jeudi 10 juin 2010

Where are the gay French Arab voices ?

It’s scary. The French gay debate about Toronto and Madrid is turning so pro-Israel, so anti-Muslim. On French gay news websites, you get only one sound : Israel is a « heaven » for GLBT people in a desert of surrounding nasty Arab countries and we should thank the Jewish country for defending us there. This is a way to shut down the topic about Gaza, about Israeli apartheid or anything that we could do to help the situation of LGBT people in Gaza. And straight people around them too. Once again, here we are : it’s pro-Israeli gays against the rest of the world. This time with a new twist. It’s pro-Israeli good gays against the nasty anti-Israel queens, weither they are in Toronto or Madrid.

I am writing this in English and this is not my language. And I won’t polish my style today, I want this out as soon as possible. I wanna show outside France how weird this thing is turning in Paris.

As you well know by now, Toronto Pride was sad already. The city insisted Toronto Pride had to ban Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from marching. The Toronto city board voted in favour of the ban, which drew many LGBT persons who had won a gay award in the previous years to handle them back in protest. Israeli groups wellcomed the vote and cheered.
In Madrid, the situation is in reverse. The people who organise Pride there decided to ban a float run by someone who, I believe, is very close to the mayor of Tel-Aviv. It’s their right. To me, it just looks like to promo stunt to sell once again the town as the « heaven » of LGBT rights, a very basic ploy to develop gay tourism in Israel. It’s a free country, innit. I even don’t think that those people from Tel-Aviv have a specific agenda to march in Madrid, I mean if they are that good at it why don’t they focus on the Tel-Aviv Gay Pride and expand to Gaza ?

So it’s just propaganda, just like the many porn movies produced but Michael Lucas in the past year, all describing Israel as a porn « heaven » while showing, in the DVD bonuses, how Israel is fab and the others… are not. At one point, they show us the check points and insist they are great for everybody, and they show us the other side of the Dead sea as not so great.
But I’m dwelling there. So, in Madrid, the fight is clearly about propaganda versus apartheid too. It’s the first time the Gaza issue gets on top of the Pride agenda around the world. The clever people who run the Madrid Pride decided that, maybe, it would be kinda gross to endorse a Tel-Aviv delegation a few weeks after the killing of 9 people on a freedom flotilla that is the topic of UN talks. Pro-Israeli groups are jumping out of their seats and scream at antisemitism from Madrid. Now you can't say anything about the governement of Israel, for gays too.

Well, girls, you can’t have it both ways. It’s fascinatiing how our political history is vanishing in front of us. Zackie Achmat told us recently how similar apartheid was in his country and what has happened in Gaza over the last 3 years. We should try to trust people who lived through apartheid. They know better. It’s not only the LGBT people that we want to defend in Gaza. Our fight, as gay people, can’t be seperated from the fight of the Gaza people as a whole. During the 70’s and the 80’s, we were not fighting against apartheid in South Africa because there were LGBT people there. We were doing it for everybody in South Africa.

Now you hear on French websites some incredible shit. Gays guys are saying that they don’t understand why this apartheid thing is being rammed down their throats. They don’t see the link with the gay agenda. « It has nothing to do with our community », they say (and some of them are even Socialists working for the gay mayor of Paris but, hey, they sign their posts under aliases, so much for political courage). So you try to show them a map of the region and explain that Tel-Aviv might be a « heaven » for GLBT people, but it’s just miles away from Gaza where gay and straight people are being crushed in a open air prison. 1.5 million of them.

And what they say, on those websites is this : if Israel is so good at LGBT, we should support Israel, right ? Because we’re gay, right ? So because Israel is so good for us, let’s not focus on the bad things they do to Arab people. Alter all, Arab people never did anything good for gay people, right ?
And that’s when I get pissed off. Is Tel-Aviv marching down in Madrid to show how good it is for gays, or how bad Arab people are ? Do we need another oportunity for Islamophobia ? What is happening to all the gay Arab groups that are popping up in our countries? And the gay Muslim groups too ? Don’t they have a say ? Are all gay people pro-Israel ? None of them is boycotting Tel-Aviv ? You mean, they all want to go there to suck dick ? Or is it that they won’t criticize Israel precisely because they plan on going there to suck dick ?

To put it bluntly. Gay people used to be on a liberal side and now, because we follow the Tel-Aviv house of commerce, we won’t be able to condemn Israel which is using the gay issue to shine around the world ? I’m telling you : there won’t be any Tel-Aviv dick sucking for me, as long as there will be a blocade on Gaza. And this is the only thing we should be concerned about : lift this blocade, lift the apartheid situation, for the Gaza people, not only the LGBT people there. What’s the matter with you gay people ? You defend only your own, now ? Are you turning into a Lady Gaga thing ? Me, myself and I ?

Arab gay people, you have to say : enough of this.

3 commentaires:

Savannah a dit…

merci pour votre mots de solidarité, frère... ils veulent à parler pour les arabes LGBT mais ils ne veulent pas à ecouter aux arabes ils-mêmes... même les arabes LGBT. hypocrisie.

d'une amie en QuAIA, Toronto.

rve a dit…

Nous savons tous plus ou moins comment cela va se terminer. Les religieux de tous bords poussent de plus en plus fort pour faire régresser nos sociétés -- les glbt ne sont finalement que les victimes collatérales de ces régressions qui affectent tous les continents.

L'homophobie d'inspiration juive étant une menace de périmètre constant, il est peut-être abusif de la juger aussi dangereuse que l'homophobie d'inspiration chrétienne ou musulmane.

Mais de toute manière on s'en fout. Israël est condamnée à plus ou moins long terme. Nos droits le sont aussi pour des raisons voisines. C'est certainement à la fois ce que comprennent confusément les gays qui soutiennent Israël contre toute logique, et ce que refusent de voir ceux qui qui prônent l'indifférence. Les jeux sont faits six ways to Sunday, même si j'admire votre optimisme militant.            

maggie a dit…

bravo, didier. these are strange times, with the gay world being recruited as the frontline of western "civilization" against arab "barbarism"... the new orientalism... and sadly so many gay and feminist organizations are all too happy to play this role. important to highlight this, to insist that we used to be for liberation and justice in the broadest sense, not just for a tiny clique of "our people"...