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British LGBT journalist and activist detained and faces 10 year ban from Israel

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  1. What has he been up to whilst in Israel? It is very unusual for anyone to be deported and barred from returning for ten years unless he has been up to something more serious than stated in the brief article. More details Pink News, it then may be more of a story. Israel and especially the cities of Tel Aviv & Eilat are very LGBT friendly.

    1. “The 23-year-old is a supporter of a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict….”
      Probably had something to do with that.

    2. john dickens 10 Jan 2014, 6:43pm

      The Noble Israeli Heroes don’t welcome activists who support the rights of Palestinians…Pinkwashing doesn’t fool everybody.

      1. And not everybody is fooled by the ridiculous concept of “pinkwashing”. Every country in the world that respects LGBT rights has that acknowledged except Israel, who of course (“those crafty, conspiratorial Jews”) are only respecting gay rights because of another agenda. The old slurs are the best ones, eh?

        1. I don’t know why you think the concept of pinkwashing is ridiculous. The tories tried to build a substantial part of their credibility revival on greenwashing and pinkwashing and both of those agendas have been shown up for the rubbish the tories hold them to be now they have power (endless evidence re the environment, and a majority of tories opposed same-sex marriage).

          You also try to claim a slur against jews despite the fact that john dickens didn’t mention jews. He mentioned Israelis. Regardless of whether or not you agree with his position, do you think it’s possible to criticise Israeli politicians as having an agenda without being anti-semitic?

          1. Unless you don’t know the history of the theory of Pinkwashing, you will know that the idea is that Israel pushes itself as a safe space for homosexuals only in order to cover up the Palestine issue. The clear implication here is that Israel is not really gay friendly (because the majority of people in the democracy believe in LGBT rights) but as a smokescreen. No other country in the world has its LGBT rights questioned in this way – even though America and the UK have just as many issues in the field of human rights as Israel (Iraq anyone?), nobody says the recent strides in the direction of equality are to overshadow UK or US war crimes. Why pick on Israel? I think we all, really, know the answer.

            John Dickens didn’t mention “Israeli politicians” – he mentioned “Noble Israeli Heroes” – which I take as a generalisation for the entire Israeli state and people. Your last question – it is possible but also probable that most target Israel for anti-Semitic reasons.

          2. Thanks very much for such a prompt reply. Thanks also for elucidating regarding the pinkwashing remark. The comparison you draw between Israel and the UK/US is a useful one. Nevertheless divide and rule tactics also have a long and established history. For the reasons you outline I sincerely doubt Israel only pushes the gay acceptance angle as a smokescreen for human rights abuses (I don’t see how it would even work…). Nevertheless the idea of a conspiratorial government is far from exclusive to Israel and not automatically anti-semitic (even if those are the ones who will push it most).

            Regarding your second paragraph, I find it incredible that you extrapolate the phrase “Noble Israeli Heroes” to be a generalisation for the “entire Israeli state and people”. It seems to me like a sarcastically deferential remark which appears to single out a small number of people (imagine if someone mentioned “Noble British Heroes” in a discussion about British politics, I’d assume they meant the Eton brigade, if you see what I mean). I certainly don’t see any grounds to infer it as a reference to an entire people.

            I also don’t see the logic (or more accurately, the maths) in your last sentence. I can see why most (well, all) anti-semites would say Israeli politicians have an agenda. I don’t see why it follows that most people who think Israeli politicians have an agenda are anti-semites. A=C and B=C does not mean that A=C. Anti-semites have poisoned the well of debate, but so have those who automatically accuse criticisms of Israel as being anti-semitic. In the absence of firm reasons to cast aspersions on the character of those arguing, I think it’s only fair to take all arguments at face value.

            Off to bed now, I can see you’ve made a couple more replies below which I will try to respond to tomorrow. Thanks for taking the time.

    3. Google Solon Solomon Belfast. You’ll see the story of how Mr. Spedding was the organizer of a protest of an Israeli lecturer at the Uni, where the lecture was disrupted, and then the protesters attacked the lecturer and eventually broke the windows of the car he was in. That’s the Palestine Solidarity Society at Queen’s University in Belfast for you.

  2. For people who often claim persecution, Israelis seem to do a bit of persecuting……. just sayin’

    1. The same can be said of muslims.

      1. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

        1. I never said it did.

      2. @rapture

        didnt know ‘muslims’ is a country

        1. And we do know, whether you’ll admit it or not, that Palestine is not and never has been a country. the whole BDS movement is crap (or rubbish).

  3. john dickens 10 Jan 2014, 6:45pm

    ` Israel and especially the cities of Tel Aviv & Eilat are very LGBT friendly.’ As long as you are white and/or Jewish.

    1. Only a jew-hater would say something like that. I’ve been to Tel Aviv and didn’t experience any hostility. I’m not jewish and my boyfriend is asian.

    2. seems like youve never been to tel-aviv… this is anything but true

  4. “He also stands up for human rights, including LGBT…”

    Great. Then we can expect to see him protesting the plight of his gay brethren in a moslem country, say Saudi Arabia …or better yet, he could always protest a bit closer to home…maybe in Russia.

    1. GingerlyColors 10 Jan 2014, 7:07pm

      And perhaps he should be in Gaza, telling Hamas to respect gay rights.

      1. No. He knows that in places like Gaza they will kill him.

  5. What’s he done for pro-Lgbt rights in Palestine or any other country/territory in the middle east outside Israel.

    1. I don’t know. But we’d love to know what you have done.

    2. Is that a pre-condition of campaigning for oppressed minorities? Do people have a right to campaign for Tibetan independence without campaigning for anti-feudal independent states elsewhere? Do people have the right to campaign for racial equality in the United States and UK without campaigning for racial equality in South Africa? Shouldn’t we take arguments on their individual merits rather than constantly looking elsewhere and saying, “Yeah, but what about *that* instead?”

      One could suggest that it’s a relative compliment towards Israel’s more democratic nature that people are prepared to campaign both inside and outside that country in the hope that their message will be listened to, in a way that in Saudi Arabia is much harder.

      This isn’t to say that anti-semites won’t find a way to latch on to criticisms of Israel. They always will, and unfortunately a lot of the sadly understandable suspicion that arises when Israeli human rights abuses come up is in no small part owed to that. But what’s the solution – never criticise Israel? Never criticise a jewish person?

      1. Firstly i’m interested to know what he has done as an LGBT activist in this area. secondly, people do have a right to campaign for equality in different areas and choose which concerns them most, but, I do find that there is an obvious positive discrimination been applied by some in their condemnation to those who violate human rights abuses.

  6. Seriously Israel? It’s not like he was a terrorist, such behaviour is unacceptable!

    To get back to him though, as an LGBT person I would NEVER be an activist on behalf of a polity in which I know I would be severely persecuted (if not in the more “liberal” West Bank, quite possibly in the less liberal Gaza Strip). Many LGBT activists sadly life in a wishy-washy world in which everyone non-Western is good and fluffy and establish alliances with people who mean us harm. Disingenuous.

    1. “establish alliances with people who mean us harm”. You said it! You wouldn’t believe how extreme that practice is in the NYC gay ghetto. If you don’t adore Palestinians and Muslims in general and despise Israel you’re held in total contempt. (I suspect it’s a deep-rooted self-hatred or something).

      1. They are insulated in their ghetto, that’s why they have no idea of the contempt directed towards them outside of that. They insincerely spout the same phoney pc sentiments but when don’t put it into practice, reminds me of a party I went to once with unite against fascism, pro Palestinian usual cliched , clueless middle class white people saying all the wishy washy, pc drivel with a distinct lack of diversity present, was a bit like they support all this but not on my doorstep/personal life.

        1. As long as people like you and I stay aware of those kind of lazy-minded hateful fools, we can keep intellect and civilization alive. In NYC and London and Paris and Rome and………..Tokyo…everywhere. (And this isn’t to say there isn’t room to discuss all sides in situations like this gay/Israeli/Arab topic, and other topics, but that it has to be done with logic and experience and …with sense. Instead of just being a reactionary).

          1. Thanks to all for your ideas.

            MJ, you say “this isn’t to say there isn’t room to discuss all sides in situations like this gay/Israeli/Arab topic… but that it has to be done with logic and experience …instead of just being a reactionary”, but we haven’t seen what Spedding has been expelled for, and yet you support Robert S’ assertion about queers who “establish alliances with people who mean us harm”. That in itself seems like a reactionary position to take. For example, I deplore (unsurprisingly) homophobic, sexist, or supremacist tendencies amongst any group. But I do believe in supporting those groups right to live free from oppression. I believe that Palestinians have a right not to have Israeli settlers build on Palestinian land, and I can’t only support that right for those Palestinians who agree with me on everything. In a Palestinian state I support vigorous campaigning for queer equality, but I don’t believe that without that equality no-one should stand up for them.

            Suppose others were to apply the same logic to us – how could Palestinians support equality for gay people who don’t support their rights?

      2. “I suspect it’s a deep-rooted self-hatred or something”

        No, it’s just the lies of the media over the last 40 years concerning the truth about Israel. The Left think it’s “progressive” to hate Israel, the only jewish state on the planet, and the only state in the Middle East that is democratic and liberal.

        You never hear the Left talking about communist Cuba or communist Russia used to put gays in concentration camps. You never hear the Left talk about the worst genocides of the 20th century all being by socialists (Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot).

        If Israel was a communist country, the Left wouldn’t hear a word said against it.

  7. Stephen Kay 10 Jan 2014, 9:37pm

    LGBT activist my a@%e. He wraps himself in the gay flag and trashes the only gay friendly country in the middle east! That flag represents me he most certainly does not. I agree with the previous comments that he should pop over to Saudi and stand up for LGBT rights there. It would be good riddance as we would never see him again. Job done.

    1. Is he really that much of a nuisance?

      1. Yes. Because he’s a traitor to gay rights. Gay muslims have to get into Israel just so they aren’t killed by their family and neighbours.

  8. This “human rights activist” is a man who has links with people such as Sami Awad and Atallah Hanna, people known to support terrorism against the citizens of Israel. Any country in the world would be leery of letting such a personal and political friend of their sworn enemies within their borders. People have been banned from the UK for a lot less.

  9. He is friend and political ally to people who are the avowed enemies of Israel. Any country, including the UK, would do the same. See

  10. Right-Minded 11 Jan 2014, 12:38am

    Being an ‘LGBT activist’ and ‘pro-Palestinian’ is a contradiction, there’s no logical way you can support a community which is inherently and overwhelmingly anti-LGBT. What he is doing is actively working against the rights of LGBT people in the Middle-East, Israel is by far the best country to find yourself in as a gay person in that region.

  11. I don’t know much about Gary Spedding, but the comment section here is always the same.

    Whenever an LGBT person states that they believe that muslims – Palestinians, usually – deserve human rights just like we do, even if queer gender identities/sexualities are unpopular amongst Palestinians or whatever demographic, the response is always the same. “Why aren’t you campaigning for Saudi gays? Why aren’t you campaigning for Iranian gays? Why aren’t you campaigning for Egyptian Copts? Wy are you criticising the only gay-tolerant nation in the middle-east?”

    What is it about discussions about Israeli human rights abuses which provokes this what-aboutery? There are very few other issues which incur the same response. As a queer person I believe all oppressed people, of any religion and any creed deserve to be stood up for, even if they will stand against me for how I am. Human rights aren’t just for me.

    I don’t believe that these responses are some kind of zionist agenda, because I believe that people’s criticisms are probably coming from the right place. I also don’t think it’s a zionist agenda because as a jew I’d expect to have been let in on it. I don’t know if the stain of historical anti-semitism has led many to be understandably touchy about criticisms about jews. But criticisms about Israel aren’t criticisms about jews. I’m a jew, and I criticise Israel. I can do so while also thinking that Saudi Arabia, the United States, Russia and Britain have a far more malign influence on the world than Israel. But it’s not either/or. You can criticise Israel just because you think it should be criticised. When we criticise Russia or America, no-one ever says, “Ah, but why aren’t you criticising Saudi Arabia, eh?” So why do so many say this when Israel is criticised?

    1. “I don’t know much about Gary Spedding” – I suggest that you refrain from commenting until you do. Begin with here –

      Then ask yourself why Israel is targeted far more than countries with far worse human rights records – where is Spedding’s activism when it comes to China, Saudi Arabia, Russia? Why do so many people pick up the Palestinian issue as a pet cause and get so worked up about Israel? Why do they seem to think protecting your country from suicide bombers and missiles is one-sided human rights abuse?

      Of course Israel should not be above criticism – but I ask you to ask yourself why it gets much more than its fair share.

      1. I agree, it’s refreshing to know that there are some commentators on here , who are capable of providing pragmatism to their posts regarding Israel, rather than the elitist, delusional , conditioned , double standards ,responses. Thanks for providing the link and making very credible points.

    2. You should live in NYC. The Manhattan gay ghetto has always despised Israel as much as they despise Texas, U.S. southerners, Catholics (except for French ones); Irish; Irish-Americans; blue-collar men from Brooklyn and Queens; wealthy expatriate Cubans; and anybody born right in NYC. They move to NYC from other places in the U.S. and quickly learn that’s the proper position to take on each one of those subjects. Case closed. (They do love the UK and any English visitors, though).

  12. lalocura – “In a Palestinian state I support vigorous campaigning for queer equality” Which Palestinian state of your own fantastic imagination would that be? The only Palestinian state that has ever been mooted by the Palestinians is one run on the basis of Sharia Law and one which does not acknowledge the right of Israel to exist. The homosexuals in that Palestinian state would be as vigorously persecuted as they are in Iran or Saudi Arabia and as for the Jews who exist in that New Palestine – I think we all know what would happen to them…

  13. israel not only deny democracy to others but actively oppress those who want one and then bleat on about how they are the only democratic nation in mid. east. thinking that giving few equal rights to its lgbt will exonerate them from abusing basic human rights of others.

    1. To whom do they deny democracy? Every Israeli citizen can vote in Israeli elections, and those in the Palestinian territories can vote in their own elections, even though the two opposed parties might go to war when one of them (Hamas) wants to violently oppress the supporters of the other (Fatah).

      1. ‘…To whom do they deny democracy?…’

        after Hamas’s electoral victory in 2006 israel refused to recognize its government and much of the funding to the Palestinian National Authority was suspended.
        palestinians might as well not bother with democracy at all when results are not respected by oppressor. funny enough in 1946 unelected israeli freedom fighters or terrorist as seen by british didnt see anything wrong with killing innocent people like during attack on king david hotel, but criticise democratically elected hamas for using same tactics. hypocrisy or what?

        1. I wonder if kane would support a neighbour with the stated intention of murdering him and all his family?

          1. @idiomatic

            let me think

            if i went to my neighbour took his house and garden and then imprisoned him and his family in garden shed and abuse him on regular bases of course i would suspect him to have ‘stated intention of murdering’ me

        2. Only a jew-hater like you would think that “democratically elected hamas” should be respected by Jews. The Hamas Charter says that they intend to wipe out every Jew in Israel. Jews were in Israel long before any Arabs (the hint is in the name “Arab” – they come from Arabia, initially with the murdering, slave-taking army of Mohammed). Yet long after the shame of the National Socialists, people like you still support groups who want to exterminate Jews.

          Hamas is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, a self-confessed muslim terrorist organisation, created in 1928 and consciously modeled on Hitler’s National Socialist Workers Party (note: Israel did not exist at this point). Muslims like those in Hamas do not just claim ownership of the land of Israel, but also parts of Italy and most of Spain. Any land conquered by Mohammed’s genocidal army is, to them (and presumably to people like you) to be muslim land forever.

          1. jew-hater???

            not sure whats more ridicules, you or your name calling?

            israel practises ‘democracy on the leash’ in palestine, where only right choice will be recognise by the almighty masters.
            hamas and its electoral victory is result of decades long abuse of basic human rights of palestinians by the state of israel and as long as israel will continue with abuses hamas will be the electoral winner.
            history likes to repeat itself it was jewish terrorist group ‘irgun’ that in 1946 bombed king david hotel killing innocent people and whose members were later absorbed into the israel defense forces, hows that different from what hamas does now?

            btw i object to violence and hypocrisy in equal measure

          2. since my last comment wasnt not posted i try again

            jew-hater? not sure whats more ridicules, you or your name calling?

            i srael practise ‘democracy on the leash’ in palestine. only right result will be recognised by the masters. h@mas and its electoral victories are a result of i srael decades long abuses of basic human rights in palestine and as long as the abuse continues so it will h@mas victories. history is a funny thing, terorist organisation I R G U N is best known for the bombing of the king david hotel in Jerusalem 1946 and the D eir Y assin massacre, carried out in 1948. hows that different from what h@mas does today?

            btw i object to violence and hypocrisy in equal measure

        3. Leaving aside the blood that was shed when Hamas decided to cleanse the Gaza strip of Fatah, its main opposition – why on earth would Israel recognise a party in government whose objectives include the destruction of the state of Israel? It makes no sense.

          As for your adolescent pursuit below of an equivalence between a few Israeli acts of terrorism during the war of Independence in the 1940s and the many terrorist acts that Hamas have committed in the last 20 years – Israel was fighting to establish a democratic state where Jews (who Europe has just tried to wipe out) and others could be free, whereas Hamas are attempting to establish a theocratic tyranny. I can assure you, if Palestine was completely independent of Israel and Hamas were in charge, not many free elections would follow.

          1. you are a bit slow i have to say.
            hamas wouldnt get a chance of winning if it wasnt for israeli’s brutal oppression and abuse of basic human rights in palestine. they voted for a organization that would stand up and fight back and i dont really blame them for it, seems like a very logical conclusion to the situation.
            the point i was making is not about the amount of time and number of terrorist acts that have taken to accomplish the goal but the means employed by both sides to reach it. therefore it is hypocritical of israel to accuse hamas of the way it goes about in establishing the palestinian state. and thats one of the reasons why people feel strongly about palestinian cause

  14. One would hope he was planning to visit Palestine and Gaza to fight for the same gay rights as is enjoyed in Israel

  15. Send him to live in Iran. There’s far more human rights work to be done there.

    1. First put him in a Rainbow Flag T-shirt. (And can I send a bunch of guys I know here in NYC with him..?)

    2. Joe, get a life!

  16. Google Solon Solomon Belfast. You’ll see the story of how Mr. Spedding was the organizer of a protest of an Israeli lecturer at the Uni, where the lecture was disrupted, and then the protesters attacked the lecturer and eventually broke the windows of the car he was in. That’s the Palestine Solidarity Society at Queen’s University in Belfast for you.

  17. a neo-lib-con 12 Jan 2014, 10:44am

    i dont get it. why does the LGBT community of any nation need to import activists from other countries to make their point in their own country?? is it just to get a big enough mob on the ground to make the youtube video look impressive enough to western audiences?? here in india, the LGBT community is gaining social respect and acceptance fast despite homosexuality being officially illegal. and that has more to do with the fact that it was never illegal in our country’s culture to begin with (before a dumb british law was copied in our constitution in the 1950s). even today, the acceptance for the LGBT community has occurred more on a social level and we definitely did not NEED to ask for western “activists” to come and help in this issue. before politicizing this genuinely human rights issue, the LGBT activist community needs to bring the awareness to the masses through literature and music. sensitivity towards this movement in the masses can only be evoked and not provoked.

  18. well… what did he do?! maybe his arrest was justified. Being a human rights activists doesnt make you automatically a person who never brake laws.

  19. Google Solon Solomon Belfast. You’ll see the story of how Mr. Spedding was the organizer of a protest of an Israeli lecturer at the Uni, where the lecture was disrupted, and then the protesters attacked the lecturer and eventually broke the windows of the car he was in. That’s the Palestine Solidarity Society at Queen’s University in Belfast for you.

  20. Stop the Israeli apartheid!

  21. Hyeon Bundang 12 Jan 2014, 7:26pm

    Why isn’t Mr Spedding concerned about the gays being hanged in the Palestinian territories? I’d like to hear him criticise Fatah and Hamas for murdering their own people. Can he also acknowledge that Israel treats homosexuals far better than most of the surrounding Arab nations?

    1. “Palestinians” even have representation in the Israeli Parliament. This “pink washing” campaign is getting a little old

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