would you approve if a crowd of European demonstrators physically pushed the visiting American LGBT activists out of a conference space, and then justified it by saying that they were opposed to the policies of the Bush administration? No, I don’t think you would.

    Apparently, there are people who think that the attack against the Jerusalem gay-rights organization that is recorded on this video is amusing or useful or both, and those people are just sneaky homophobes. They are losing the gay-rights battle in Western countries and they now look for a hero outside the Western world—wherever they can find fellow homophobes. You want a specific example of this? OK, I’ll give you one. This past September there were numerous reports—with video documentation—of the ISIS government executing gay by throwing them off the top of tall buildings. When the bloggers and commenters here at Americablog made known their opinion of how heinous this was, Bill Perdue, along with a few like-minded admirers, screamed blue murder and clearly implied that any criticism of ISIS executing gay men was Islamophobia. Later in December, Donald Trump declared that he would ban all Muslims from entering the United States and strongly implied that he would like to send the ones already here packing. There wasn’t one little peep of protest from the very same people who screamed Islamophobia because they were so amused by ISIS executing gay men? Not one phucking peep. On the contrary, Bill Perdue made some neutral-to-mildly-positive comments about Trump, stating that he just and “ordinary, run-of-the-mill” politician… so why, Bill wonders, is everyone getting so upset with Trump when he’s really not that bad. This after Trump all but called for the internment of Muslims in camps (mentioning, tellingly, that the internment of Japanese during WWII wasn’t such a bad idea).

    I have a couple questions for the people who espouse this very specific type of hypocrisy. How stupid do you think people are? Don’t you think people can connect the dots? As long as homophobia is the end result, these hypocrites are happy. They seem to be afflicted by internal homophobia or external homophobia or some fascinating combination of the two. I invite them to either explain themselves or get the hell off these comment pages.

  • FLL

    Please do. Ciao.

  • BrandySpears

    It’s like saying the U.S. only tolerates LGBTQ people to get support for its imperialist agenda of drone strikes and hospital bombings overseas. Which is bonkers.

  • nicho

    Right. I forgot. The Israelis don’t care who their bombs and missiles murder. it’s pretty indiscriminate.

  • Don Chandler

    Here’s why:

    Five Broken Cameras

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_93nOqwmhU

  • hiker_sf

    Yeah, everyone who disagrees with Israel’s policies are nazis.

  • Stacey Horcher

    Nothing like a fascist sympathizer who doesn’t care the the arabs murder LGBTQ people without so much as a trial. When you’re gay in arabia or persia, there is nothing but extrajudicial execution, while Tel Aviv proudly hosts one of the biggest Gay pride parades in the WORLD. Whose side are YOU on? You want to see the picture of the 5 gay men hanged in Iran just on SUSPICION of being gay? SMH, you have a LOT to learn, or maybe you just don’t care about LGBTQ rights? Spare me your BS you fascist! You are supporting the worst oppressors of all just because you hate Jews and can’t really quite come out about that! Get out of the closet little nazi fascist, the arabs hate LGBTQ and murder any they can catch.

  • hiker_sf

    You are arguing with an extremist. She isn’t assuming anything about you – she hurls that same accusation anytime anyone criticizes Israel for anything.

    She supports the genocide of the Palestinian people and lies about their history in the region. In short, ignore the troll.

  • hiker_sf

    Again, extremists tactics: I don’t support Israel’s policies so in your high school debate team manner, you hurl back that I support a “Palestinian society that sentences gays to death.”

    Yeah, you care about Palestinian LGBTs. And you don’t know fuck about Pinkwashing.

  • Kurt 20008

    If I can be a moderate voice….The Task Force’s behavior was disgusting and good people should seriously re-think support for this organization. I support the State of Israel. However, three reservations in the criticism of the Task Force: (1) criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism. (2) The American Jewish community has contributed immensely to the advance of civil and human rights in this country, but that does not justify a tradeoff on human rights elsewhere. (3) It is unhelpful to say the “protesters openly called for the annihilation of the State of Israel.” They called for a secular, democratic state in the territory currently under Israel rule. The Israeli Right also wants a single state but with a Jewish National character. Given the Arab majority of the total area, that state cannot both be democratic and Jewish. That is why I support a two state solution. But don’t damn some for support a single state when the Israeli Right takes the same view.

  • goulo

    Sheesh. You really do not seem interested in good faith discussion if you’re going to use transparently smearing rhetoric like that, suggesting that I am offended by helping gay Palestinians, or that I support the death sentence for gay people.

    Reread what I wrote instead of trying to put ridiculous words into my mouth. Opposition to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is simply that: opposition to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. It does NOT mean that one supports Palestinian’s treatment of gay people. It does not mean that one is anti-Jewish. It is just a statement about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Stop jumping to conclusions.

    Do you think that someone criticizing something about US policy (e.g. drone assassination strikes in the Middle East) therefore hates US citizens, or hates US efforts to help gay people, or thinks that everyone in the Middle East is a perfect good guy? I’ll assume you’re reasonable enough to not think that.

    So kindly use the same basic reasoning skills in the case of people’s criticism of Israeli treatment of Palestinians, instead of using cheap ad hominem tactics like suggesting that the person must be against helping gay Palestinians, or must support killing gay people.

  • Aviad Adlersberg

    I find it it repulsive that you support a Palestinian society that sentences gays to death, but oppose Jerusalem Open House, the only refuge for Gay Palestinians int he entire Middle East and the home to the largest Palestinians LGBT group. That is Pinkwashing.

  • Aviad Adlersberg

    They were Protesting the Jerusalem Open House. The only refuge for Gay Palestinians in the Middle East and sponsor of biggest Palestinian LGBT group. What do you find so offensive about that? You feel that the Palestinians treatment of gays, which is the death sentence, is worth supporting?

  • Aviad Adlersberg

    Its too bad you don’t even know that Jerusalem Open House not only serves Palestinians, and Yes israel provides asylum for gay Palestinians fleeing for their lives, but the biggest Palestinian LGBT group was founded in Jerusalem Open House. JOH is the only refuge for gays in the Arab world in the entire Middle East. Its almost like hating Israel is a religion for you

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  • goulo

    You make many assumptions about my political views (and knowledge). I’ll just note that the fact that I disagree with Israel’s policy and treatment of Palestinians does not mean that I approve of Isaeli citizens getting stabbed, despite your smearing insinuations otherwise.

    One can oppose X and also oppose Y. The world is not black and white good guys vs bad guys.

  • BrandySpears

    … and here’s the video proof of what you said:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMiG9JD2OxM

  • db8

    Agreed, time to divest in the Task Force, with its complete abdication of its responsibilities as a
    conference organizer to protects its guests and speakers from mob
    mentality and antisemitism. “Witnesses saw a man get into a scuffle
    with the protesters and have his yarmulke knocked off his head while
    others called Jewish participants ‘kikes’.”
    http://www.back2stonewall.com/2016/01/agtivist-shut-jerusalem-open-house-creating-change-it.html

  • hiker_sf

    Like most zealots, you presume that because I find fault with Israel’s policies, I “oppose the existence of Israel.” That is because in your binary worldview, if I say that a vase is not white, you say it is black, even though it is green. I feel confident that if weren’t for extremist, pro-Israel people like you and those Palestinians who are also extremists, we would have a ‘two-state’ solution by now.

    Like most zealots, you choose mask Israel’s illegal settlements by claiming they’ve been purchased. . .

    Oh, never mind. I see by your posting history that you are a rabidly single-issue. But hear this: Viewed through the lens of trying for a peaceful solution, you are no better than the worst of the people you condemn.

    Feel proud? Here’s a thought: Run your own POS country without our money.

  • Doug105

    Israel doesn’t target them because they’re LGBT, that would be the their fellow Palestinians.

  • GymMom66

    Was it “Pinkwashing” in 1963, when the sodomy laws were removed? Or in the 90’s, when Israel passed antidiscrimination laws? Or when they allowed gay civil unions, long before most of Europe or the US?

    If all of that is “Pinkwashing”, then I guess the entire world is just “Pinkwashing”. Oh, except the countries that still execute people for being gay. Should we support them for being “open and honest” about their hatred?

    Seriously, anyone with ethics who knows the REAL history of Israel and the region (from real history books, not blogs and memes) cannot possibly oppose the existence of Israel. How can it be wrong for a native people to return to their homeland, after centuries of exile, and to do so through peaceful commercial and legal means?

    THAT is how the Jews came back. We BOUGHT land, usually from absentee investor owners, and we appealed to the political powers of the day to give us back self-determination. And miraculously, they did!

    NOTE: They ALSO gave the Arabs 5 countries in the process (Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan, and eventually Jordan, which was originally part of the lands promised to the Jews, but was split off and given to the Palestinian Arabs). So tell me, what part of that was “unfair” to the Arabs, who are not even natives there? How many lands should the former conquerors get?

    And the current situation? It all comes down to the fact that the Arabs can’t stand the thought of one of the peoples they conquered getting even a SLIVER of their lands back. They would rather sacrifice their own children than allow that to remain.

    THAT is what you are supporting. Feel proud?

  • GymMom66

    There is a WORLD of difference between protesting a particular action or policy of Israel’s (though many of those criticisms are based on propaganda lies), versus calling for the DESTRUCTION of Israel.

    In what world is it a “liberal” value to call for the indigenous people of a land to be forced off that land AGAIN, so that the former colonizers can recolonize it?

    Or did you not know that there are 4000 years’ worth of archaeological and historical evidence that make it 100% clear that Jews are indigenous, and Arabs are colonizers in Israel? The fact that they have brown skin (well, some Arabs do – some look as white as a typical Brit) does NOT mean they came from that particular piece of land. The Arabs’ OWN history books brag about how they conquered it and subjugated the native peoples!!!

  • GymMom66

    How much do you actually KNOW about “Israel’s treatment of Palestinian Arabs”? (JEWS were the original “Palestinians – Arabs stole the name after we cast it off).

    The mainstream media, and the left-wing media, deliberately and systematically distort the “news” to make Israel look bad, and the Arabs look like innocent victims.

    When the Arabs brainwash their children into becoming murdering terrorists, who stab and shoot and run over and blow up innocent men, women, children, even babies – the media features the dead terrorist, as if a teenaged murderer is the innocent victim, while often not even mentioning the names of Israeli victims, dehumanizing them, and leaving the reader feeling sympathetic to the murderer, who was shot to save INNOCENT lives.

    Those Arab children are victims too, in a way – but they are victims of their own society, that has taught them to become murderous monsters. Just last week, a 15-year-old Arab teen murdered a young Jewish nurse – someone who had dedicated her life to helping ANYONE in need – and a mother of four children, foster mother to two more. And he did this right in front of her children.

    Why are you not screaming out on behalf of the JEWISH victims? Why are their lives worth less in your eyes than the lives of the people who murder them?

  • GymMom66

    I think you need a vocabulary lesson – or maybe a reality lesson.

    Israel does not “routinely murder” ANYONE, LGBT or otherwise. Israel DOES act to defend itself and its citizens, when it comes under attack.

    And yes, in wartime, especially a war in which the enemy violates about a dozen war crimes statutes, by dressing as civilians, hiding among civilians, launching rockets from civilian areas INTO civilian areas – then yes, some civilians are going to die or be injured in the fighting. You can thank Hamas for that. They started the conflict, and they chose to violate all those rules, in order to produce a propaganda victory, when they knew a military victory was impossible.

    Their ENTIRE goal was to parade dead and bleeding bodies in front of the media cameras, to garner world sympathy. ANd you are living proof that these cynical, EVIL tactics work, at least on those with low IQs, who can’t be bothered to look past the surface.

    Oh, and if you believe in REAL liberal causes, like the rights of indigenous people, then you are backing the wrong horse. JEWS are indigenous to Israel. 4000 years’ worth of archaeological and historical records prove that beyond a doubt. Arab arrived in Israel (and most of the Middle East and North Africa) as COLONIZERS, conquering dozens of lands, and forcing the natives to either convert, or live as dhimmi, second class citizens with almost no rights.

    THAT is what you are supporting. Colonization, oppression of native peoples, – and, oh yeah, persecution of LGBT people in Gaza and the Palestinian ruled parts of the disputed territories.

  • Doug105

    No one will notice so go ahead.

  • BrandySpears

    Says the gay skinhead turning a blind eye to gay Jews being chased out of the building.

  • 2karmanot

    Nothing like a Zionist troll to pick up the conversation.

  • 2karmanot

    Exactly so…Israel’s assault on Palestinians is less than a Shoah.

  • BrandySpears

    Israel “routinely murders” people for being LGBT? That’s an absurd conflation.

  • Don Chandler

    The difference between a state saying “Annihilate Israel” and an LGBT organization saying “Annihilate Israel” is substantial. One is existential and the other is rhetorical. Some LGBT org is drawing parallels to say West Bank Settlements and “Annihilation of Palestine.”

    Where do gays draw the line on other affairs? It’s not so simple. We are not just gay. Sometimes we don’t agree on world and domestic affairs. I like that we can talk about it here, but we don’t have to make a stand.

    One thing is for sure, the people benefiting from the Settlement of the West Bank are NOT friends of gays! They are militant conservative religious people that stalk gay parades in Israel…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/31/world/middleeast/man-attacks-gay-pride-marchers-in-jerusalem-for-second-time-police-say.html?_r=0

    Don’t know where he is from, but basically the Settlers are Ultra Orthodox Israelis.

  • nicho

    So we don’t care about the LGBT people in Palestine who are being routinely murdered by Israel?

  • goulo

    Opposition to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians does not imply anti-semitism, as you surely know, and equating the two is a very cheap & dishonest & bogus (but all too common) rhetorical trick. You certainly know that very many Jews who are not themselves anti-semitic are also critical of Israel’s policies.

    (Would you similarly say that someone who criticizes US policies is anti-American or hates US citizens?)

    I don’t know the specific people involved. Are some of them Jew haters as you claim? Maybe – I really have no idea, because your suggesting that they are merely on the basis of their protesting Israeli policy is not at all a convincing reason.

  • elliegrll

    This is a disturbing article. You do not have to be anti Semitic to believe that some of Israel’s policies are wrong. Jon Stewart has spoken out against many of those actions and policies, and I’m pretty sure that he is not a self hating anti Semite.

    Israel’s pro gay actions do not change anything. Is Palestine blameless? Of course not, but homophobic policies do not mean that they deserve whatever Israel dishes out to them, just like Israel being pro gay rights does not mean that we should ignore the bad things that they do.

  • GlennF

    “When in the history of politics has any political organization, let alone a civil rights group, formed an alliance with people who don’t even believe in its members’ right to exist? The Log Cabin Republicans come to mind.”

    Yep, just goes to show that there are unreasonable extremists on the left side of the political spectrum as there are on the right. So far, unlike on the right, the extremists on the left have been largely kept at bay. Please, lets keep it that way.

  • hiker_sf

    This is the most repulsive piece of tripe I’ve seen on Americablog. It is difficult for me to convey my disgust so I’ll make a few points and then move on.

    I know many Jews who are against Israel’s policies. Are they too anti-Semitic? And then this author attempts make the case that Pinkwashing is really a Palestinian thing which is laughable.

    To the author: Please do divest from the Task Force. I don’t want to have anything to do with any organization that has you as a member.

  • Bart Wilson

    I guess it’s time I divest from AMERICAblog.

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