We are many LGBTI+ organizations and activists who have been outragedupon reading the tribune “Pro-Hamas LGBT: you might as well say “Turkeys vote for Christmas” » from Fiertés Citoyennes. We exercise our right of reply here.
In this column, the Fiertés Citoyennes association accuses a certain number of LGBTI+ organizations of “ implicitly supporting Hamas abuses ” and so ” to sharpen the blade of their executioner “.
This rhetoric, which consists of discrediting any criticism of the State of Israel by characterizing its authors as supporters of Hamas, or in other cases anti-Semites, is intolerable. It aims to create a climate of intellectual terror and self-censorship to stifle any contradictory and nuanced debate on the horror currently experienced in Israel and Palestine.
We know the weight of humiliation
Because yes, we were horrified by the massacres of Israeli civilians during the surprise attack of October 7, just as we are horrified to see the carnage that our governments allow to wreak in Gaza, day after day.
We find intolerable the exploitation of our struggles to silence legitimate criticism of Israel’s expansionist and colonial policies, as well as the apartheid regime imposed on the Palestinian people (as recognized in the reports of Amnesty International, B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch and the UN).
As LGBTI+ and heirs of a long history of struggles, we know the weight of humiliation, denial of rights, injustice, persecution and assassinations. To live up to this history and what makes us human, we will always stand alongside those who fight for their dignity and against the injustices they suffer. It is within this framework that we support the rights of the Palestinian people.
It is of course no secret that the reactionary and Islamist Hamas movement is homophobic. But associating all Palestinians with the homophobia of Hamas and therefore considering that their struggle for security, equality and justice should not be heard, is essentialist and racist. This homonationalist vision where we Westerners would be the defenders of LGBTI+ rights in the face of a barbaric and homophobic “Arab world” is one of the axes of the “clash of civilizations” strategy.
Defending human rights is not a transaction to conclude a deal, in which we wait for our rights to be recognized to in turn recognize those of others.
Take the first step… It is in this act of recognition of the unconditional humanity of others that our own human dignity is revealed.
Legitimate of the Palestinian people
An example illustrates this well. On November 10, 2019, during the demonstration against Islamophobia in Paris, the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” were present. For more than forty years, these queer activists, half good sisters, half drag queens, have been supporting the LGBTI+ community and carrying a message of peace and intercommunity dialogue. That day they were surrounded by women, veiled or not, who thanked them for being there and took photos with them. Their sign read: “ We love our sisters both under sail and under steam. #sorority “.
We therefore support the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people, just as we support Palestinian LGBTI+ organizations. But we refuse any paternalistic posture which would dictate to them how they must free themselves from the LGBTI+phobia that they suffer.
AlQaws and Aswat, the main Palestinian LGBTI+ organizations, are clear on this subject: the liberation of the Palestinian LGBTI+ cannot be achieved without the liberation of Palestine.Because how can we imagine that the demands of sexual and gender minorities can be brought forward and heard in fragmented territories, which are subject to colonization, apartheid and a suffocating blockade? In Gaza, LGBTI+ people are not spared from the bombings. Their daily struggle is not to survive as LGBTI+, but just as human beings.
Palestinian civil society organizations are calling on us to put economic pressure on Israel by joining the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) Campaign, as long as Israel does not comply with international law. Boycott is a strategy of non-violent struggle that has proven successful in the past, such as in South Africa where it helped put an end to the apartheid regime.
Association Passages, the queer and feminist house
Brest La Trans
It’s Fashion in New York! (LGBT beauty salon)
CARTE (Collective of Actions and Research against Transphobia and the Far Right)
Marseille LGBTQIA Center
Queer TPG Film Club
Intersex Activist Collective OII France
NRE.FM collective (queer and educational podcasts)
Paris Queer Antifa Collective
Transgender Support Collective Strasbourg
Idaho France Committee
Palestine Film Festival (FCP)
Pride of Carcassonne
The Pride Arena
La Pote and dare
The LGBT+ Corner
LGBT for Palestine
Lesbians of Color (LOCs group)
Anti-racist Feminist March
Our Trans Voices
Oy gevalt!, anti-racist queer Jewish collective
Let’s Talk Trans
PD The Review
Queer Cinema for Palestine
Queer Racialized Empowered
Savie ASBL NGO – France
Libertarian Communist Union
YBY Éditions, queer activist publishing house
Alexandra Dols (director)
Arthur Gillet (artist)
Benjamin Toix (queer activist, former coordinator of the BAAM LGBT center)
Cédric Aurelle (exhibition curator)
Cy Lecerf Maulpoix (author)
Didier Lestrade (co-founder of Act Up-Paris and Têtu)
Éric Stephany (artist)
Fabrice Gaubiac (associate professor)
Florian Gaité (philosopher, activist)
Frederic Cornet (Palestine with love film festival)
Gérardo Ramos (member of the David & Jonathan association)
Gianfranco Rebucini (anthropologist and queer activist)
Hanane Ameqrane (aka @Lady Gaza, lesbian immigration and suburbs activist)
Jean Schneider (member of the David & Jonathan association)
Jena Pham Selle (trans activist from the Vietnamese diaspora)
Laurent Baudoin (member of the David & Jonathan association)
Laurent Micheli (director)
Leïla Saadna (French-Algerian director)
Léo Kloeckner (teacher)
Léonie Pernet (musician)
Lilian Roturier (former Aides Toulouse volunteer)
Marc-Antoine Bartoli, prevention coordinator of Act Up-Paris
Mélie Chen (editor and translator)
Meriem Bennani (Artist)
Olivier Coutor (member of the David & Jonathan association)
Pascale Ourbih (actress, activist, ex-president of the “Chéries-Chéris” festival)
Philippe Mangeot (ex-president of Act Up-Paris, co-writer of “120 beats per minute”)
Rima Barrack (author)
Robert SIMON (president of Solidarité Internationale LGBTQI)
Ron Naiweld (historian of Judaism)
Thierry Schaffauser (sex worker)
Xavier Dubois (PCF)
Yael Lerer (activist for justice and equality in Israel/Palestine)
Yann Beauvais (filmmaker)