In the Wake of the Murder of Shira Banki Israeli Bigotry Comes to the Fore
Israel likes to portray itself as the gay capital of the civilised world. ‘Go to Tehran or Gaza where they hang gays’ Netanyahu tells his anti-Zionist critics. The reality is that most Israelis oppose any form of equal rights for gays, the major nationalist party in the Coalition, HaBayit HaYehudi believes being gay is an ‘abomination’.
|Students at the High School where Shira Banki was a student|
One of the Jewish Home’s MK’s Bezalel Smotrich organised in 2006 a ‘Beast Parade‘ featuring donkeys and animals in a portrayal of the ‘abomination’ of being gay.
|Bezalel Smotrich – organised ‘beast parade’ in Jerusalem – part of governing coalition|
The YNet video is interesting because it shows the true attitudes of Israelis to gays. You cannot separate off racism against Arabs and Palestinians from other forms of bigotry. The attack on Jerusalem’s Gay Pride demonstration should be condemned without hesitation by all civilised people but it also means conclusions should be drawn that Jewish Israeli gays should support Palestinians who are under attack from the settlers and those who believe in a ‘Jewish’ state.
|The murderer – Ultra Orthodox Schlissel had only just been released after similar crime in 2005|
The backward attitude of Arabs is often brought to the fore, but this is not the same. Firstly Palestinian like the wider Arab society is a product of the same imperialist forces that created Israel. Israel is an advanced capitalist society unlike Gaza and the West Bank which are primarily agricultural societies. It is only in the past decade or so in Europe that discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation has been outlawed and in countries like Ireland only this year that the right to gay marriage has been legalised (in Israel there is no such right).
What is true is that anti-gay attitudes in Arab society was largely introduced by western colonialism, as it was in Africa. But in Israel, although anti-gay attitudes are just as common in Arab as Jewish areas there is one difference. The attacks on gay people come from Jewish Orthodoxy and nationalist groups not Palestinians.
|Tel Aviv Rally Against Murder of Shira Banki|
But just in case you were taken in by the Pinkwashing of Israel, here is another story. A publicly funded Haredi (Ultra Orthodox) School has Disinvited the President of the Israeli State Reuven Rivlin for his condemnation of the attacks that killed Shira Banki:
Haredi school disinvites Rivlin over gay parade comments
Shas MK condemns decision to cancel president’s visit to Jerusalem school, which was reportedly ordered by rabbinic leadership
president Reuven Rivlin from its opening ceremony for the new school
year next week over his support for the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade in
the wake of last month’s stabbing attack at the event.
has generated a hail of criticism online over his denunciation of
racism and homophobia in Israeli society following the attack on the
parade that left five wounded and 16-year-old Shira Banki dead, and the
arson attack by suspected Jewish terrorists in the West Bank village of
Duma that same day that killed 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha and his
the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot, disinvited Rivlin “at the
instruction of its rabbis,” according to an official at the Jerusalem
Municipality who notified the President’s Residence Monday of the