Thursday, April 30, 2009
Pink triangle, blue star posted by Richard SeymourI don't know how I missed this: the Israeli government is trying to dragoon a gay international into supporting its belligerence toward Iran:
This is not the first time that Israeli leaders have sought to appropriate the progressive veneer of other people's struggles. Netanyahu has done it before. In 1999, he reportedly addressed a letter to Israeli gay groups arguing that the Palestinian Authority was anti-gay. Just as Israel's ultimate vindication in the West is that it is "the only democracy in the Middle East" (apart from the other democracies in the Middle East), so in general Israel's apologists are inclined to highlight the comparative liberality of the Zionist state compared to many of its neighbours. Obviously, this is as grotesque and cynical as Bush's attempt to pose as the liberator of womankind while dropping daisy-cutters on women in Afghanistan. And somehow, the idea of Israel promoting itself as the vanguard of gay rights fails to convince. A swaggering, macho garrison state where homophobia is rampant - this is the Stonewall of nation states? A country in which Pride demonstrators have been attacked and stabbed, where an elected politician literally thinks that gay sex can make the earth move (by causing earthquakes), in which the president once referred to gays and lesbians as "disgusting", in which a senior member of Olmert's cabinet referred to queers as "sick people", in which the very presence of gay people in the streets produces riots by demented reactionaries. This is the international prize-fighter whom LGBT people are supposed to get behind? And what's the programme supposed to be? Support gay rights by slaughtering Iranians? I wonder if the PR agents have contacted these people?
The new campaign, to be overseen by the Foreign Ministry, aims to appeal to people who are less concerned with Iran's nuclear aspirations and more fearful of its human rights abuses and mistreatment of minorities, including the gay and lesbian community.
The campaign plans to recruit the international gay community, which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed in 2007 when he said there were no homosexuals living in his country.
The campaign will also reach out to Jewish groups who want to bring more attention to Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial and some members of the Iranian regime's anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist views.
About NIS 8 million have already been budgeted for the new campaign, which also includes increased briefings for foreign journalists on the Iranian nuclear program and greater use of the Internet and sites such as YouTube.