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March 28, 2012

Where's the Coverage? Israel the Best Place in the Middle East - Maybe the World - for LGBT Rights

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Lately, the media has brought us a number of stories about Israel and LGBT rights. New York Magazine featured a story on Manhattan’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in the heart of Greenwich Village. The Center, which rents space to various groups, has at the behest of board members and donors stayed away from hosting groups that organize around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Recently, however, the Center was the site of a protest demanding this policy be changed with organizers claiming, “Palestinian queers have reached out to us.” This is interesting, since Palestinian gays frequently seek asylum in Israel.

On the west coast, the Seattle LBGT Commission canceled a planned March 16 City Hall meeting with gay Israeli leaders over Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, after pressure from activists who said that Israel touts its good record on gay rights to hide what they call poor treatment of Palestinians. This alleged PR campaign of subterfuge is called "pinkwashing" and was brought to prominence through a New York Times op-ed written by lesbian anti-Israel professor Sarah Schulman.

Israel’s gay rights record is undeniable. Israel has by far the most liberal LGBT policies in the Middle East, and the community enjoys acceptance in Israel rivaling that found anywhere. In a world-wide survey conducted by GayCities.com and American Airlines, Tel Aviv was voted the world's best gay travel destination. As CAMERA previously reported:

In the Jewish state, thousands attend annual gay pride parades. Gay rights are well-protected. And, amazingly, scores of homosexual Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank have infiltrated into Israel, preferring to illegally reside in a country long cast as enemy territory than to endure the extreme hostility they would face in their own societies.

Have you heard about Israel’s excellent LGBT rights record? Have you heard about the dangerous circumstances in which members of the community live in the Palestinian-administered territories? Have you heard about the many gay and suspected-gay youth murdered in Iraq? Have you heard about the numerous executions of homosexuals in Iran? Have you heard about the pervasive discrimination the LGBT community faces throughout the Arab and Muslim world?

Where’s the coverage?

Posted by SC at March 28, 2012 01:37 PM

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