June 2, 2011

How fire spreads: Jerusalem Post jumps on the "Center is anti-Israel" message

A new article from the Jerusalem Post calls the LGBT Center "anti-Israel" and says that anti-occupation queers are just providing "a fig leaf for Arab homophobia." Wait -- it just reports that other people are saying that. But you'd have to do some real filtering to understand that the JPost isn't endorsing that view.

In truth, the Center's board and staff are the farthest thing from anti-Israel: if anything, they appear to be so apolitical that they default to "shh, don't say anything about the Occupation!" And queer anti-occupation activists support Palestinian queers' demand to end occupation as a starting point for opening up civil society. But that matters not to sensationalist reporting.

This is the kind of baseless but effective pressure tactic that makes middle-of-the-road organizations buckle -- unless they have some core principles about free speech, openness and truth. The LGBT Center has not been strong on any of that lately, so this is worrisome.


NY LGBT Center slammed as center of anti-Israel activityBy BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
06/01/2011 23:58

Manhattan institution providing fig leaf for Arab homophobia, Wiesenthal Center says.
New York City LGBT Community Center’s decision to host an event of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid last week has drawn sharp criticism. 
Prominent US gays and the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Wednesday laced into the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Center and Queers Against Israeli Apartheid. 
Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Wiesenthal Center’s international director, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that Queers Against Israeli Apartheid was a group of “self-hating gays” who “are working against the interests of their own brothers and sisters and should be shunned by all LGBT NGOs. By accepting them, the New York center is providing a fig leaf for Arab homophobia.”

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