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Activists Push ‘No Pride in Apartheid’ Boycott Against Israel, Ignoring Gaza Anti-Gay Laws

(GALI TIBBON/AFP via Getty Images)
(GALI TIBBON/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Kate Anderson, Daily Caller News Foundation

The U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) announced a “No Pride In Apartheid” campaign that targets Israel, accusing the Jewish state of “presenting a false image as a queer safe haven” and seemingly ignoring Gaza’s anti-LGBTQ laws.

The campaign’s website included a media toolkit with resources that participants can share online, and it encourages companies and organizations to boycott, divest and sanction (BDS) from Israel to protest the country’s alleged human rights abuses against Palestinians. Cat Knarr, USCPR communications director, accused Israel of “pinkwashing,” which is when a company or country identifies as a supporter of the LGBTQ community but doesn’t truly help the community unless it is beneficial for the brand, and condemned the Jewish state for it’s LGBTQ policies — despite the Gaza Strip having laws on the books prohibiting homosexuality.

“As a queer Palestinian and Colombian person, I’ve watched in rage as right-wing politicians have attacked our rights as LGBTQIA+ people, banning trans-affirming medical care, fomenting queerphobic rhetoric, and actively endangering my queer and trans loved ones,” Knarr wrote. “Meanwhile, I’ve seen Zionists spew racist hate against us, wishing violent harm on queer Palestinians. The Israeli apartheid state surveils, blackmails, and harasses our queer Palestinian people. All while presenting a false image as a queer safe haven to cover up its violent colonialism—a practice known as pinkwashing.”

Knarr announced the campaign for Pride month as a way for Palestinian activists to engage in “bold resistance” against “Israeli apartheid and the U.S. police” that put trangender people and minorities at risk, according to the website.

Knarr also criticized the Jewish state for “banning trans-affirming medical care,” but the country lowered the age someone can get sex-change medical procedures from 21 to 18 in 2014, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Homosexuality is currently legal in Israel and, in 2021, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz introduced new policies to lower wait times for transgender surgeries, according to The Jerusalem Post.

In the Gaza Strip homosexuality is outlawed under a 1936 British Mandate and can be punished by up to 10 years in prison, according to Human Rights Watch. In 2022, a gay Palestine man, who had reportedly faced hostility from his neighbors due to his sexuality, was found beheaded and decapitated at the torso by police in the West Bank, according to The Associated Press.

USCPR did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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