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In Photos: Tel Aviv Pride 2012

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  1. It’s great that LGBT people in Israel have their human rights protected, it’s just a shame that Israel doesn’t uphold any other human rights.

    1. bleurgh go away troll

    2. And award for useless troll of the day goes to…

      1. I love how people on here automatically accuse others of trolling when they bring up something they disagree with. It’s a fair point. Their government does have an appalling human rights record. People and governments are two very different things though, so I hope the folk in Tel Aviv had a good one.

      2. Paddyswurds 8 Jun 2012, 8:49pm

        .@ Joey…
        ……Dan

      3. Call me whatever you like but at least I’m not complicit in murder. You zionist apologisers can’t see beyond the end of your dicks!

    3. Do you honestly think that ridiculous generalisations about an entire country is helping the conflict?

      Moron.

      1. When did you start signing your posts?

      2. Spanner1960 10 Jun 2012, 9:18am

        Actually, Yes.
        It’s about time somebody mentioned the elephant in the room instead being accused of anti-Semitism every time Israel gets criticised for something.

        1. Of course some criticism of Israel is anti semitism – but not all.

    4. What are the other human rights Israel doesn’t uphold?

      1. Paddyswurds 8 Jun 2012, 8:53pm

        Look it up moron, it is all over the internet, name any Human Right and the Israelis are breaking it in Gaza. Pity they didn’t learn from their history….oh wait they did and now they are doing the same to the Palestinians……

        1. I just looked it up and found it is illegal to be gay in gaza! You’d get 10 years in prison if you lived there paddy. So I suppose you’d try and move to Israel if you did.

          1. Spanner1960 10 Jun 2012, 9:27am

            How about Palestinian kids chucking rocks at Israel, so they respond with helicopter gunships?

            The trouble is, people like you don’t WANT to believe.
            I have been through this all before with others like you, and given reams of evidence, both documented and photographic, but apparently it’s all been doctored and is just Arab propaganda.

          2. There is the first Gay Pride in Gaza tomorrow, James E

            The legislative state of LGBT civil rights in the Palestinian territories is unexceptional from the majority of other laws, and discrimination owes as much to the provisional nature of the Palestinian Authority’s civil powers and to the unsettled nature of the existence of Palestine as a territorial entity as it does to any judicial agenda or consistently pursued religious or secular homophobic prejudices. Whilst the West Bank has made steps to decriminalise homosexuality; Gaza has adopted former British Palestine laws on many issues including homosexuality but has no consistency in application of them.

          3. At least you have learned something today, dimwit. Now go away, Kylie needs you…

        2. So everything you know about the Gaza Strip and Judea/Samaria (what you probably call “the West Bank”), you’ve learned from the internet? Mazal Tov! If the internet is your reference, try searching for “the truth about Palestine. Watch the following video and its successive ones on the same site: http://youtu.be/QAuBc_cbXo0

          No one in Israel claims to be perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot better there than the rest of the region and many other places around the world.

      2. @ James – no doubt you can recite the lyrics to every Lady GAga hit backwards…

        1. No. I don’t know any lady gaga songs. And what has she got to do with this story? I don’t get your question.

    5. man, you are what’s wrong with this world. do everyone a favor and try to find your brain.

    6. How are lgbt people treated in Palestine?

  2. Woof Woof. Some very sexy men at Tel Aviv Pride. (one or two less so) …

  3. How I wish our weather was as good! But Israel is a lone beacon of equality surrounded as it is by virulently homophobic countries. Who can forget those 2sixteen year olds hung from cranes in Iran?

    1. Spanner1960 10 Jun 2012, 9:58am

      Equality with regard to sexuality, maybe, but very little else.
      This is a shiny patch on a very dirty reputation.

      1. On the whole it is, Spanner

        However, that does not mean Pride should not happen.

        Use Pride as a tool to persuade and change.

        Most of us who see Pride in Tel Aviv as a good thing (including many of the organisers and participants – and in different ways myself) are involved in other campaigning or work to support people in the Occupied Territories and encourage, persuade or “force” the Israeli Govt to change.

        1. The Israeli Government I am sure would change when your ‘beloved’ Palestinians stop firing rockets into Israel or shouting about how they will wipe Israel off the map.

      2. So, how much time have you spent in Israel seeing for yourself, instead of relying on biased news sources, such as the BBC? Is your opinion based on your experience or what you’ve ‘heard’ or ‘read on the internet,’ which must mean it was true (sic)!

  4. Shalom, now those are some hot guys, wish I were there. Keep the peace and remember always fight for freedom and equal rights for all. Shalom

    1. “freedom and equal rights for all”

      Haha, that’s a good one!

  5. I was there today. Tel Aviv is a truly incredible city!! I’m in awe still!! (and in one of the pics too ;) )

    1. Which pic?

      1. Actually I’m in 2 of em :)

        1. Curious to know which ones!

          1. Really, Stu. This ISN’T Manhunt!!

          2. Whats ManHunt?

          3. Like you don’t know!!!! :)

          4. I didn’t until I looked it up!

            Its a bit tame for me though ;-)

    2. Paddyswurds 8 Jun 2012, 8:48pm

      @Dan…
      …..You should have gone to Gaza and seen the incredible sights there… Awe wouldn’t be the reaction you would have had. Horrified more like.

      1. Erm… no thanks!

      2. I don’t think he’d get very far in Gaza either wearing just shorts or carrying a rainbow flag. Gazans tend not to like gays very much. Though, maybe you can start the Gaza City Pride Parade. Take pics, hon.

  6. Paddyswurds 8 Jun 2012, 8:45pm

    A few dozen pampered Israeli queens mince about in Tel Aviv without a care in the world boasting about the rights they have…..Meanwhile in Gaza children go to sleep hungry, Hospitals have no medicines, people have to walk miles for water and food is rationed……and Israeli helicopter gunships rain down phosphorous bombs on children and their schools.
    What about their rights??.
    Pink News should be thoroughly ashamed to post such a charade while the illegitimate State of Israel flaunts Human Rights of Millions……

    1. Why don’t you go there then with your rainbow flag

      1. Paddyswurds 8 Jun 2012, 9:16pm

        @Dan…
        …….I tried to do my bit for humanity and this is what happened…..http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-202_162-6550509.html

        1. that’s because you tried entering through Israeli territorial waters. Go to Egypt and enter Gaza through Rafiah.

          1. Paddyswurds 9 Jun 2012, 10:51am

            International Waters isn’t Israel moron….

    2. Spanner1960 10 Jun 2012, 9:19am

      Careful Paddy. PN is Jewish owned and run.
      Not that I would expect any political bias, you understand…

    3. you should take your head of your ass, excuse me, you arse, and learn before you type some garbage that you clearly know nothing about. If the so-called Palestinians cared about their children and didn’t bomb Israel only to then use children as human shields, things would be a lot different. do tell, why doesn’t a single Arab country lift a finger to help this “poor Palestinians?” Got an answer for that one, ‘mate?’

  7. Any undisrupted pride parade is better than none. It’s just a pity this will be used by Zionists to suggest Israel’s human rights record is anything more than abysmal.

    1. Shake Spear 9 Jun 2012, 2:37pm

      Unlike those Arab/Islamic countries which set the standard for human rights, huh? Once more… THERE WAS NEVER A PALESTINE. Just a ragtag of Arab nomads who have been strategically placed and kept on Israel’s borders in order to push Islamic supremacism and the eventual annihilation of Jews – which is Islam’s ultimate global goal. The ‘Palestinians’ should have been moved on decades ago – via whatever means necessary. Think for yourself for once. Or let us see you campaign against Iran and ITS human rights abuses. Or is that not a fashionable enough cause for you?

      1. Paddyswurds 9 Jun 2012, 4:44pm

        Obviously you haven’t read the comments on this thread or don’t understand plain English. I pointed out why I as an Irishman am totally in the Palestine camp Their plight is exactly the same as that endured by the Irish for over 800 years when our country was invaded by the English and we were dispossessed of our land and living and were starved off the face of the earth in our millions, exactly the same as the way the despotic and illegal state of Israel is doing to the people of Palestine. I have no interest in what is happening in Iran or Saudi Arabia. They aren’t dispossessing anyone from their own lands and murdering children in their beds from helicopter gunships.
        When you say Palestinians should have been moved on decades ago by whatever means necessary, exactly what do you mean?…extermination camps perhaps? Explain yourself you ignorant zionist pig!

  8. Paddyswurds 8 Jun 2012, 11:20pm

    This disgraceful story and the reaction to it by people supposedly concerned about rights, Gay or otherwise, is sickening.
    What about basic Human Rights of the Palestinian people
    It makes me ashamed to call myself a gay man and to be associated with such uncaring airheads.
    What the phuc is the matter with you people. Children are starving and dying in Gaza while all you can think about is a what amounts to a meat market in Tel Aviv….. Y’all should be thoroughly ashamed of yourselves. Some I am not surprised at but there are one or two who have disappointed me greatly and you know who you are……Shame on you all….Frankly you don’t deserve the air you breathe.

    1. And this is the fault of the LGBT community? It’s people like you who treat this like a football match that prolong the conflict. You think that by declaring a hatred of “Zionists” – and by extension, for no logical purpose, the inclusion of all Israelis – and by vindicating Hamas of any responsibility, that you will bring this to an end.

      If you want to help, start by contributing in the discrediting of the murderous Hamas and helping the likes of Fatah and Abbas, to build a strong democratic opposition to the complacent Israeli government of Netanyahu. You’ll achieve nothing by blaming dying children on a gay pride parade.

      1. Paddyswurds 9 Jun 2012, 12:35am

        @Mark…
        ……you do nothing for your argument by being disingenuous …; “You’ll achieve nothing by blaming dying children on a gay pride parade.”
        Nowhere did I say the dying children was the fault of a gay pride parade. However what you conveniently ignore is the nonchalance with which people seeking rights for themselves ignore the rights of others especially the poor and downtrodden. What had for instance Aid ships laden with nothing but food and medicines from Ireland have to do with Hamas or any other group in Gaza, yet the Zionists hijacked the ships on the high seas (in international waters) and brought them to an Israeli port where the entire cargoes of five ships disappeared right from under our noses. You will never persuade me that what the Israelis are doing in Palestine is just and for gay people to be carrying on in Tel Aviv as if Israel was a state that respected the rights of those it dispossessed is horrendous. For Shame……..

        1. At no point in my comment did I justify Israeli actions in Gaza. Like I said, you treat this like a football match. You’re either a Hamas-lover or a hardcore Zionist, right? No. For God’s sake, stop picking sides. Both have made faults and both have crucial arguments to make.

          Israeli’s random attacks on shipping is disgraceful, but you can at least sympathise with it; that Hamas are being armed by Lebanon and Iran is cause for concern for them, given Hamas’ open support for killing random Israelis (and no, I’m not saying that Israel’s retaliations are always justified either).

          Are you referring to the Gaza flotilla? To be honest, I’ve got little sympathy with it. It brings few supplies into the country, but it’s leaders enjoy having their photos taken with the Hamas leadership (who are doing far more to hurt the Palestinians than the Israeli government, sadly). In other words it’s a symbolic show of support for thugs and murderers.

          1. I disagree with Mark about the Flotilla- that is a flagrant breach of human rights and international law by the Israelis.

            However, I do think the jumping on this story by some people in the LGBT communities is no better than the crude manipulation of LGBT rights to disguise their inhumane policies. Yes, we need to condemn wrongful acts by Israel (and others) and, where possible, act to prevent them. However, condemning those participating in pride because we do not like Israeli government policies is crude manipulation of an event supporting LGBT rights to attack a different issue.

      2. di you even know what gay pride is about? It about respect and freedom for everyone not just a fewprivileged white gay right wing men.

        1. So we should support those who are celebrating their rights and also working to support those who are deprived those rights elsewhere – as many in the Israeli LGBT community do – particularly with regards Palestine, many risking being prosecuted or harmed for the support they give LGBT Palestinian people. Condeming Tel Aviv pride is condeming the wrong people.

      3. Spanner1960 10 Jun 2012, 9:41am

        Just because you are gay, does that exclude you from voting, governing, even being in the militia? You cannot stand back and say “I’m gay and Israeli, so this doesn’t concern me.”

        1. I certainly am not suggesting that LGBT people in Israel are saying this does not concern them due to their orientation. Indeed, I am saying quite the opposite. Many LGBT people in Israel are seeking to support LGBT people in the occuppied territories at great risk to themselves and are opposing many govt approaches to the situation the Israeli govt has in place.

          Using Pride as a tool to condemn the Israeli Govt is using the wrong tool.

          1. Spanner1960 11 Jun 2012, 12:43pm

            Then what else is it for?

          2. Celebrating rights achieved and seeking more.

            Condeming LGBT equality is not the purpose of Pride.

            Particularly when it is not a government organised event.

    2. Sure, conflict still rules the region, a complex and bloody dispute about land, history and religion decades in the making.

      That does not mean that LGBT rights in Israel are a bad thing – they are an amazing thing set against the conflict and against regional LGBT rights.

      Tel Aviv has been voted the most gay-friendly city in the world and has even been called the “Mecca” for gay Palestinians, but rights advocates say the good press is actually a mask covering Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in general, considered by many human rights organizations and observers to be a persecuted group. That is not a condemnation of gay rights but of other human rights issues. The blame should not be at the feet of gay people exercising their freedoms but at the political leaders in the region.

      AGUDA a LGBT community group in Tel Aviv support Palestinian gay refugees. Pride is for them too.

      1. Paddyswurds 9 Jun 2012, 12:44am

        I see gay people carrying on in Tel Aviv as if Israel was a haven of Human Rights, as no different to cricketers going to South Africa during Apartheid. It is sickening frankly and I as an Irishman could not possibly countenance any other reaction than that which I do.
        We have been where the Palestinian People find themselves and we have the history to prove it…. We were also dispossessed by a despotic power and if you know your history you will understand my position.

        1. Israel’s DOMESTIC policy is fantastic; Arabs, Jews, LGBT, women, etc. But it’s foreign policy is a disgrace – and indeed a good argument can be made for saying that the West Bank/Gaza is a parasite of its domestic policy. That’s the issue. But giving undo emphasis on Israel as the biggest abuser of human rights in the region is pathetic. I’d rather live in Israel than Saudi Arabia thank you very much.

        2. So would you say that Israeli LGBT people should not have a Pride event where they live because of the political situation?

          Would you say they should hide their orientation under a cloud because of the political situation?

          Would you have advised the same in Cape Town or Jo’burg during Apartheid?

          I wouldnt. I would tell people is Israel and South Africa to be honest about who they are and proud of who they are. Indeed, that is what many did during the era of Apartheid in South Africa. It is what people are doing in Israel.

          Should people celebrating their own identity and freedoms in South Africa or Israel be able to invite friends etc to join them during Pride – hell, yes.

          Is staying away from Pride really sending a political mesage to the masters of the political situation in Israel and surrounding territories about anything? Not really.

          Are Israeli and non-Israeli LGBT people who would or do attend pride able to campaign and raise legitimate concerns about the Palestinian and

          1. Gaza situation in clear, demonstrable ways that have more influence than merely not attending an event? Yes, and many many do.

            The situation in Israel, Gaza and Palestine is not the fault of the LGBT communities. Indeed many Israeli LGBT communtiy groups supprot Palestinians especially those who seek asylum (recognising the double dangers the asylum seekers may face).

            Suggesting Pride should not take place damages LGBT people in Israel and elsewhere for an issue which is not their fault and which they are often seeking to campaign on in other manners.

            So sure, the political situation is sorely wrong in the area – but find you target – the answer to this problem is not in banning Tel Aviv pride or criticising those who partake in it (who often are campaigning in other ways in the issues that concern you).

          2. I would agree that LGBT people in Israel should celebrate Pride as a way of shining a light of freedom amid so much surrounding oppression towards non-Israelis/Jews.

            My argument is that non-Israelis should weigh up their consciences and ask themselves whether they should be contributing financially to an oppressive, war-mongering and racist government in order to, basically, party and pull, which is the main rasion d’être for attending Pride events after all.

            Brits certainly don’t go to overseas Pride events to wave the flag on behalf of the respective nation they are visiting.

            No, we go with thoughts of rampant hedonism first and foremost, and we are lying to pretend otherwise.

            People, take your pounds, dollars and Euros to Spain’s circuit parties instead this summer.

            God only knows Spain needs your money, and they don’t persecute their non-whites or commit atrocities against neighbouring communities.

            Isn’t it Madrid Pride in a couple of weeks’ time?

          3. Samuel B’s comments are fairly reasonable – he may be surprised to see me say ;-)

            I think Pride in Tel Aviv is an important event both for Israeli LGBT people and (in part) to Arab LGBT people who do attend the event.

            Last non-UK gay Pride I attended was Madrid – unfortunately I will not be there this year – but that was a combined political event (pursuing equal marriage at the time and other issues) and a party. I enjoyed both aspects.

            I think UK and other nationalities have to assess the situation in Israel and gauge whether it is appropriate or not to attend Pride or other events there. There may be some for whom there is good reason (eg family or friends living or working in Israel) – others it may be more prudent not to attend unless there can be some reconciliation and improvement in wider human rights.

          4. Ooh Stu, you party animal you!

            Thanks for the – admittedly rare – thumbs up, and do let me know next time you are at Madrid Pride and we can have a bop together under the glitter ball!

          5. Richie

            Are you SamuelB – is that what you meant about the rare thumbs up?

            Next time in Madrid probably will be Sept/Oct – as for pride may be there next year

        3. Sir: i have read all your comments thoroughly. not only are you anti-israeli, anti-zionist, but you are an anti-semitic homophobe as well. what you say has little intelligent thought behind it. i suggest you get off your soapbox, march to the nearest mirror and take a really good look at yourself. you don’t impress. at all!

          1. my last comments are directed to PADDYSWURDS>

          2. Paddyswurds 9 Jun 2012, 11:13am

            @jake..
            ….As the Arabs of Gaza are also Semites I cannot be called Anti Semite, but anti Israel yes, anti zionist yes and I make no apology for that. Israels record against the Palestinians People is a disgrace, especially given their own history of oppression, they now oppress those whom they have dispossessed of their land homes and livelihood. Your assertion that I as a gay man am a homophobe is disingenuous just because I abhor Gay men ignoring Israels horrific Human Rights record.. If the Gay pride march in Tel Aviv carried placards decrying the abuse of the Palestinians then ok but it id not so shame on them. Seems that most of you think “I’m alright Jack” and phuc the rest, but this is one gay Irishman who will not be told to be Quiet, especially when it comes to rights of the downtrodden wherever they are and I certainly do not seek to “impress”, a word that says more about you than me…….

          3. Paddywurds

            Many LGBT people in Israel are against Israeli policy regarding the occupied territories. Many of them actively campaign and work to support those (particularly LGBT people) who are trapped as a result of Israeli policy.

            Yet you seek to impose further restrictions on these people, in their own country, who seek to campaign (in other ways – some of them extremely bravely) against the very same policies you are against.

            The outcome of claiming that holding a Pride event in Israel is immoral is restricting the Israeli LGBT community. The community who (largely) support equality in all forms including for those in occupied territories.

            Do you support restricting Israeli gay people?

      2. @Paddy… children starving? The children of Gaza (despite being 6-7 per family) are hardly starving. The plight of the Palestinians, while horrible, does not include malnutrition. I would advise you to look at total food aid per Palestinian resident in Gaza and compare them to total food aid for Africa’s poverty-struck regions. By your account, the people of Africa should have disappeared some decades ago…

  9. See, here’s where Paddywurds gets it wrong:
    Gay Arabs find shelter in Tel Aviv. It is the only place in the entire middle east that is completely safe for them from persecution. I know because I live in this city. You can’t be safe as a gay Arab in any city within Arab-majority lands. Ask the gay Palestinians who fled from Gaza before Israel withdrew its forces from there. Ask Gay Arabs from anywhere in east Jerusalem or the west bank. It’s a fact. Paddy, would you wish for them too that Tel Aviv would not exist – for them to keep on living (and being killed) in silence because you think the (frankly more western) Jews are the ultimate evil? Because of your own colonial guilt that removes personal resonsibility from the Arabs?
    Paddy, think of what you’re doing! you look at Arabs as the noble savages, the same romanticized view white colonialists had in days past. the native seen as just a small degree above a pet animal.
    Paddywurds = a well-disguised racist!

    1. Paddyswurds 10 Jun 2012, 3:29pm

      @Dinah….
      ….”Because of your own colonial guilt that removes personal resonsibility (sic) from the Arabs??” That one stupid sentence makes a nonsense of your entire post. The Irish were never colonialists so we have no colonial guilt.
      As for the rubbish about noble savages, I have never regarded anyone as a savage but I am will to make an exception in your case.
      I also have never considered the Jews as a people as evil but again I’m willing to make an exception for the so called state of Israel.
      Your disgraceful assertion that the Arabs are only a small degree above a pet animal marks you out as a racist bigot, and then you have the unmitigated gall to call me a racist.
      You are an ignorant, racist, zionist bigot. A spit and run troll no doubt…..Oh and learn to spell!

      1. Actually, yes, the Irish were colonists… on an – admittedly small – island close to South America. And guess what? They acted just as inhumane as other colonialists… didn’t learn from their own history either.

        1. whoops… inhumanely

        2. Paddyswurds 11 Jun 2012, 11:55am

          @Anne…
          …….lol, name the Island and time period. You can’t just make stuff up you know. You will always be sussed.

  10. Gays should NOT be supporting the inherently racist concept of a state that places Jews over non-Jews and brutally oppresses Palestinians in the colonized West Bank and Gaza. Israel is an apartheid state. This article is a prime example of so-called pinkwashing – showing off affluent, privileged LGBT Jews to distract from Israel’s massive human rights abuses, including LGBT Palestinians. At the same time this picture was taken, there were race riots in Tel Aviv, where African immigrants were being beaten up by mobs of Israelis and petrol bombs being thrown into kindergartens. Sheer hypocrisy.

    1. How is holding a Pride in your own country, evidence of support of Israeli policies on Palestine?

      Bear in mind some of the organisers of Tel Aviv pride speak out strongly against israeli policy on Gaza and Palestine and support LGBT Palestinian asylum seekers in LGBT community centres – despite the orders of the Israeli authorities not to do so.

      Pride in Tel Aviv is not a political stance in favour or against Israeli policy on Palestinian territories etc, it is a stance on LGBT people ensuring that LGBT rights gained are protected and more sought. It is no different in that sense to a pride in Riga, London, Zagreb, Cape Town, Moscow or San Francisco.

      Why does Pride in Tel Aviv have political conotations that no other pride has?

      The South African LGBT communities who had pride in the Apartheid regime were not held responsible for Apartheid, the US LGBT communities holding Pride events are not held accountable for Guantanamo Bay, the Russian LGBT groups are not held responsible

      1. for Chechnya, etc etc. Why should Israeli LGBT people be held responsible for he acts of its government (which many oppose) and criticised for seeking LGBT rights?

        Would you rather Israeli LGBT people pretended they did not exist, did not celebrate their freedoms and did not seek further LGBT rights?

        Really?

        1. Paddyswurds 9 Jun 2012, 12:34pm

          Not while their fellow citizens are being starved, beaten and denied their basic human rights, no. If they want to demonstrate their pride do so as human beings and go demonstrate against the despotic state in which they live affluently while others starve and are denied the basics to live decent lives.

          1. Many of them already do support equality in Palestine and work in methods which are braver than anyone can do from the safety of their laptop and cup of coffee to try and support Paelstinians both in the Occupied Territories and seeking to escape and obtain asylum (acts often illegal in Israel).

            I do not think it is right to suggest Pride should not happen and we should deprive Israeli LGBT people of the freedoms they already have because their government is inhumane re the occupied territories.

            We do not have a right to be so arrogant.

            Which other nations would you suggest it was immoral for them to exercise their freedoms and rights as LGBT people?

            Should we wait till all countries have freedom and rights before we celebrate successes elsewhere?

          2. The Palestinians are not being starved and if they are beaten and denied their basic human rights you could just as well blame that on Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PA – none of whom are well known for their democratic credentials or abiding by the rule of law.

      2. Although holding gay pride in Israel is a good thing, reporting on it in an uncritical manner is not. Would we have cheered on Apartheid South Africa if they’d held a gay pride? Or would we have recognized it as propaganda to distract from their abuses of blacks.

        South African sports were rightly boycotted because of Apartheid and rightly so, although the sports themselves were apolitical. In just the same way, boycotting and sanctioning other activities in Israel, such as Pride, makes it clear to Israelis that the world abhors their apartheid government. This article is aimed at emphasizing Israel as a bastion of liberalism in the Middle East – which is propaganda and pinkwashing. Israel is a racist state.

        Gays should strongly resist the Israeli Government’s attempt to paint itself as a supporter of human rights and part of “Western democracy” when it runs over the human rights of Palestinians and non-Jews every single day.

      3. Paddyswurds 9 Jun 2012, 11:34am

        Pretending that we are saying GLBs are responsible for the horrific abuses in Gaza and the other occupied territories is not gaining you any ground and simply makes you look idiotic and ridiculous . What we are saying is that these events serve to disguise and give tacit support to the abuses elsewhere in Israel as happened In S Africa when western bands and sportsmen went there during Apartheid. I always ensure I would never buy an Israeli product or service because that would also be giving tacit support for the abusers. There are not many GLBs lying down to sleep at night on the bare ground hungry and cold as those in Gaza and elsewhere in Israel, and that should be our abiding focus at this time, not parading our affluence in Tel Aviv.

        1. Firstly in realtion to Pride in South Africa. Apartheid officially ended in 1994, although most of the law repeals that were necessary occurred by the end of 1990.

          Johannesburg first official pride was in 1990, although since 1984 there were unofficial pride events.

          The situation in South Africa would have been different under Apartheid too, as the ruling party was homophobic and did not support LGBT rights or equality (forcing military personnel who were found to be gay to undergo medical treatment, prohibiting “homosexual activity” by law etc etc) – there was no intention of pinkwashing because the regime were anti-LGBT. There would have been no attempt to use LGBT issues as a political smokescreen.

          Pride events did unofficially occur, and there are at least two documented occasions of arrests by South African authorities in relation to public order and homosexuality related criminal offences at these Pride festivals.

          LGBT activists sought to support the LGBT community in South

          1. Africa whilst strongly opposing the obscene political policy of apartheid.

            The comparison between South Africa and Israel is imperfect. In Israel the government (probably cynically) supports LGBT rights,. whereas in South Africa they were opposed.

            In both situations though, the fact remains that LGBT people are not responsible for their regimes odious conduct. Indeed, in both situations LGBT people actively opposed (or currently oppose) the vile inhumanity carried out by their governments.

            By suggesting that LGBT people in Israel should not have a Pride event is denying them the LGBT freedoms we ourselves have in the UK and elsewhere. By suggesting they could use their time and resources better to support Palestinian people supposes they are not already doing so (many are), and the same could be said of European, American and Australian LGBT people – should we stop all pride events until there is full human rights and respect everywhere? That argument is idiotic and ridiculous.

          2. So, I support Israeli LGBT people in their campaign for more rights for themselves and others – including in their work to support people in the Occupied Territories.

            I believe it is pointless to oppose LGBT people in Israel for holding a Pride event.

            Our resources are better used campaigning against the real problem – the Israeli government, not the LGBT people!

          3. Paddyswurds 9 Jun 2012, 12:43pm

            I don’t recall saying anything about GLB rights in South Africa…….I will thank you not to put words in my mouth…… I was comparing Westerners going there as tacit support for the regime….

          4. Paddyswurds

            The comment was not directed specifically at you.

            The content was directed in part at your comments and in part at other peoples.

            Where I specifically address you, you will know about it!

          5. Spanner1960 10 Jun 2012, 9:22am

            Apartheid still continues today. It’s just the other way round now.

  11. There are a lot of things that both Palestinian and Gazan authorities do wrong with regards LGBT rights.

    There are many things Israeli authorities do wrong with regards general basic rights, particularly towards those in the Occupied territories (although also beyond this).

    There are many examples of good practice (although improvements could be made) of LGBT rights within Israel.

    There is just cause to label this pinkwashing. That is wrong and unfair – but that is not the fault of Israeli LGBT people and they should not be condemned for celebrating their freedoms – especially when many of them campaign for equality in the Occupied Territories.

    Yes, there is a well-funded, cynical publicity campaign marketing a purportedly gay-friendly Israel to an international audience so as to distract attention from the devastating human rights abuses it commits on a daily basis against the Palestinian people. Key to Israel’s pinkwashing campaign is the manipulative and false labeling of

    1. of Israeli culture as gay-friendly and Palestinian culture as homophobic. I believe that comparisons of this sort are both inaccurate – homophobia and transphobia are to be found throughout Palestinian and Israeli society – and that this is beside the point: Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine cannot be somehow justified or excused by its purportedly tolerant treatment of some sectors of its own population.

      A large number of local Palestinian and Jewish LGBTqueer activists held a protest against promoting LGBT tourism to Israel in front of the Tel Aviv gay center. The protesters intercepted a group of travel agents and other guests attending a conference that took place inside the gay center. The conference was organized by various Israeli institutes and International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA). The campaign is not against Pride in Tel Aviv of rights for Israeli LGBT people, but against the focus the Israeli government put on LGBT issues as a disguise to their

    2. abhorrent inhumane policies and actions in the West Bank and elsewhere.

      These Palestinian and Jewish activists work together to support each other and engage with Pride. Many even believe it is as appropriate for friends etc from overseas to also attend to support their Israeli LGBT friends in their Pride – but they do not support cynical posturing about LGBT rights by the Israeli authorities as a tool to manipulate their false agenda.

      Campaigning against Pride is facetious and achieves nothing. The campaign is against the Israeli government not the Israeli LGBT population.

      1. I don’t find this line of argument persuasive. Let me say that Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people by keeping five million of them stateless and in prison camps for the last sixty years is the worst human rights abuse in the world today. It also motivates enormous animus between the Muslim world, who rightly see it this way, and the West, who are selectively blind to this oppression.
        Now the Israeli government is democratically elected and its repressive policies in occupied Palestine, and in the bigger picture, the Israeli privileging of Jews over non-Jews, are supported by a large majority of the population. We can, and should, hold the Israeli people responsible for the actions of Israel’s elected government. Just as for South Africa, boycotting apolitical activities, such as sporting fixtures or LGBT Pride, will be effective in forcing the Israeli people to confront the fact that as long as they oppress the Palestinians, the world will never see them as “normal”.

      2. Moreover, Israel owes its continued existence as an apartheid state to a politically powerful lobby in the United States, made up of wealthy and socially liberal Jews. It is therefore very politically convenient for Israel to promote the image that it is socially liberal and supports LGBT rights, in contrast with other countries in the Middle East. Articles such as these promote the illusion Israel is a “normal” country which liberal Jews and non-Jews alike in America can support.

        We should also be aware that the Israeli lobby promotes wars between the United States and countries that Israel happens to dislike, which cause enormous suffering and human-rights violations. The war in Iraq for example, which was conducted at the behest of a powerful Israeli lobby (see “The Israel Lobby” by Walt and Mearsheimer) resulted in the displacement of millions of people, the death of hundreds of thousands, and the destruction of tolerance to LGBT people under Saddam Hussein.

        1. So campaign against the Israeli government and let those LGBT people in Israel who wish to celebrate Pride do so (especially since many of them support human rights – often in brave ways – of those in the Occupied Territories).

          Condemning Tel Aviv Pride is misdirecting where the antagonism should be.

          1. I am not condemning gay pride in Tel Aviv. In fact, I suspect we don’t have many points of disagreement.

            I am condemning PinkNews for running this article uncritically, and the Israeli government for cynically promoting its selective promotion of gay rights (for jews only). It should be unacceptable for propaganda like this to be directly passed off as “news” of any stripe. Photographs of affluent LGBT Israeli Jews promote a certain image of tolerance and equality, which is contrary to reality.

            By the way, many gays are also racist and discriminatory. Like the Israelis, the fact we’ve been oppressed doesn’t mean gays can’t be bigots themselves. Nearly all LGBT Israelis have performed military service (participating in human rights abuses and possibly war crimes) so they are part of the problem themselves.

          2. I would agree with you on condemnation of the cynical exploitation of the Israeli government, I would also agree some LGBT people are racist etc (unfortunately).

            I would disagree that PN should be condemned for reporting on Pride in Tel Aviv. Thats reporting an LGBT event and gives opportunity for these comments.

            You may not be condeming Pride but certainly some on here are, and that is the wrong focus.

          3. I’m not seeing any comments opposed to these people holding a gay pride. Just the fact the story’s blatantly part of Israel’s pinkwashing efforts. Seems pretty fair.

          4. @frizzled

            I suggest you go back and re-read some of the comments then:

            One example (and not the only one) was:

            Paddyswurds 39 minutes ago Report
            -1

            Not while their fellow citizens are being starved, beaten and denied their basic human rights, no. If they want to demonstrate their pride do so as human beings and go demonstrate against the despotic state in which they live affluently while others starve and are denied the basics to live decent lives.”

            I personally believe it is disingenuous to suggest that this and other comments are not meant to imply that Tel Aviv pride was wrong and should not happen. Effectively suggesting that Israeli LGBT people should be denied that freedom, until a matter outwith their control and which many of them campaign against is resolved. Sorry, thats not how freedoms work in my experience.

          5. christ stu its not ok to party.while black people are being attacked , encouraged by the PM. israel is a wicked spiteful country full of racist pigs

          6. James!

            If its not OK to party in those circumstances, then its never OK to party anywhere.

            There is racism in Brighton, London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, San Francisco, Miami, Washington, Sydney, Berlin, Amsterdam, Madrid, Rome, Auckland – should we stop Pride there too – or should we use Pride as a tool to achieve a better place, both in that location and elsewhere?

            Use it as a tool.

          7. Spanner1960 10 Jun 2012, 10:08am

            @Stu: The problem I find with many of your comments is that you think 2-dimensionally – and you also take people at their word and frankly, I find your attitude very naive.

            Nobody is criticising Pride in itself, but PN, being Jewish owned and run, is giving the impression that everything in the garden is rosy, and us gays are just having a ball; the reality is far worse, and call me cynical if you wish, I find it in rather bad taste to promote this whilst there is so much else going on in that country. – And let it be said, some of those LGBT people at Pride were possibly responsible for those things – the two are not mutually exclusive.

            If you are Israeli you cannot stand back and wash your hands claiming it has nothing to do you. It smacks of historical claims I once heard about “only following orders.”

          8. Spanner

            First of all, whether PN is Jewish run or not – it is an international LGBT news service. It covers issues relevant to LGBT people – of which Pride is one. I hope it will also cover the first ever Pride in Gaza tomorrow.

            Secondly, in terms of PN there have been stories in the past that have criticised Israeli government policy – so I think on the issue of impartiality of PN (whilst I understand there can be a perception of bias, and perhaps more could be done to counter this) you are being naive and two dimensional.

            You say no one is criticising Pride. Thats not true. There has been criticism of Tel Aviv Pride in these comments and that is foolish and does nothing to help the people of the Occupied Territories.

            One thing I have never been accused of is thinking two dimensionally. I usually get supported for my analysis and depth of thinking. I shall reflect on why you may perceive I do not appreciate complexities – but believe me, I am more than aware that the real

          9. world is a complex place that often requires sophisticated analysis, and thats why speaking negatively about Tel Aviv Pride is not a solution to the complex problems of the Israeli/Occupied Territories situation.

          10. Furthermore, as I repeatedly have said many of those taking part in Pride in Tel Aviv are not religious or even nominally Jewish – nor are they supporters of the Israeli regime – painting a picture that someone who lives in Israel is either Jewish or a supporter of the regime there is simplistic and naive (perhaps two dimensional)

    3. Spanner1960 10 Jun 2012, 9:34am

      Nobody is having a pop at Israeli LGBT people per se Stu, but you cannot extract the milk out of the coffee. They are Israeli, they are Jewish and they are gay. Their makeup is inextricably intertwined. These are the same people that vote for the government that sends the soldiers to attack Palestine.

      You could say Adolf wasn’t a bad bloke because he put on the 1938 Olympics and promoted sport, but someone will probably shoot me for doing a Goodwin, but you get my point. Gay Pride is just one tiny little facet of Israel’s human rights pledge they got right, but there is plenty more they haven’t.

      1. You could use the same argument about white, South African, Gay people in the era of Apartheid – however, very few LGBT people supported De Klerk and his regime – indeed many were instrumental in the change of South Africa in the dying days of Apartheid and in the aftermath. They held some Pride events in Jo’burg in the Apartheid years – was that Irresponsible?

        You could say that British gay people should not hold pride, because they are British and voted in a government which launched military action in Iraq and Afghanistan (two nations that suppress their LGBT populations).

        I do not see that it is legitimate to condemn British LGBT people in this way or S African LGBT people in this way.

        In the same way Israeli LGBT people may not be Jewish and many do not support the current regime. Yet we believe its appropriate to condemn their Pride? Its the wrong target! Indeed many LGBT people in the occupied territories endorse the right of Israelis to hold a pride event.

      2. 1936… Apart from that, I agree.

      3. Putting to one side the issue of Godwin.

        I do think its specious argument to compare freedom to compete in sport and LGBT rights.

        Orientation is an innate quality not a choice.

        Decisions to compete in sport are a choice – as are decisions to participate in religion.

        You demean and devalue the issue of orientation when you compare it to other non-innate issues. Its similar to the spin that certain Cardinals etc use.

        There are other valuable human rights issues in play within Israel and the Occupied Territories but please do not lower the importance of tackling LGBT rights.

        1. Spanner1960 16 Jun 2012, 3:51pm

          I used the 1936 (Sorry Anne, my bad), Olympics as a simple metaphor. The point I am trying to make is just by doing one apparent good deed does not nullify all the other bad ones that government has committed. Whether is is a human right, an innate quality or a lifestyle choice is totally irrelevant to the argument. This is more about governments spinning events to promote themselves, whilst simultaneously burying bad news.

  12. Jeez, this has become waaay to political. Why can’t people just be happy about the fact that Israeli LGBT people have the right to do whatever they like, and that is that. (Continental) European forums were fuming with anti-British comments in 2003, yet probably most of the people here had little in the way of the government’s policy much as in Israel.

    1. Robert

      I wish people could celebrate LGBT pride in Israel.

      Surely thats something LGBT people should celebrate anywhere in the world.

      Even if the Israeli government cynically use LGBT rights to manipulate their rhetoric, surely we should not fall into the same trap.

      LGBT freedoms deserve celebrating and we should seek more in places like Israel (and the Occupied Territories)

      1. Spanner1960 10 Jun 2012, 9:56am

        I appreciate your sentiments are in the right place Stu, but the world isn’t quite as simple as that, and there ARE more important human rights than being LGBT. Like having a roof over your head, and enough food and medicine, or not getting your head blown off with an armour-piercing round.

        1. I am not denying that there are other fundamental human rights involved in the wider conflict situation in the occupied territories and indeed within Israel.

          In fact, I acknowledge those in many of my comments and endorse the work of Israeli LGBT people and others to support those in the occupied territories.

          I do not see it is a good way to achieve human rights by condemning others for exercising their rights that they have achieved.

    2. I suspect you’ve actually made an argument for boycotting British events, which I would’ve been right on board with.

      1. No, if you see an argument for boycotting British events then you are manipulating my words.

        I am saying that freedoms should not be denied from one geographical segment of the population because they are denied to another geographical segment.

    3. as long as they arenot black.

      1. As long as who are not black? Who and where is that comment directed?

        1. at you lgbt freedoms but not forthe africans who are bein attacked. maybe you dont think theycount

          1. Pray do tell me where I do not support freedoms for people of all ethnicities?

            You appear to be reading something into my words which is not there and which I find odious.

          2. Pray do tell me where, Stu, in the myriad of photos posted of this Israeli event celebrating freedom for all gay people is there one black LGBT face?

            Pot, kettle, er, black?

          3. SamuelB

            Well in the myriad of pictures that I have seen – and I will happily direct you to some of them – there has been clearly white, Arab, mixed race, oriental and yes black people at the event.

            On this site – white and Arab predominate on the pictures that have been selected. You would have to ask the photographer and editor the reason for that.

            However, the taking of photographs by someone else, being edited for an internet site of which I am a reader – gives James! no grounds to accuse me of racism. Something I find odious and abhorrent, and his comment is empty and meaningless. It devalues his future accusations of genuine racism – the boy who cried wolf effect.

            The thought of being accused of being racist is offensive, nauseating and disgusts me. Had James! come back and demonstrated that I had inadvertently done something – fine, I will always be happy to learn lessons. However, he made no comments that linked to anything I have said or done.

  13. Oh how predictable. The anti-“Zionist” brigade spout their extremist, intolerant, hateful bile following an article showing how free our fellow gays are in Israel. Ye make me sigh with despair.

    1. Come on, you can say it… “Everyone who criticizes Israel is an anti-semite”

      Everyone knows the playbook for you guys by now. Still, the excuses for murdering children and stealing land in the name of a BS religion are wearing very, very thin.

      1. No not everyone who criticises Israel is an anti-semite (although some are).

        But I see no point in condemning Pride about an issue which has no connection to Pride – indeed one which is the responsibility of an organisation (in this case the Israeli government) who have no involvement in the organisation or management of the event, and to make matters worse – an issue which many of the organisers and participants would agree with you about and actively camapign or work to support.

        Whether you intend to or not, the result is you are implying they are wrong to participate in Pride.; That suggestion, in itself, is immoral.

        1. pridein acountry where the pm encourages attacking africans is disgraceful and sites how right wing gat men have become

          1. Pride is independent of government and most people organising it oppose many Israeli government policies.

            Should Pride have happened when the UK engaged in internment? That was government sponsored racism too – which many LGBT people were opposed to, but nonetheless felt they could BOTH oppose the government on that and other issues AND campaign through Pride for LGBT and other rights. The use of Pride was and is a useful political tool to inspire change.

            Isn’t change what we want in Israel? Why not use every tool at our disposal? Pride included.

          2. Yeah, the gat/y men in those pics look so right wing, if you compare them to chi chi la rue that is.

          3. stu the pm encouragedracist behavior. lets not forget that israel is a racist state.

            james e are you for real?

          4. James!

            Pride has nothing whatsoever to do with government

        2. Spanner1960 10 Jun 2012, 9:43am

          Nobody is “condemning” pride.
          Its just many of us condemn the country in which this particular one was held. It’s a pinkwash.

          1. Pride is not a pinkwash. Pride has nothing to do with the Israeli government.

            So, those people on this thread who are saying Israelis should not be partying or “pampered Israeli queens mince about in Tel Aviv without a care in the world boasting about the rights they have” or “all you can think about is a what amounts to a meat market in Tel Aviv” or “for gay people to be carrying on in Tel Aviv as if Israel was a state that respected the rights of those it dispossessed is horrendous” either send out the message that Pride is wrong and should be condemned or make assumptions about the mindset of those participating in Pride. Assumptions that in many cases are wrong.

            There was a report by the Gay Middle East Journal 2 or 3 months ago which had interviews with an Israeli and a West Bank gay guy. Part of the interview touched Pride, but it mainly covered the political situation. The Israeli guy was more critical of the Israeli Govt and IDF that the West Bank guy.

  14. israeli propoganda. read the story about black people being attacked. ir sounds like cristal night in reverse. shameful f israel and f most of the sad commentaries.

    1. What story, James!? I for one don’t know what attacks you’re referring to.

      1. Spanner1960 10 Jun 2012, 9:48am

        Israel to begin migrant deportation amid rising hostility.
        In recent weeks, African migrants have become the target of violent attacks by people in Israel, who blame them for a rise in crime and anti-social behaviour.

        Israel will move to deport hundreds of South Sudanese people over the coming weeks.
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18292716

        1. I am very sure that many British people would hold similar views about asylum seekers in the UK (I would not, on the whole).

          Tackling issues of immigration is entirely different to the issues of Gaza and the West bank.

          Neither issue has anything to do with Pride.

          Using Pride as a manipulative tool (whether to support the Israeli govt policy or to oppose it) is morally repugnant

        2. This sounds just like your view on immigration. You’re the most immigrant phobic person on pink news. Hypocrite.

        3. That is a pretty shocking report. I have to admit I didn’t know about this issue before.

  15. Shake Spear 9 Jun 2012, 2:28pm

    You know, I’d quite happily see every Islamic country vanish from the earth, just to see another couple of Israels sprout up. One can dream.

    1. Spanner1960 10 Jun 2012, 9:50am

      I’m no fan of Islam, but I can’t say I would want any more of Israel either.
      Both are creeping and insidious.

      1. Tough choice between the two.

    2. Indeed, Shake Spear. Hitler had similar ambitions, didn’t you know?

  16. Having lived in Tel Aviv, New York, London, Manchester, Paris, Barcelona and a couple of less noteworthy places too… I can safely say that TLV is one of the most gay friendly cities I’ve ever seen – if not the most!!

    Wherever you go, you can hold hands with a guy, kiss, even walk around with your adopted baby, and nobody ever bats an eyelid. It’s always been this way, nothing new, and it’s great to see everything going so strong – and peacefully – there.

    Keep up the hot work Tel Aviv and Israel! :)

  17. Re: PADDYSWURDS
    you talk of mincing, israeli queens: you sound like a self-hating homo to me. i’d love to know how other faggots would describe you. these queens are supposed to be your brothers for crying out loud. and these gay men and women in israel should be congratulated for mounting a pride festival in israel which is among many things, a religious state. and for your edification in most dictionaries the definition of anti-semitism is first and foremost, hostility and discrimination towards jews.

    1. Paddyswurds 9 Jun 2012, 5:17pm

      “the definition of anti-semitism is first and foremost, hostility and discrimination towards jews.” Who exactly decided to omit the Arabs from Semitism? …a jew Moritz Steinschneider decided it was unworthy of the Arabs to be called Semites. But Semites they are and I will not accept any other definition of the word. I have no quibble with the Jews as a race or a people but i hold the same scorn for their cult as I do for any other Abrahamic cult or religion. However as a nation the Jews under the State of Israel are abhorrent in their actions toward their Arab citizens and should by now have learned not to deny another people their basic Human Rights.

      1. Why question the human rights of Israel when I’ve never seen you question the human rights of gaza? I think it’s because you hate Jews as much as you used to hate Trans folk. Like others have said, go to gaza paddy, if you want to be put in prison for 10 years – gaza doesn’t respect YOUR human rights. But then it’s not really about human rights is it. It’s just about an excuse for you to be transparently anti-Jewish.

        1. Paddyswurds 9 Jun 2012, 10:27pm

          Not anti Jewish, but definitely anti Israeli……altho i scorn all religion no ,matter what hue….

          1. Paddyswurds 9 Jun 2012, 10:44pm

            …and by Israeli I mean the illegal despotic Israeli state. and btw not all Israelis are Jewish.
            What exactly do you mean when you say I “used to hate” trannies. I never said I hated trannies, I opined that no matter how much surgery they were only cosmetically men or women. genetically they would remain the person they were born no matter what their brain said they were.that isn’t hate, just scientific facT. If their bones wer dug up fifty years after they died they would be identified as what they were born, either a woman or man, regardless of what butchery they put their bodies through when alive.and that s an unassailable fact.

    2. Spanner1960 10 Jun 2012, 9:24am

      Oh classic.
      Wheel out the “self-hating” bit as soon as you come across a gay guy that doesn’t go with the flow. Your clichés are pathetic.

      There is more to life than just being LGBT.
      To coin a couple of clichés:
      “Look at the big picture” and
      “Wake up and smell the coffee.”

    3. Spanner1960 10 Jun 2012, 9:53am

      Oh, so as you attacked Paddyswurds, who is gay, I can assume that all your comments are, by the same token, equally homophobic, are they?

      Don’t try that one on, it really doesn’t wash.
      This has fck all to do with being Jewish, and EVERYTHING to do with being Israeli.

      1. Self hating can be an appropriate tool of argument in some occasions – but I doubt it is appropriate or helpful in this case.

        However, nor is some of the language of Paddyswurds on this thread eg pampered Israeli queens mince about in Tel Aviv without a care in the world

        1. Spanner1960 10 Jun 2012, 10:17am

          With the greatest respect Stu: fck off.
          Paddyswurds comments might be inflammatory and provocative but to try that old lefty guilt-trip crap totally infuriates me.
          To imply that he is both “self-hating” and anti-Semitic really gets up my nose. Just like as soon as anybody mentions our own immigration problem is labelled a “right-wing racist.”

          1. With the greatest respect Spanner – go do one and swivel.

            Paddy is provocative. Use of the self hatred mantra is unproductive and inappropriate. I have condemned both – if you read properly and pay attention (in more than a two dimensional mindset, if you can manage it without your right wing blinkers on!). I have not suggested Paddy is self hating. I have not suggested he is anti semetic – and I have condemned both such comments. So again, direct you venom where it is appropriate not at someone who Fukcing agrees with you on the point you are expressing.

            I condemn both equally, and I find extreme left wing mantra as divisive and damaging as the strident right wing rhetoric that you regularly seek to use to manipulate arguments.

          2. Spanner1960 11 Jun 2012, 12:52pm

            @Stu: Yes, so you continue to do your classic “Stu” pose by Assuming nobody has any motives, everybody is decent at heart and we should all sit on the fence, not take sides and be nice to each other. You are a nice guy, but by the same token you have as much spine as the average blancmange. We as LGBT people are a force, and one that cannot be ignored, so we should use our powers responsibly and at least condemn other human rights infringements without becoming political.

          3. If you said that to my face Spanner, I would show you how much damn Spine I have.

          4. I would have thought that you tell me to f off indicated that I was taking a stance you disagreed with – rather than sitting on the fence.

            I am more than happy with my position on this.

            I condemn Israeli govt positions. I support the Palestinians and Gazans. I also support LGBT rights in Israel. I do not condemn people for participating in events to support LGBT issues in their own or neighbouring countries.

            I have worked to support Palestinians on occasion in direct manners.

            So, you can try and malign me as much as you like – to be honest, its rare I value your opinion given the level of abuse and vitriol you show. When I do agree with you, you know about it.

  18. Perhaps those condemning the Tel Aviv Pride should urgently try and get to Gaza tomorrow for the first ever Gay Pride in Gaza (or will they condemn that too?)

    http://www.wherevent.com/detail/aviv-benedix-gaza-gay-pride-parade-2012

    1. Spanner1960 10 Jun 2012, 10:10am

      It would be a wonderful thing if they did. I hope it goes well for them.

      1. I think Gay Pride (particularly in areas where human rights are either trampled on or inconsistently applied) are marvellous things.

        That includes both Gaza and Tel Aviv.

        Some day I would like to attend Pride in Gaza (and some day in Tel Aviv too!)

  19. Here some photo story from Friday Pride Parade 2012

    http://www.tlvspot.com/2012/06/tel-aviv-gay-pride-parade-2012.html

  20. I have been reading this article and comments with interest.

    I am fundamentally against the human rights abuses by the Israelis against those in the Occupied Territories (and some of its own citizens and some visitors).

    That does not stop me congratulating the people of Israel in achieving many LGBT rights, whilst condemning the Israeli authorities for so called “pinkwashing”.

    The Israeli government have no involvement in Pride.

    We should encourage other LGBT people to celebrate their freedoms, wherever they live – and that includes the UK, Germany, China, Russia and indeed Israel and the Occupied Territories.

    Lets look at the evidence:
    Israeli soldiers marched alongside Arabs from Jaffa and Nazareth in Pride this weekend.

    There will be a Pride event in Gaza tomorrow.

    One of the organisers of Pride said they hoped it would not be merely a party but a vehicle of protest to both encourage social change and act as a political protest. He said “We envision a parade celebrating the

    1. the richness and diversity of our identities, our cultures and our languages: bisexual, transgender, lesbian, intersex, queer, gay, women, men, Palestinian, refugees, youth, seniors, disabled, and allies Therefore, we invite you to take part in an effort in becoming a better community.”

      Celebrating LGBT rights is not endorsing the government policy on anything else.

      Arabs welcome and participate in Tel Aviv Pride

      Many LGBT Israelis work with a variety of organisations to support LGBT people in Gaza (often endangering themselves) and challenge Israeli draconian policy in this regard.

      We should support Pride – wherever it is in the world – be it Gaza, Tel Aviv, London, Brighton, Moscow, Sydney, Auckland or Addis Ababa.

      1. Elaine, why do you refer to Israeli land as “Occupied Territories?” Judea/Samaria is in Israel; the Gaza strip is part of Israel. Using the language of the oppressor – “Occupied Territories” – is troublesome.

  21. Part I
    So here are a couple of things I want to say about the gay pride this weekend in tel aviv. First of all it was AMAZING. Simply AMAZING. As a gay Israeli man living in Tel Aviv, as someone who has seen this LGBT community in the last 15 years since I was 18 years of age, I’m completely proud of my community for being able to be a beacon of liberalism, democracy and a living example for a human rights campaign that has prevailed. In the last 15 years we, the LGBT community in Israel have changed completely the status of our community and the way the general society looks at this community and I say BRAVO. With tears in my eyes.

    1. Now, for the critics. I am a leftish Israeli (Meretz voter if that says anything to anyone who claims to know a bit about inner Israeli politics). And yes, I’m also a Zionist since I was born here raised here and this is my home. Call it a pragmatist Zionist or whatever but my optons are limited. I oppose our governments actions in the occupied territories to some extent (explanation follows) and knowing the LGBT community in Israel I know most people still do oppose it as well (of course your automatic black and white remarks and critics about Israel do not help our community in any way, it only weakens us). Living in Tel aviv, our cultural capital I can also tell you that most Tel avivians are leftish as well.

  22. part 2

    Now, for the critics. I am a leftish Israeli (Meretz voter if that says anything to anyone who claims to know a bit about inner Israeli politics). And yes, I’m also a Zionist since I was born here raised here and this is my home. Call it a pragmatist Zionist or whatever but my optons are limited. I oppose our governments actions in the occupied territories to some extent (explanation follows) and knowing the LGBT community in Israel I know most people still do oppose it as well (of course your automatic black and white remarks and critics about Israel do not help our community in any way, it only weakens us). Living in Tel aviv, our cultural capital I can also tell you that most Tel avivians are leftish as well.

  23. part 3

    But…..as I mentioned, nothing is black and white. The Irish guy commenting here can keep on comparing Ireland and Palestine as he likes but it still won’t make both conflicts in any way the same (funnily enough even the british even ruled us). Nothing here is black and white. The Israeli society is complex, built from different sectors and different opinions. What I can say that Israeli inner politics were always (and hopefully will always) be open for critics. I can say the harshest words about Israeli policies and I can lowth our foreign minister as much as I like and I’d still be free to do so (and yes, the last government is THE worst regarding these issues, I can only hope we’ll get rid of it next year if you know inner politics in Israeli you’d also know it might actually happen). There is satire, discussions and debates in the Israeli society all the time (facebook satire is actually the funniest). And even if things look a bit stagnant, they aren’t always.

  24. part 4

    While we were protesting and partying for our rights, Syrians still get slaughtered in masses but still Israel remains the main target for criticism. Russia just banned homosexual parades for a hundred years, but you’re concerned with Israel. Palestinians, my neighbours and hopefully my future partners for peace are still executing once in a while gays under the vague definition “cooperation with Israel” (you know it just sounds more legitimate this ways) and in general I could say that the arab gays (and muslims in general, hello Iran) can only dream of what Israeli gays have. No wonder they have to flock to tel aviv as some sort of haven, running away from families who want to murder them for being a “disgrace for the family”

  25. part 5

    “. Surprisingly, in that little parade of ours there were also gay, lesbian and transgender arabs participating. Tel aviv hosts a monthly Palestinian gay party, not Ramallah and not Gaza. My very good friend works in a shelter for LGBT’s who find themselves without a home because their families throw them out or even more, threaten to kill them. Most of them are arab Israelis by the way. It’s called “beit dror”, look it up, you might learn something.

    1. Thanks Alon

      Glad you had a great time at Pride.

      I know you are not alone in supporting equality in the Occupied Territories and opposing the Israeli position.

      I strongly believe it is worth celebrating that Israel has made significant progress on the issue of LGBT rights. That does not mean that one ignores the other failings in the Israeli government – indeed, Pride can be a tool to try and pursue progress in other areas.

      I think people from outside of Israel look at the scenario and presume a a polarised view of either Israeli good/Arab bad or vice versa – when its far more complex than this when considering the views of individual Israelis (whether Jewish, Aran or neither) or those from or supporting those in the Occupied Territories. The reality is that it is much more complex.

      Whether we look at Israel and the Occupied Territories, South Africa, Ireland, Russia, 1930s Germany, Sudan or any other conflict/suppression of recent time – LGBT people have been suppressed to one

      1. extent or another. LGBT people have often been part of the solution. Sometimes LGBT rights come early (as is the case in Israel and S Africa), sometimes late (consider Russia).

        Gay rights are human rights. They are interwoven. We need to celebrate the freedoms achieved – including tomorrows Pride in Gaza – and seek more.

  26. part 7

    ). By the way, if you’d knew something, you’d also know that Hamas, the leading party in Gaza which holds the ideaology of the muslim brotherhood which is a bit harsher when it comes to religious law and therefore to gays as well. And you might also know that the tunnels under the Egyptian gazaen border are working hard to supply gaza with the food and the medicine they need (and the rockets too of course) and if you’d really check you’d might actually know that the supply of medicine still continues from Israel (so does electricity and other things, but I suppose you therally checked your data, now didn’t you?)

  27. part 8

    Israel is far from being the perfect country. Seriously. Living here can be some what exhausting. Especially if you’re from the liberal side. But….i have news for you. No country is perfect. The hetrocities being done by other regimes (some neighbouring us) are easily ignored by some of you so blind and so dedicated to hating Israel with dash of that good old fine hypocrisy. I’m just saying, nothing’s black and white. Even not this conflict. What is whiter then black is the LGBT’s fight for human rights in Israel. Probably the most impressive and amazing human rights struggle in the history of the state of Israel.

  28. part 9

    So I say, Be happy for us, celebrate with us and hope that one day we, and our paletinian neighbours could get along and live side by side. Pray for those Palestinian gay men and women that they might actually be able to live a normal life, that maybe, just maybe the palestinian society would learn a bit as well about how to treat their own LGBT’s. the condescending patriarch that I am.
    I wish you all happy pride from Tel Aviv.
    I won’t be replying to any comments but please keep it civil, even if you’re full of hate.

    1. Paddyswurds 10 Jun 2012, 12:39pm

      @Alon..
      ….. .. While I may agree with some of what you have said, I have to be cognisant of the fact you are Israeli and your comments will for the most part be coloured by that fact, even though you claim to be leftish liberal.
      I have only one question for you on something you skimmed over without explanation and it is this, in what way don’t you think the Irish problem and the Palestinian situation are not parallel?. The Irish fought the British for over 800 years because they invaded our country and dispossessed our people of our land and all civil and human rights, The State of israel did not exist until 1947, when they “invaded” for want of a better word, Palestine and dispossessed the Arabs of their lands and civil and human rights, with the help of the British I might add. In what way are those two scenarios nt the same or similar? Given the length of you comments above I wont accept the excuse that it is too complex to go into so I await your reply with interest….

      1. Paddyswurds

        Would you have felt it appropriate if people judged your views on Irish history by being “cogniscent” of the fact you are Irish?

        Not everyone in Ireland held the same views – in the same way not every Israeli holds identical views or supports the views of their government.

        Its simplistic and stereotyping to speculate that an Israeli holds any view because they are Israeli.

        1. Paddyswurds 10 Jun 2012, 3:57pm

          @Stu..
          What “views” might that be Stu. My comment was fact not a view. The English, the vile Earl of Pembroke to be exact, did invade our country in or around 1147 and the British are still hanging on to a part of Ireland. They treated the indigenous inhabitants in the same way they treated the Native Americans and Australian Natives. In the 19th century during the famine thousands of tons of food including the corn sent from the US for the starving, was shipped out of Dublin to England while the Native Irish starved and died in millions….(I suggest you read The Great Hunger by Cecil Woodham-Smith…..). That is not a view, it is fact and I am surprised that you in particular don’t know that. usually you research your comments well but maybe You are now showing English bias.
          My ancestors can be traced in Ireland since the last ice age, no Israeli can trace their ancestry in Palestine beyond 1947 or since. My comment is researched fact not a nationalistic view,

          1. Paddyswurds

            Firstly, you did not explicitly say anything in you post about any individual issue in the Irish/British political situation and nor did I in mine. So, any rhetoric that you choose to place on it in response to my comments is irrelevant. The fact remains – as I said – that there are differences in opinion amongst Irish people about events (many of them) linked to relationship with Britain. Its an indisuputable fact. If it were not true then the conflict surrounding Northern Ireland would not have occurred. If everyone in Ireland agreed about the issues then the violence would (and in some ways was) unnecessary. For example the view of Martin McGuinness about politics and history in Ireland is somewhat different to that of David Trimble.

            In the same way there are different views in Israel.

            I would not presume what someones thoughts on an issue of Irish politics or history would be because they were Irish -, and indeed you have rightly shot down others on PN who have

          2. seemed to be presumptious about an Irish persons views. So in the same way I would not presume what an Israeli thought about the politics of Israel and the Occupied Territories – I would ask them if I wanted to know what they thought.

            However, some on here – including you – have appeared (whether intentionally or not) to presume that an Israeli is both a Jew (whether active or nominal) and supportive of the Israeli government. It ignores that fact (FACT!) that many Israeli LGBT people are opposed to the policy of the Israeli govt on the Occupied Territories and risk their own lives and freedom to support LGBT people in the Occupied Territories.

            You are claiming I am showing English bias – but I did not specify a particular event and nor did you. So, I would contend you are presuming what I believe.

            If you recall discussions we have had on Ireland previously – I support Ireland for the Irish without any conditions or variations. I find it offensive that you seek to portray a

          3. characterisation of my thoughts based on supposition which are ignorant and wrong. However, similarly you reach presumptions about the Israeli LGBT population and your failure to support or endorse LGBT freedom in Israel is abhorrent.

            I strongly support equality and freedom (of all human rights) in the Occupied Territories inc luding self determination. That does not pose me any difficulty in supoprting the rights of LGBT Israelis to exercise their freedoms in Pride (with many Arab LGBT people from the Occupied Territories).

            I suspect you were referring to me earlier when you eluded to disappointment with some people on this thread. The feeling is mutual. Your approach has been vindictive and arrogant.

          4. Paddyswurds 11 Jun 2012, 12:22pm

            @Stu….
            ….”.For example the view of Martin McGuinness about politics and history in Ireland is somewhat different to that of David Trimble.”…. heres me thinking you usually knew what you are talking about but in this case you are laughably wrong. How could Martin McGuiness in any way possible agree with the views of Trimble, a member of the Unionist and planter community, who fought tooth and nail against the Belfast agreement and brought down the shared government at Stormont several times and who danced a jig down the Garvahy Rd with Paisley when the were allowed to coat trail through an entirely Nationalist area in 1997….for your edification; http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2000/mar/08/northernireland.sarahhall. you might also like to see this ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxEjzSlbHvY
            Do you have any inkling at all about the Irish Question and the role of the Protestants in the north of Ireland.???

          5. Paddyswurds

            You say how could McGuiness ever agree with Trimble?

            I guess that proves my points people in Ireland do not hold the same views. I suspect some people might find it offensive if someone assumed because they were Irish that they were an Orangeman? I have heard people jump to such conclusions.

            As Irish people have different opinions – which you acknowledge. Thank You foir accepting my point.

            It follows that not all Israelis would agree about various political points.

            Your assumptions about Israelis therefore are unfair and unwarranted.

          6. Paddyswurds 11 Jun 2012, 4:06pm

            @Stu…
            …….My last word on this thread…I would love to be a fly on the wall as you tell David Trimble that he is Irish. When you do, use a megaphone and stand well back….

          7. Paddywsurds

            I think you are being pedantic. You know very well what I mean. Two people on the island of Ireland – whether the two I initially suggested or Martin McGuinness and Enda Kenny – they will not agree with other Irish people on everything – and likewise is the case with Israelis.

      2. your comment smells of arrogance, paddy. Believe it or not in a globalized world people might be able to form their own opinion on issues. Not everyone is a sucker for propaganda so again, thank you for believing me i could be liberal or leftish. To your question – I am aware of the general irish feel that you and the Palestinians share the same faith or history. Visiting Dublin a couple of months ago a sign calling Israel an apartheid state was pretty much the first thing I saw when I arrived to temple bar….nevertheless what is the option that you as an irish man is the one not able to see beyond the propaganda. Believing for some reason in black and white dichotomy. As if historical happenings could really be identical.

      3. So I’ll start with my first point: history though repeating itself never really does repeat itself in an identical way. Nations have different mentalities, histories they carry on their back forming them to what they are. I’ve met some irish people and some british in my life. The irish didn’t resemble the Palestinians in anyway nor the Israelis resembled the british.
        Secondly, let’s talk numbers and sizes. Since Israel is great Britain according to your theory one cannot wonder how a nation of immigrants surviving a genocide (yes, my family too) is compared with an empire that ruled from Canada to india. Israel is crossed from west to east in an hour and a half drive. From north to south in 7 hours drive. Hardly the distance between Calgary and new delhi (wait there’s also new zealand)

      4. Again those numbers. Brits are simply more then irish people as Israelis and Palestinians were fairly with closer numbers. Making it a much more fair match, won, and excuse me for not apologizing for that, by Israel. Ohhh…let’s not forget. The palestinians had also the help of the following armies in 1948 (the year Israel was founded by the way, not 47) – Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. All against one tiny nation (one day old), half of them fresh genocide survivors (just like my grandma and grandpa), or as you call them invaders. As far as I know, Iceland, the faroe islands and Greenland were never really a part of the irish- british story.

      5. Let’s not forget the entire process went through the UN. The world offered 2 states – one jewish, the other arab. An offer rejected by the arab side by their foolish leaders who thought they could win it back by declaring were. I do not recall in irish history such an event.
        Further on, a state of Palestine never really existed. Not to mention Palestinian national identity which you could pinpoint it’s exact form with the forming of the PLO on the 28th of may 1964. 16 years after Israel was founded. I know its hard to believe but the entire middle east was ruled by the turks, the French and the british up to 1948. All borders (including some neighbouring states like Jordan, Syria, Jordan and Iraq) were created by the powers I’ve mentioned. Is that a part of irish-british history too?

      6. So, the Israeli-palestinian story is more a story of 2 nations fighting on one tiny piece of land. Less the story of a huge empire seeking more and more world territory. And this is at list some of the reasons why you simply cannot compare both stories.
        Funnily enough, though I claim all of that, you’d be surprised I’m a leftish Israeli wanting a 2 state solution, most Israelis believe a 2 state solution is the answer just like me. I do want an independent Palestinian state. I do not want my people to rule other people and I think that’s basically the answer for a long and bitter conflict who started with the arabs attacking Israel in 1948. Continued with israel’s clinging on to the occupied 1967 territorries (though then, it was about expanding to create a bigger buffer zone between Israel and the Jordanian army). After all the suicide bombing, the aggressiveness of the arabs and their leaders, and the hate well soked in both sides.

      7. I try not to dwell in the past. I look at the present and hope for a better future. Dwelling in the past is thinking life is a Hollywood movie with the good guys and the bad guys, as you think it is. Well, it isn’t. both sides made mistakes and both sides need to deal with the future, not the past.

      8. One final thing about irish people. After my first impression arriving to Dublin I was happy when a gay guy approached me in one of your clubs and his first reaction for my answer “I come from Israel” was not hate, but worry that any of the irish people I’ve met said something to me, calling me names or anything, apologizing in a way for the common irish feel about the conflict. One day after I met an old irish men, age 80. He was our guide for a quick tour outside of Dublin. He was wise and cute and funny and eventually when he started talking about Israel he surprised me with his pro-israeli views (even harsher then mine) apologizing again for the irish misunderstanding of the conflict.

      9. For you, I would probably suggest to start digging a bit harder with history and stop making these fairly shallow comparisons who show no understanding in anything deeper then a Hollywood movie understanding of history. I wish you peace, I wish us peace and I wish you stopped using our LGBT achievement to yet again talking about things you have no clue about. Slonge.

        1. Paddyswurds 10 Jun 2012, 9:20pm

          Obviously your first language is not English because only about 7 or eight lines of your entire comment made any sense whatever so I am unable to make a replying comment……however i am glad you enjoyed your trip to our beautiful country and be assured that we always endevour to welcome everyone, even the British Queen, who was so taken with the welcome we gave her, she requested that she should return soon.
          Féadfaidh an Bóthar tú ag taisteal ardú suas chun bualadh leat agus d’fhéadfadh an ghaoth a bheith i gcónaí ag do chúl.

          1. obviously if your best response is referring to my english you were not even worth that. but thanx again for that kind of answer which shows exactly the arrogant person you are and the strength and depth of your shallow claims. i’m sure everyone will notice that. ciao asshole. sure my english was clear there.

          2. Paddyswurds 11 Jun 2012, 12:07pm

            @Alon…
            ….points at intellectually bereft idiot and laughs out loud for several minutes…although we shouldn’t really be laughing at the afflicted.

          3. Sighs

            Looks at the comment by Paddyswurds and shakes head

            When resorting to such comments, the debate is over and lost.

        2. Great comments, Alon

          If I may say so conveyed with great articulation and common sense.

          The black and white view of the Israeli situation is not a helpful way to resolve it.

          Some bitter people try to play blame games, when solutions are a better idea.

        3. Dear Alon,
          you have taken far more time and effort to educate Paddy and, clearly or apparently, he is not interested. Your being Israeli makes you no more or less objective than Paddy’s being Irish. We all bring our biases and experiences to what we have to share.

          As a gay Jewish American, I thoroughly appreciate EVERYTHING you’ve written. I still plan to make aliyah someday, with eyes wide open. I still regret not having signed up for the IDF, at least to do some community or civil work, if not military.

          Alon – thank you,

  29. “Chiseled, scantily clad men danced onstage. Strobe lights flashed as the bass echoed. The smell of cologne wafted through the air. There were kisses — one on the right cheek, one on the left — and friendly embraces everywhere. It could have been any Tel Aviv club, really, except it wasn’t. It was a Friday night and I was at my first Palestinian gay dance party in south Tel Aviv.
    People greeted each other in Arabic: Kif inta? Shu ’jdid? The stereo wailed, nti ‘omri! — you are my life! — as the DJ played hit after hit by Egyptian and Lebanese pop stars Amr Diab, Nancy Ajram and Sherine. No Eyal Golan or Justin Timberlake here.
    The party is an anonymous safe haven. And that’s why it’s such a hit. The group alQaws organizes the Palestinian Queer Party, its name for these monthly events. According to its website, alQaws works to “promote sexual and gender diversity in Palestinian society” throughout Israel and the Palestinian territories. The monthly Arabic music extravaganza is

    1. meant to be a kind of free zone for Arab men and women to be gay — in their own culture, yet outside of society’s proscribed sexual and gender rules. It’s inclusive, meaning fans of the community are welcome, and yet it’s discreet. It’s also a meet and greet and, for some, it may be their only outlet to gay culture in their otherwise straight lives. Call it activism or pleasure seeking: The party celebrates both being Palestinian and being gay.

      Hundreds show up each month. People travel from all over: Ramallah, East Jerusalem, small Arab villages in northern Israel, Yafo, everywhere. Those traveling from Ramallah have their own ways of getting into Israel – some of them with official permits, but most of them without.

      The above from an article in the Herald Sun in Melbourne 18 months ago.

      To me, it expresses that gay Arabs are striving to be able to be open about their orientation and are being welcomed by the Israeli LGBT community in doing so. Some of the Israeli community

    2. are helping those needing to get to/from Gaza, Ramallah etc secure their passage in ingenious and innovative ways which risk the safety of both the Palestinians and the Israelis.

      The issue of LGBT rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories is a complex mish mash of political, cultural, legal, religious and other influences. Some of that is abused by the Israeli government (and on occasion others). However, we must celebrate Pride – its part of the hope – a nearby beacon of hope – that those in the occupied territories can cling to and seek. Many regularly do.

  30. Let us not forget the illegal occupation of Palestine and that Israel is an apartheid state. QUEER SUPPORT for PALESTINE!

    1. Of course remember the illegal occupation.

      Part of that can be in supporting tomorrows Pride in Gaza – the first ever.

      That does not prevent us encouraging LGBT Israelis in their pride in Tel Aviv – the two are not mutually exclusive

      1. Spanner1960 11 Jun 2012, 12:54pm

        “Illegal” depends on who’s law you are supposed to be breaking.

        1. Are you sitting on the fence, Spanner1960?

          I thought you were against the human rights abuses of the Palestinians – now you seem keen to support Israel

    2. And don’t forget the illegal occupation of America by the Europeans who invaded and killed the native Americans. And don’t forget the illegal occupation of Australia by the Europeans who have decimated the native aborigine. And don’t forget the illegal occupation of South America by the Spaniards who have virtually wiped out the native population. And then there’s Egypt, now occupied by Arabs after the Ottoman’s invasion. And then there’s the rest of this stupid war torn planet which at some point has been invaded and occupied illegally by another ‘tribe’. Even in the UK you can trace back and find that we weren’t the original occupiers of the land. Are we here illegally? The history of the area now known as Israel is more complex than your idea of ‘illegal occupation’ propagated by anti-semites. The 1st Jewish temple was built on the mount about 1600 years before the first mosque which was built after the muslims conquered in 637.

    3. GingerlyColors 10 Jun 2012, 8:19pm

      And in return Palestine can show it’s support for LGBT rights. Not a fat cat in Hells chance!

      1. At tomorrows Pride in Gaza, perhaps?

        1. I have read that Pride in Gaza went very well and around 200 people took part.

          1. Are there any pics?

  31. God Bless Israel.

    Please improve your photo slideshow software, it’s rubbish.

  32. GingerlyColors 10 Jun 2012, 8:17pm

    Many correspondents are demonising Israel because of the way they handle the Palestinian territories but the Arab-Israeli situation is mere kindergarten compared with Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and now Syria where being ‘the wrong type’ of Muslim can get you massacred.
    Having said that the way that Israel treats the Gaza Strip is wrong. Can you imagine what would have happened if we sealed of the Falls Road in Belfast or Derry’s Bogside, prevented the people there from going about their business, going to work, buying food, getting medical aid, etc everytime the IRA committed an attrocity? I sometimes feel that Israel is it’s own worst enemy.

  33. What short memories we have.

    It wasn’t that long ago that we were being herded into concentration camps with the Jews.

    Now gay men flock to dance parties in Israel:- a country that has made a virtual concentration camp out of the ever diminishing strip of land known as Gaza.

    It is often said on here that gay men can be incredibly self-obsessed, naive and ignorant – or deliberately blind – to inconvenient truths.

    Those who go to Israel to get intoxicated and pull “hot” Israelis are among the most selfish and blind of all as this unbelievable board of denial testifies, since they are indirectly funding and propping up a rogue state.

    I share your exasperation at their drone-like absence of conscience and compassion Paddyswurds.

    Thank you for your humanitarian efforts.

    1. Three red arrows already, which just goes to prove my point.

      What shallow, unconscionable people our community harbours…

      1. Arrows ? I thought PinkNews comments were rated by green and red hands with thumbs up and down.

  34. Frankly, I did not expect Israel to be this full of life. I’m a non-Muslim living in an anti-Israel Muslim nation. The citizens were often bombarded with the impression that Jewish people are evil. There is no diplomatic tie between my country and Israel. Thus, we are not allowed to travel there. However, I choose not to be indoctrinated by my country crazy clerics as I think it is not fair to generalize all Jewish people in Israel as evil human beings. It is rather odd to see them tarnishing the image of Jewish people when the ones responsible for worldwide terrorism are Muslims. I am delighted to see that Tel Aviv is such a wonderful haven for gay folks in the Middle East. At least there is a place for other struggling gay Arab men to look up to. While the ongoing unrest between Israel and Palestine is uneasy, I don’t think it would be too much to ask for if we all pause for a while and celebrate gay pride for our brothers in Tel Aviv.

    1. Sorry about the curiosity JP, but what country are you from and what is your religion ? Are you a Bahá’í in Iran ? I heard they are violently persecuted by the government.

  35. Israelis are also inherently racist while branding anyone who criticises its policies anti-Semitic.

    HYPOCRITES!!
    I say that as a British Jew, and I am far from being alone in my revulsion among fellow Jews.

    But feel free to brand me an anti-semite as I have no doubt the dumber visitors to these boards will instinctively do.

    Don’t believe me? Click below:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOomBSTTzrU&feature=player_embedded

    1. Apologies, thumbed down in error ;-(

      The buttons on new smartphone seem to be too small.

      I agree that whilst there clearly is definitie anti-semitism in some criticism of Israel and Jews – not all criticism is – some of it is meant to be constructive! Some of it is justifed.

      That which is anti semetic needs to be condemned.

      1. Thanks Stu. Um, I think.

        This board appears to have gone quiet on the revelations and proof posted here about how racist Israelis can be.

        Are people really too lost for words or too embarrassed to admit that maybe they have been wrong to support this “freedom protecting” nation that is now persecuting, demonising and attacking non-whites within its own walls.

        The level of denial displayed here clearly runs too deeply to be cut through that easily, and just proves how weak-willed and insecure many gay people – who choose to follow the herd and are too scared to step out of line and state a truthful opinion – really are.

        Grow up people and form your own, untainted opinions instead of always stepping into line like mindless drones.

        How can you call yourselves free when you can’t even exercise your free will by calling the truth the truth instead of denying it all the time.

        Utterly shameful yet typical of a generation stunted by the likes of shallow trappings ala Grindr.

        1. There is an element of racisim within many societies – all of which is abhorrent and should be tackled.

          The situation is Israel recently has been particualrly concerning. I must admit I can see no connection of racism to Tel Aviv Pride.

          My knowledge of the LGBT communities in Israel is of one which seeks to work with their Arab neighbours. The only people I have seen suggesting the LGBT populus in Israel are racist is the Socialist Workers website.

          Recent events with South Sudanese asylum seekers and Madagascan maids suggest a cultural issue with racism within Israel – I do not see a link to LGBT groups – other than that they should be campaigning against it

    2. Spanner1960 11 Jun 2012, 12:45pm

      Don’t worry Samuel. Your critics will simply describe you as “self-loathing” for not following the majority. Stand by your principles, I say!

    3. I don’t think you are anti-semite or even a self-hating Jew, just anti-Zionist. Notice that you said “Israelis”, not “Jews” or “Israeli Jews”. Your opposition is to the policies of the state of Israel, not to the Jewish people as a whole. People should learn to separate anti-semitism from anti-Zionism, they are not the same.

      1. Spanner1960 12 Jun 2012, 8:53am

        Actually, so should they. Is “being Jewish” a religion, a race or a nationality? These people love to confuse everybody when it suits them, and then plead ignorance when it doesn’t.

  36. Tel Aviver 11 Jun 2012, 7:10am

    Hi, guys! Thanks for watching the photos. Many people ask me to upload portraits photography. Here is my new post.

    http://www.tlvspot.com/2012/06/tel-aviv-pride-parade-people.html

  37. Wonder how Gaza Gay Pride went yesterday?

    http://www.wherevent.com/detail/aviv-benedix-gaza-gay-pride-parade-2012

    Be good to hear a report from PN or a Comment from anyone who was there.

    1. Paddyswurds 11 Jun 2012, 12:01pm

      @Stu …
      …..If it went well I have serious doubts whether it will be featured on this site….. It wouldn’t fit with the agenda, don’t ya know.

      1. I hope you are wrong, Paddyswurds. I hope PN will publish a story on Pride in Gaza – it is a significant event in world LGBT affairs (the first Pride EVER in Gaza).

        1. Paddyswurds 12 Jun 2012, 6:09pm

          Looks like I was right, Stu. The Gaza Pride went well and that simply doesn’t suit the Pink News agenda

          1. Disappointingly it was not covered.

          2. Paddyswurds 15 Jun 2012, 8:26pm

            The Gaza pride was officially cancelled but almost 300 people turned up anyway and the day went off peacefully despite threats from Islamists of all hues including the despotic Saudi Arabia…..

      2. So, Paddy, what’s YOUR agenda, because clearly you have one.

    2. Good on you Stu for remembering while the rest of us are too busy ogling yet more hot crumpet care of the thoughtful Tel Aviver.

      And no, I would never be so cynical as to call it a diversionary tactic.

      Much.

      1. You cynical man, SamuelB

        And how little you know about me

        I genuinely am interested in the Pride in Gaza – and surprised that it is happening.

        It is a matter of significance – the first ever Pride in Gaza – and I am disappointed that you seek to besmurch such an event!

        1. I heard the event was cancelled. Apparently there was a lot of opposition to it taking place.

          1. Steve (above) said he heard 200 people took part

          2. @Stu can’t find anything on google news or twiter to confirm. The organiser’s Facebook page says it was cancelled, but perhaps or two people turned up anyway.

  38. Let me be clear that despite the absence of black faces, I am totally in favour of Pride in Israel as a bastion of light for freedom amid great oppression racism and war-mongering.

    What I AM against are shallow, unconscionable gays from Europe and elsewhere flocking to Israel merely to party and pull, and in the process indirectly funding Israel’s inhumane policies and its vast arsenal of weapons and nuclear bombs that it is now intent on unleashing upon Iran.

    World War III anyone? You read it here first…

    1. I have agreed with some of the thrust of your comments on non Israelis attending Pride in Israel needing to search their conscience.

      I do think its a huge leap to suggest there is a link between Gay Pride and the release of nuclear weaponry!

      I don’t think even the most right wing anti-gay politician seeks to use nuclear weapons as a solution to LGBT people!

      1. Spanner1960 12 Jun 2012, 8:50am

        Oh, I don’t know. Try the Iranian Ayatollahs.

  39. I love Israel. Tel Aviv, is my favourite place there! It sickens me, the amount of Jew bashing and anti-Israel comments on here!

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