Forum:  No LGBTQ Cover for Israeli Repression of Palestinians

 
In the wake of attempts by supporters of Israel to “pink-wash” Israeli oppression of Palestinians at this year’s Dyke March and SlutWalk, and at the 2016 National LGBT Task Force conference in Chicago, the Gay Liberation Network and Chicago Dyke March will host a forum entitled “No LGBTQ Cover for Israeli Repression of Palestinians.” 
 
The forum will take place at 2 pm, Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Uptown branch of the Chicago Public Library, 929 W. Buena Avenue (a few blocks north of the “Sheridan” stop on the Red Line el).
 
For several years the Israeli government and organizations allied with it have used Israel’s allegedly more liberal attitudes towards LGBTQs to camouflage its brutal repression of Palestinians. This is known as “pink-washing” – using the alleged fair treatment of the LGBTQ community in Israel as cover for, and diversion from, the oppression of another group of people.
 
Since its independence and mass expulsion of Palestinians in 1948, Israel has steadily stolen more and more land from Palestinians. This confinement of Palestinians to ever-smaller portions of the worst land is similar to what was done to Native Americans in the United States, and to blacks in South Africa under the racist white government, a system known as “apartheid.” This is why many leading black South African activists refer to the racist system in Israel versus Palestinians as apartheid.
 
And Israel’s systemic racism versus Palestinians is not limited to the ongoing land thefts – Palestinians, including children, are routinely arrested and imprisoned without charges and go without trials, in many cases for years. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have repeatedly cited the Israeli government for widespread treatment of prisoners under conditions that are internationally recognized as torture.
 
On every index of equality – legal rights, income, jobs, water use, health care, etc. – Palestinians fare much worse than Israeli Jews.
 
People in the United States bear a particular responsibility for what is happening in Israel – Israel has long been by far the #1 recipient of US military aid, and Israel is the United States’ government’s closest ally. And since the Israeli government has chosen to use the LGBTQ community as a prop to deflect attention from the dispossession of Palestinians, LGBTQs here bear a particular responsibility as well.
 
The December 9th forum will not only discuss what pink-washing of apartheid in Israel is, but also what we can do to oppose it. For more information, email LGBTliberation@aol.com

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