The World Social Forum: Free Palestine to be held in Porto Alegre, Brazil from November 28 to December 1, 2012 will bring together activists from around the world organizing for justice in Palestine. Palestinian Queers for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions, Pinkwatching Israel, and alQaws: for sexual and gender diversity in Palestinian society are working with Palestinian partners to establish the formal structure of this year’s forum. Through this channel we aim to foreground the importance of sexual politics in the analysis of Israeli settler colonialism and occupation, promote issues of sexuality and queer politics as a key aspect of the Palestinian Liberation Struggle and, mobilize local and international activist and social movements around queer visions, BDS, and pinkwashing.
Dear Friends –
The Equality Forum, an annual LGBTQ conference held in Philadelphia, has announced that Israel is their featured nation for 2012, and they have invited the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, to deliver the keynote speech.
Ambassador Oren, who personally has an atrocious record of supporting Israel’s war crimes and was the object of a demonstration by students in 2010 at UC Irvine (the Irvine 11), has no business delivering the keynote speech at a conference dedicated to social justice and equality. This year’s Equality Forum conference, which is partnered with the Israeli Embassy in Washington and the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, is a flagrant form of Pinkwashing.
We, Palestinian Queers for BDS (PQBDS) and Pinkwatching Israel, are appalled by the Equality Forum’s decision to highlight Israel as the featured nation of their 2012 Summit in Philadelphia this May. While attempting to celebrate the purported advancements of LGBT civil rights within Israeli society, the Equality Forum is partnering with the Israeli Embassy in Washington and the Israeli Ministry of Tourism in promoting the Tel Aviv gay tourism agenda. Even more disturbing is the Equality Forum’s willingness to provide Israel with a platform to market itself as a state that protects human rights. We call upon the Equality Forum leadership to reverse their complicity in Israel’s propaganda campaign. Continue reading