Det er skremmende og tragisk at noen mennesker tyr til vold – og norske medier kan drive enda mer jødebashing.
Krefter blant de ultraortodokse jødene, de av dem som ikke respekterer demokratiske beslutninger, som drepte statsminister Rabin, er en utfordring for det åpne israelske samfunnet.
Israel er det eneste landet i Midtøsten som anerkjenner menneskerettigheter og ytringsfrihet. Heldigvis, i Israel blir ugjerningsmenn tatt, og forhåpentlig blir de dømt.
I Egypt, Syria, Libya, Iran osv. er det overhodet ikke mulig å holde en homoparade, voldsbruken ville være sanksjonert av myndighetene og ugjerningsmenene ville fått beskyttelse. Antagelig ville ugjerningsmennene være politi, sendt av myndighetene.
Palestinske og arabiske homofile finner friheten i Israel. Vi skal nok vente lenge på en parade i Gaza, det kommer kanskje aldri til å skje. At det i det hele tatt finner sted en homoparade i Jerusalem, forteller mer om det israelske samfunnet enn knivstikkerne gjør. De ortodokse har lov å protestere; grensen går ved vold.
Tre mennesker ble knivstukket da en ultra-ortodoks jøde angrep deltakerne i en homo-parade i Jerusalem torsdag kveld. En mann og to kvinner ble sendt til sykehus, og tilstanden til den ene var natt til fredag alvorlig. Angriperen, som var iført de ortodokse jødenes tradisjonelle svarte klær, ble raskt overmannet av politiet og ført bort.
Både jødiske, kristne og muslimske ledere hadde på forhånd protestert og forsøkt å stanse årets homo-parade i Jerusalem, der lettkledde og feststemte homofile danset og kysset seg gjennom byens gater.
Jerusalems ultra-ortodokse borgermester Uri Lupolianski nedla forbud og kalte homo-paraden en provokasjon som ville opprøre byens innbyggere og besøkende. Israels innenriksminister Ofir Pines opphevet imidlertid forbudet. Rasende jøder forsøkte å stanse torsdagens marsj ved hjelp av en stinkbombe, og lot skjellsordene hagle over deltakerne langs ruta.
The stabbing attack was the most serious in a series of incidents involving opponents of the gay and lesbian gathering. Police said that some 200 religious protesters gathered at the parade’s starting point, the downtown offices of the Jerusalem Open House, the gay and lesbian community center that organized the fourth annual parade.
Protesters tried to stop the march by throwing a stink bomb, but some 2,000 participants marched on through the center of Jerusalem regardless, braving shouts and insults from protesters, most of them young ultra-Orthodox men.
The march proceeded despite the violence. «It took many years for Jerusalem to have a Gay Pride parade,» said participant Moshik Toledano, 39, «but once it happens, it makes no difference if the ultra-Orthodox come here and try to stop it.»
Throughout the Moslem world homosexuality is a taboo, punishable in several countries by death. On the West Bank and Gaza women or men who have sex with people of the same sex face imprisonment and torture. They are also rejected by their families and the rest of society. Several hundred Palestinian gays and lesbians have fled to Israel. Because they’re Palestinian, they’re illegal and cannot readily obtain asylum in Israel. But having tried in Israel, it is virtually impossible to obtain asylum in another country, as you can only apply for asylum once.
Lesbians and gay men from OutRage! and the Queer Youth Alliance joined today’s demonstration in London to support the human rights of the people of Palestine. But they also urged the Palestinian Authority to halt the arrest, torture and murder of homosexuals.
(P)rotester Peter Tatchell said:
«Gay Palestinians live in fear of arrest, detention without trial, torture and execution at the hands of Palestinian police and security services. They also risk abduction and so-called honour killing by vengeful family members and vigilante mobs, as well as punishment beatings and murder by Palestinian political groups such as Hamas and Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement».
It’s difficult to separate information about Palestinian gays from the Israeli gay scene. Since Palestine is a very homophobic culture many Palestinian gays and lesbians are forced against their cultural and religious will to hide in Israel where homosexuality is much more acceptable and, indeed, protected.
The Jerusalem Open House, a one-of-kind organization that provides supports for gays and lesbians in Jerusalem and in the West Bank, is helping to publicize their case. «In many ways [Selim] should have been the poster boy of the Oslo agreement,» says Hagai El-Ad, the organization’s director. «He was engaged in terror during the first intifada, and now after a turn-about he’s in love and living with an Israeli.» El-Ad hopes to raise Selim’s plight with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in a meeting that could take place as early as today; the group wants Sharon’s government to blast bureaucratic hurdles and give Selim the Jerusalem ID papers he badly needs. (El-Ad knows of at least one precedent when the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin granted residency rights to a Palestinian from Gaza who wanted to live with his partner in Tel Aviv.)
A number of gay Palestinian men are risking their lives to cross the border into Israel, claiming they feel safer among Israelis than their own people.
«Sometimes the Israeli secret police try to recruit them, sometimes the Palestinian police try to recruit them. In the end they find themselves falling between all chairs. Nobody wants to help them, everybody wants to use them.»
However, many Palestinian gays say they would still rather live under house arrest in Israel, where homosexuality is not considered a crime, than at home.
Civil rights campaigners in Israel are trying to stop the deportation of a Palestinian homosexual back to the Gaza Strip, where they say he faces death threats.
They say he is one of nine Palestinian homosexuals arrested in Israel over the past two months as part of a crackdown on Palestinians who have entered the country illegally.
On Thursday, two Palestinian homosexuals were reportedly sent back to the West Bank after sheltering in Israel for the past two years.
He warned that if the 21-year-old Palestinian homosexual is deported to the Gaza Strip on Sunday, «there is no way that he is going to stay alive there».
1998, første parade i Israel:
Steven, an immigrant from Hoboken, N.J., who has been a gay-rights activist both in Israel and the United States, confirms that «it’s good to be gay in Israel.»
«In many ways, Israel is way ahead of the U.S.,» says Steven, who like many interviewed gave only his first name. «You cannot be refused for military service in Israel because you are gay, evicted from your home or fired from your job like in some places in America.»
And Israeli homosexuals say progress is not only limited to laws ensuring their rights, but it extends to their acceptance in society — at least in Tel Aviv, where the fervently religious are not as powerful as they are in Jerusalem.