Saturday, June 23, 2012

Will QUIT silence Palestinian Queer voices?

Rumors abound that extremists from QUIT (Queers Undermining Israeli Terror) are planning on disrupting tonight's showing of "The Invisible men" at the Frameline LGBT film festival. Premiered at the Amnesty International Film Festival (Movies that Matter) this film won the special jury award at the Tel Aviv International Documentary Film Festival.

QUIT, along with the Arab Resource Organizing Center has picketed the film festival before, because they dare show Israeli films, and take support from the Israeli consulate to facilitate this. After several years of having their picket lines ignored by theater go-ers, QUIT organizers discussed ratcheting the pressure up a notch- by entering the theater and disrupting the film. They've already expressed their disdain for Frameline by vandalizing posters promoting the festival.

Just what are they blindly protesting against?

From the Times of Israel

The Invisible Men’presents the untold narratives of Louie, 32 years old, a gay Palestinian who has been hiding in Tel Aviv for the past 8 years; Abdu, 24 years old, who was exposed as gay in Ramallah and then accused of espionage and tortured by Palestinian security forces; and Faris, 23 years old, who escaped to Tel Aviv from the West Bank after his family tried to kill him.”

Asked about allegations of "pinkwashing" Yariv Mozer narrator, writer and film producer of the "Invisible men" replied

"I just don’t see the connection between gay rights and the occupation. The facts are that Israel is undoubtedly much more tolerant towards gay rights and against homophobia incomparably to the situation in the Palestinian occupied territories, as in the whole Arab world. Unfortunately, the Palestinian conservative society does not respect human rights in general, and that includes for example women rights and of course gay rights.

Another undeniable fact is that Palestinian people are still under the occupation in all of its faults.

I don’t think that there is an official Israeli policy to highlight gay rights in order to undermine the occupation and its consequences.

Abdu said a smart thing during one of our last screenings: the day the Palestinian people will liberate themselves, they will be liberated from the Occupation.

It’s a radical thing for a Palestinian to say, but it’s the smartest conception of the conflict."

Queers Undermining Israeli Terror haven't quite made the intellectual leap that there's a big difference between being pro-Palestinian and being anti-Israel. Will QUIT firmly establish itself as a hate group in the Bay area by silencing the already marginilized voices of Palestinian queers? Or will they ultimately chose to open their hearts and minds and actually listen to the stories of those they claim to support? We will find out this evening.

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