From an article written by originally appearing in the South Florida Gay News.
In his article, "Queers for Palestine. What do they stand for?", David ponders the question, "Can the queer movement can align itself to the Palestinian liberation movement?", reminding his readers that according to a 2010 report published by the International Lesbian and Gay Association homosexuality is illegal in the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip, and is punishable by up to ten years in prison.
|Sign at Frameline Film festival counterprotest :Queers for Palestine is like Turkeys for Thanksgiving|
David brings up an incident several months ago, when a venerable San Francisco institution, Ciff's Variety Store was besieged by QUIT, a self identified queer anti-Israel group. Why would a queer group harass a local institution with a clear commitment to individual freedoms?
On Christmas Eve, 2012, representatives from QUIT Palestine (Queers Undermining Israeli Terror) entered Cliff’s Variety, a family owned hardware and housewares store in San Francisco’s predominately gay Castro district. The store first opened its doors in 1932.
“They did not identify themselves when they entered the store,” Cliff’s manager Martha Jasten said to SFGN. “We felt ambushed. I had no idea what they’re after.”
After singing a mock Christmas Carol, the protesters loudly announced that the store was supporting the allegedly apartheid and genocidal policies of the Israeli government towards the Palestinian people. Store employees and security guards took the protesters by their arms and physically escorted them off the premises....
Cliff’s Variety has been a vocal supporter of LGBT equality since the 1970s, according to Jasten.“The weekend after Black Friday is set aside as a fundraiser for the Harvey Milk Academy,” she said. “We also donate to the AIDS Emergency Fund.” The Milk Academy is a high school for LGBT youth located a few blocks from the store. The AIDS Emergency Fund provides financial assistance to low-income people with AIDS.
QUIT also regularly protests the Frameline LGBT film festival. David points out that QUIT spokesperson Kate Raphael has stated that QUIT takes no position on marriage equality, yet posted on her Facebook page “We’re here, we’re Queer, and we don’t want marriage equality.” Why would a queer group consistently take positions that undermine the voices of the LGBT community? It begs the question-how much of their actions are motivated by perverse contrarian pathology, rather than a genuine desire for social change?
Incidentally, nine months of unrelenting attacks on Cliff's appear to have ended. Sodastream is still being sold, and QUIT is searching for a new target, one perhaps with a bit less backbone than Cliff's.