Prince Gomolvilas

Tel Aviv Has Balls

Filed By Prince Gomolvilas | December 29, 2008 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Entertainment, Politics
Tags: gay sports, Gays in the Military, Israel, Tel Aviv, World Outgames, Yossi & Jagger

The Israeli city of Tel Aviv has begun recruiting gay hunks jocks athletes to compete in World Outgames 2009,gay_israel_L.jpg which will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, next summer and which will feature 38 different sporting events. (Of course, the only ones worth mentioning are beach volleyball, diving, and wrestling -- I would list more, but I don't think any other sports involve shirtlessness or men grappling each other.) Organizers aim to assemble a team of 30 men and women, the first of its kind in the country.

But Tel Aviv is not quick to let sports eclipse everything -- which means...party!

In addition to competing in sporting events, Tel Aviv will also be hosting an "OutCity programme" on the beach in Copenhagen featuring Israeli music concerts, modern dance performances, and "chillout parties featuring top DJs from Tel Aviv's vibrant nightlife scene."

I don't know about you, but, whenever I think of Israel, I think of hot Israelis. And whenever I think of hot Israelis, I think of the gays-in-the-military movie, Yossi & Jagger. The image of hunky Israeli soldiers making sweet love in the show is not easy to shake.

By the way, did you know that gays can serve openly in the military in Israel? When will America finally catch up to the two dozen nations that allow gays some semblance of respect, at least when it comes to military service?

[h/t Outsports]


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Sorry, Prince, but I really question the timing on this post, in the midst of a brutal Israeli attack on Gaza, particularly with that headline and the celebration of gay inclusion in the Israeli military without any consideration of what that military does and is doing right this minute.

Witness: http://flipfloppingjoy.com/2008/12/27/witness/

Because I find most online (and offline, for that matter) discussions on this topic (not at Bilerico in particular -- everywhere) disheartening, frustrating, mostly futile, and etc., forgive me in advance for simply ducking in to say that and that's all. I don't have the heart or stamina to do a back-and-forth on this.

Hi, Jessica, thanks for your comments. I actually went back and forth as to whether or not to write this post, and, when I decided to move forward with it, I wondered whether to reference the current Israel/Gaza situation.

I think it's an interesting journalistic conundrum. When war crimes are the big headlines of the day/week, how much is a writer allowed to write about something else without referencing said war crimes? Or does everything have to be put into context? Or should posts that are not about these big headlines not be written until more time has passed?

In the end, I decided to keep this blog post self-contained, but I do realize that the headline and the gays-in-the-military reference can come across as insensitive because of the timing. In the end, it would've perhaps been better to just ditch this post altogether instead of elaborating on it with political commentary. I'm not sure.

But thanks for bringing it up. It's an issue I'm still working through in my mind.

You shouldn't limit your posts based on the prepotence of individuals who have an axe to grind. The story is far from finalized on assigning blame to Israel, as so many people are so quick to jump their horses-- hysterically driven by headlines.

Furthermore, assuming the claim that Israel is the imperialistic, oppressive monster of the region, it's incredibly stupid to think that you can't commend it on other merits. This conversation reeks of hijacking ala Barney Frank bashing in the thread Bil created, asking for a transcript of his speech.

Find some appropriate forum to discuss an issue, folks; don't derail the conversation because you're too lazy to search for a fitting medium of discussion.

Lucere -

I don't think it was a problem that Jessica raised this issue on Prince's post. I come to Bilerico because of the range of opinions (which don't always come in a linear way).

I do think it is innapropriate to post and dash, though. I know Jessica apologized for it in advance, but I don't feel like that is adequate. My understanding is that this online community is set up on the premise that you'll either post and participate in later comments or not post. I think Prince's response to her raised some interesting issues and we'd benefit from the dialogue.

Hopefully Jessica will reconsider not coming back and will engage with Prince instead.

The death toll rises to at least 315, and the number of Israeli troops on the Gaza border doubles on the third day of Israel's massive bombing campaign. Defense Minister Ehud Barak says his country is "fighting a war to the bitter end" against Hamas, and the White House blames Hamas for this latest round of stunning Mideast violence. In view of this I find the article by Prince Gomolvilas offensive. However, I don't think the Prince is to blame entirely. It is Bilerico, that encourages "fluff" and "camp" articles and gives away Britanny CD's. I have been accused by Bil as being a grumpy Walter Matthau character for objecting to a household hints article about light bulbs, written by a closeted Mormon lesbian. Not really an erudite blog, although there are many educated lesbian and gay men that bring interesting and thought provoking articles to think about.

written by a closeted Mormon lesbian

Charles, that's really a jerk comment to make about Serena. She's not closeted - she's actually the first out person I met when I went to college.

I know you don't like Serena (or this site for that matter, which makes me wonder why you comment here more than 99.9% of our readers), but there's no reason to start talking shit about her.

Charles,

"A closeted Mormon lesbian"? You really to play it loose with the truth, eh? I hope it makes you feel better, Charles, to stop by blogs and make nasty, bitter comments that you have to lie to make sound credible.

Again, as with every time, Charles. If you don't like it, please stop visiting. No one forces you to read or comment.

I have to chime in with others. Of all people to be snarky to, you pick SERENA?!!!

She's one of the loveliest contributors, and I've yet to find her guilty of any reproachable behavior.

...Get out.

Can I ask for some space between full engagement on the larger Israel/Palestine conversation - which I really just do not have the heart to offer in this moment and space - and "post and dash"ing?

Because I do want to thank Prince for offering a gracious and thoughtful response. Thank you.

Also, to clarify: my problem with the post isn't that it covers Israeli sports, and I'm certainly not suggesting a Bilerico blackout on any nation or group or anything (ever, please); I simply question the timing of this particular post, and specifically with a headline that in this moment could easily be misread as leading to a post that *is* about the attack (in fact, that's what I expected to find when I saw the headline on Twitter and clicked over), followed by a lighthearted post that ultimately does discuss the Israeli military in a way I find insensitive at best, and also revealing of the disconnect that happens when we look at so-called gay issues in a vacuum, without connecting to other issues (in this case, celebrating gay inclusion in the military without being critical about the specific military or militarism more broadly).

Again, while I don't think there is a single answer to the journalism-ethics questions Prince has asked, and while in this case I'd have personally come to a different conclusion than Prince did, I very much appreciate the grace and forthrightness with which Prince has addressed the critique.

Hi, Lucrece and Chris, thanks for your comments. And thank you, Jessica, for your follow-up.

I suppose I could've ended my post on the sports aspect of the story, but Yossi & Jagger was truly on my mind (it's the last Israeli movie I saw) and I did aim to keep things light. Bringing the current conflict into the post would have, I believe, sent me into a deeper hole,
especially since it's not a topic I am versed enough in to provide intelligent commentary on. But, again, I do recognize the timing issue. Just for myself, I tried to put this in an American perspective with a hypothetical situation. For example, if the day after 9/11 happened, would it have been appropriate for me to write, say, a post about New York's wild gay nightlife? And if so, should it have been written devoid of the larger context of the 9/11 terrorist attacks? These larger journalistic issues do concern me.

In response to Charles, I always understood Bilerco's content to be as diverse as its bloggers, and I am thankful for that. I know that I've often come to the site only to be overwhelmed by multiple posts (from different angles) on Proposition 8 or, more recently, Rick Warren. While I appreciate reading different views on these important gay issues, I also appreciate "lighter" posts, which I believe actually give Bilerico more dimension. Even the highly influential political rabble-rouser that is The Huffington Post offers plenty of lighter fare into its mix of American politics and world events.

Though I've written my fair share of posts about the important sociopolitical gay issues of the day, I'm pretty sure I was brought on board to help balance out the tone of the site. To suggest that the occasional "light" reading on Bilerico somehow diminishes the efforts of the "many educated lesbian and gay men that bring interesting and thought provoking articles," I think, is a tad misguided.

But I do understand where you're coming from in regard to current sensitive events. I appreciate your thoughts on it.

Jessica -

that makes sense. I'm glad you came back.

Your post raises a couple of questions for me.

I've always engaged Bilerico as, basically, an online newspaper where I can pick and choose from various simultaneous conversations (although as posts get pushed further down the page, they are less simultaneous). I read the posts that interest me and skip over the ones that don't. As often as not, I'll judge whether a post is interesting based on the headline, a photo accompanying the post, OR the author. (I'm not advocating the practice, just confessing.)

I wonder if, by getting the headlines on Twitter, you approach the site differently in some ways. More like a series of conversations about which you get a snippet of info (in some ways, whether you like it or not). I'm not framing this all that well (and I'm certainly not implying that there is something wrong with the headlines being sent out on Twitter), but I'm just trying to ask: (the rather obvious question) do we all approach and take from the site in different ways?

And that leads me to the second question, which is: does everyone have to come to the site knowing more or less the same information? Clearly, we don't all need to agree, but is there a presumption that we all share some common set of interests and, if so, how wide are those interests presumed to be. Obviously, from his response to you Prince knew about Israel's current actions. But, what if he didn't? What if his general focus was on sports and he rarely paid attention to other news. Or, if he had just gotten back from a camping trip and had been off the grid for weeks? I think it's okay that some people's Venn diagram's only overlap at the LGBT and that they all bring all the rest of themselves (some of which I don't see in many or any other places) to the site with them.

One assertion you make is that Prince's post is a reflection of a discussion of "gay issues in a vacuum," but what conversations don't happen in some kind of vacuum? To me, it's great that so many individual vacuums that people bring to the site are informed by other people's vacuums (if I can stretch the analogy that far). I just worry that without that appreciation, we create idealized conversations in our heads that are unattainable once other people get involved.

I haven't seen Yossi and Jagger, but I am sure your explanation has validity. The Israeli/Hamas uprising just happened and I suspect your were writing your artcle days before.

Thanks for pointing that out, Charles. It was written in advance.

I, quite literally, just saw this post. And my responses are the same as Jessica's. I'm in shock over the last lines:
"By the way, did you know that gays can serve openly in the military in Israel? When will America finally catch up to the two dozen nations that allow gays some semblance of respect, at least when it comes to military service?"

I do have to say that the conversation here has been more civil than most but I have to wonder if some of that civility and somewhat naively articulated naivette isn't itself disingenuous to a degree. I can't help be struck by the extreme gentility that overcasts this conversation, and wonder what it says about what "we" as a community see as issues that we might have a stake in or not.

Prince, your constant iteration of the idea of "journalistic ethics" and Chris, the idea that some conversations do exist in a vacuum: both get away from the point of Jessica's points. The point is that once a conversation begins, it needs to engage with the responses it elicits and, Prince, you've tip-toed away from that role, but more on that below.

You can't title a post "Tel Aviv has balls" and then proceed to write a polyanna piece about how lovely it is that the Israeli army lets gays serve. And by can't I don't mean that you shouldn't, but that you can't do that and then frame it in the space between "would" and "should."

And that brings me to these words of yours which, I think, expose some disingenuousness or at least unconscious rhetorical slipperiness:

"For example, if the day after 9/11 happened, would it have been appropriate for me to write, say, a post about New York's wild gay nightlife? And if so, should it have been written devoid of the larger context of the 9/11 terrorist attacks? These larger journalistic issues do concern me."

Interesting, because you're actually asking the wrong question. The answer to "Would it have been appropriate etc.?" is, of course, "Well, no, now let's all think about that a little more." But, come on, you know this as well as the rest of us do: the real question is this: "Would I have written a post about NY's wild gay nightlife the day after 9/11?"

And I think we all know the answer to that one, regardless of our political affiliation: "Of course not." (that doesn't mean you shouldn't have, it just means that popular sentiment on all sides would have dictated an answer in the negative) But phrasing THAT question, "should I have?" would have forced you to confront the context of your post much more directly. Whereas phrasing it in the rhetoric of journalistic ethics and "would" rather than "should" allows you a lot of wiggle room. The more declarative "should" appears later, but by then it's in an ancilliary position to your "would." And the answer there is also, of course, no. The questions you pose are non-questions, or at least questions that disguise the real questions that should (yes, should) have been asked.

Here's another way of phrasing that: you can give yourself a pass for having written this post in a way you never could have if you'd written it about gay night-life right after 9/11. The reasons for that are myriad. For now, I think it's worth asking how a gay blog post about hot Israeli soldiers could be envisioned in the context of what's happening to Gaza when we would never envision something like that post-9/11 (Okay, the Advocate didn't mention the event for nearly three weeks after, and only after it was able to name gay people who'd died - but, puh-leeze, that's the Advocate, which barely acknowledges the sun's existence outside of gay life).

I think it's worth asking questions about the nationalistic rhetoric of gay identity. 9/11? Hey, you're talking about OUR COUNTRY, don't touch/taint itwith "light fare." The Israel-Palestine situation and a long historical trajectory whose numbers of dead far outnumber the number dead in 9/1? Yay for Israeli hotties and their balls!


I'm examining your words closely because I'm intrigued by the perhaps unconscious ways in which we think about some issues as being gayer than others, much more genteel, and not as incendiary as others. And so, I think, Jessica's point about gay issues in a vacuum still stands. We think about everything, from war to marriage, only inasmuch as we can find the LGBT bodies manifesting those issues. And once we find them, we're just so darn happy to see them that we conveniently forget the destruction they might bring. Gays in the military? Lovely, lovely, bring on the guns and the massacres and let's keep deluding ourselves about how "progressive" we are as a community. Yes, we can, we can march in anti-war rallies AND demand to serve to kill!! No contradictions there.


Let me be clear: the fact that the post is problematic to some (at least to me and, I suspect, to others) doesn't mean that it shouldn't have been written. As you point out, there's room for lighter fare. And I think there's room for different perspectives. But lighter fare/a different perspective in the context of these brutal attacks would at least announce itself as such.

In the end, I don't find it interesting to examine your motives per se. In a way, I'm glad your post exists because it proves what I've been saying and writing for a long time: when it comes to our identities as LGBT folk vs our interests as progressive/lefty folk, we choose our identities every single time.

Yasmin, thanks for your comments. You may think that I'm being disingenuous, but I honestly appreciate hearing people's thoughts on this thread. As I pointed out in my first comment, "It's an issue I'm still working through in my mind."

There are many things to address here, but first off I'm not sure what is wanted of me here, what corrective measure would satisfy you and Jessica, given that the post is live, the discussion is happening, and I can't take it back. I admitted, "In the end, it would've perhaps been better to just ditch this post altogether." But there are some readers (a couple commented here) who don't necessarily agree with that. Given that there exists two diametrically opposing viewpoints over this issue within this forum, am I not allowed to not come down with force and surety on either side? The fact that there are even "sides" tells me that it's not so cut and dry.

As for your parsing of my comments (would vs. should, etc.), honestly, it was difficult me to follow your line of logic. I don't think I've tip-toed away from addressing Jessica's or Charles's comments. I answered them directly, while at the same time admitting that I am conflicted over the issue.

I'm probably closer to your views about the military ("Gays in the military? Lovely, lovely, bring on the guns and the massacres and let's keep deluding ourselves about how "progressive" we are as a community. Yes, we can, we can march in anti-war rallies AND demand to serve to kill!! No contradictions there.") than you realize, but I recognize that this is an issue that our community has taken up. Must my somewhat pacifist views always come into play when mentioning the issues of gays in the military?

Also, I would like to point out that I never framed this conversation as specifically being about "journalistic ethics." This may come across as crass, but I thought I was framing it as being about journalistic etiquette. To bring the word "ethics" into play suggests that there are deep moral implications and that coming down on the wrong side of the issue would taint my very soul.

...I looked over your comments again to see if there is anything being asked of me. I don't see a demand for an apology or for an admission of some kind of guilt or for a retraction. It seems the one major thing that concerns you is this: "The point is that once a conversation begins, it needs to engage with the responses it elicits and, Prince, you've tip-toed away from that role, but more on that below."

I have engaged with the responses the best that I can and as directly as I can, even revealing to you my thinking-out-loud thought process. Again, my attempt to sift through the very different perspectives here is simply that--my attempt to sift through the very different perspectives. If that comes across as tip-toeing or being disingenuous or dishonesty or an attempt at absolution, then there's nothing I can do about that other than to say that that's not what I intend.

Prince,

I'm glad you point out that I don't ask for a retraction or an apology. That said, I don't think it's incumbent upon me or anyone else to tell you what you should do. I don't think the issue here if of two opposing sides, but about what it means to write a post like this that doesn't reference the current situation at all.

As for my parsing of your words, I'll repeat myself:
"Here's another way of phrasing that: you can give yourself a pass for having written this post in a way you never could have if you'd written it about gay night-life right after 9/11. The reasons for that are myriad. For now, I think it's worth asking how a gay blog post about hot Israeli soldiers could be envisioned in the context of what's happening to Gaza when we would never envision something like that post-9/11."


I'm asking you, and others, to ask what I'd like to term a bigger question: would this post have been envisioned post 9/11? I'm suggesting, and I think I'm pretty clear on this in my previous comment, that a certain sense of queer nationalistic entitlement allows us to envision a post like this.

And, quite frankly, I think something like your post is fairly typical of gay publications - I can see it existing comfortably in the Advocate without much question. It's only being questioned here because you wrote on a blog, and on a blog that's fairly contentious (which is, in my view, a damn good thing). Again, I'll repeat myself: "For now, I think it's worth asking how a gay blog post about hot Israeli soldiers could be envisioned in the context of what's happening to Gaza when we would never envision something like that post-9/11." The point isn't that you shouldn't have written this. The point is to ask you and the rest of us, what does it say about how we think about sexuality? Do we ever see it within its context?

I will add this: it's pointless to ask whether or not you're being disingenuous; I don't think this is about the question of belief/sincerity. I just think your post is emblematic of a great deal of gay politics today. Which is to say, finding "the gay" at the cost of ignoring politics entirely.

Yasmin, I think the charge of "nationalistic entitlement" is unfair. The reason I brought up 9/11 in a hypothetical situation is not because I'm a super patriot who believes that things only matter when they happen to Americans and damn the rest of the world 'cuz they don't affect me--I brought up 9/11 because in my adult life it's the one major violent attack that I remember viscerally because of the wide coverage it received in the media and it was the one that most directly affected people I know personally--I have a lot of friends in New York. In trying to draw an analogy in my own mind, I naturally went to 9/11 because I wanted to choose something that did have a personal effect on me--and not out of a sense of "let's put this in an American context because then I would understand"--it's more like "let's put this in a personal context." That is not to say, of course, what's happening in Gaza is not worthy of concern. If I lived in Iraq or Afghanistan or Darfur, I'm sure I would've chosen a different analogy. But I'm in the U.S., and I chose what I chose for--what I hope are now--obvious reasons.

Also, I never once said I wouldn't write a post on gay nightlife right after 9/11. If every other post on a particular site was about the terrorist attacks directly, maybe I would. I don't know.

Again, I refuse to come down hard on a particular "side" on this issue--not in an attempt to "pacify" everyone, but because my thinking on it has been continually evolving over the last couple days.

Yasmin -

apologies, but I am not sure what part(s) of your post are directed to me. You mention my name and, I'm sure unintentionally, misquote my post, but it's unclear if anything else in your post is directed at me and you don't seem to address either of the questions I posed in my post.

I'm happy to engage, but just need some clarification.

Best,

Chris

Hi Chris,

I wasn't directing my post specifically at you, except to point out that conversations don't exist in a vacuum. Your earlier post said, "but what conversations don't happen in some kind of vacuum?" and your later words go on to clarify some points that I may have missed in the moment. You're right to say, "I think it's okay that some people's Venn diagram's only overlap at the LGBT and that they all bring all the rest of themselves..." And I think it's okay for some of us to ask those people why that's the case.

But I was responding particularly to Prince's post , which is not something written without knowledge. Even if it had been, it's still legitimate to ask about its context. As I said earlier, "In a way, I'm glad your post exists because it proves what I've been saying and writing for a long time: when it comes to our identities as LGBT folk vs our interests as progressive/lefty folk, we choose our identities every single time." I'll also add that I do think this is generating a worthwhile conversation.

If it had been the case that Prince wrote about this unaware of the situation in Gaza, the discussion would still be worth having. But there are a lot of "what ifs" involved there that I don't care to explore because, well, they're "what ifs".

For now, I'm responding to what we have in front of us, and Prince's post, by asking us to think about how we construe gay politics outside or within politics. Put another way, how do we construct some gay issues as political and some not? Is gay marriage a political issue? Or something else? Is the topic of Israeli hotties at this time a sexual/erotic issue? Or something else? Is there such a thing as a "purely" political or sexual issue? I think this is a chance to ponder those questions.

Thanks, Yasmin. That is really helpful. It is good I asked for clarification because I was misunderstanding your previous email to say something more strident (i.e. we all must see the same things as political).

My original posts on this thread were intended to affirm Jessica's statement that she sees political implication's in Prince's original post and then to ask, as a result, must everyone see political implications? And to the degree that people see differently, can we have conversations about that difference instead of arguments?

I'd love to see your thoughts on this as I suspect you think about these things often.

In response to some of your questions themselves: "Is the topic of Israeli hotties at this time a sexual/erotic issue? Or something else? Is there such a thing as a "purely" political or sexual issue?"

I actually think “Isreali hotties” can be apolitical for some people, even at this point in time. Beyond that, I think gay men, in particular, can talk about "hotties" in a way that is asexual. I read Prince's post to be more about aesthetic than ass or association, meaning it is neither sexual nor political. Seeing that side of things, though, doesn't negate my ability to understand and appreciate how others experience it in a sexual or political (or sexual/political) way.

While I do think there are issues/ideas that, for me, are purely sexual or purely political or purely goofy for that matter most of them are a combination of the above (mixed up with a lot of other stuff). However, I don't expect my understanding of any one issue or idea to be universal nor do I feel that a lack of universality diminishes my perspective. (And I think that, when I was misunderstanding you earlier, that is what I thought you were trying to convey - that your read on the post was the only valid read.)

To me, as a progressive, the interesting conversations happen when my views or experiences resonate with others (particularly people who don't share my worldview) not because I've "busted them" or "checked them," but because I've left space in my Venn diagram for theirs to overlap. My own experience tells me that this is the best way for people to develop progressive ideas of their own instead of mimicking ones they’ve been pressured into adopting. (Which, just to clarify, is not meant to in any way imply that you or Jessica was pressuring anyone to adopt any particular viewpoint.)

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 30, 2008 3:02 AM

Prince, this is a tough one for me, and timing is everything. Your piece was nicely written and would have been perfect any other week. The "Out Games" are a valuable message. Many months ago we had a piece provided by a Gay Israeli group promoting tourism to Israel.

I read the whole of it including the assertion of "our" rights in their country. My mind immediately went to the plight of Palestinians 80% of whom require food aid to survive.

I also know there are many flavors of Israelis including those (Orthodox) who would totally discriminate against us gladly if given the chance. We should not without care embrace a country just because it is hospitable to us when the true goal of the movement has always been about everyone's equality. Everyone's rights include learning the whole truth.

"The Israel Lobby and U.S.Foreign Policy" is written by a Jewish and Gentile pair of professors who are foreign policy experts.

And it still matters to me that Israel is the number one recipient of American Foreign Aid. They employ their own lobby groups in our congress, and the ammo they are using to kill is ours as a part of that foreign aid. Just because we like their present laws on Gay issues does not alter this reality for folks who are suffering at the hands of the same government.

Example: If Hitler were pro gay in attitude (and for years he was) and maintained this attitude throughout the Nazi period, and failed to kill Gay people along with Jews, Gypsies, Communists, and all other victims would he have been less atrocious? The answer is: of course not.

I know your heart is in the right place and you mean no ill will toward anyone. "...whenever I think of Israel I think of hot Israelis..." Not the first thing I think of at all.

Hi, Robert, thanks for your comments. I do recognize that my last paragraph may suffer from a poor choice of words. It was mainly intended to be commentary on U.S. policy more than anything else, but it obviously didn't come across that way to everyone.

Had the last Israeli movie I saw been about gay farmers, I would've written about gay farmers. It just so happens it was about gay soldiers.

You write and learn.

Waiting for harmony in that area before posting your story might take a long time. Your story highlights the fact that not withstanding the constant war footing life goes on.

We know from our recent election cycle that US foreign aid to the region will be increased. I only wish it would be in the form of food, and medical supplies instead of money which seems to find its way into the war machine.

This is a very dainty discussion for an article which has some grotesquely quotable lines. This article could very generously be described as ill-timed.

"The image of hunky Israeli soldiers making sweet love in the show is not easy to shake." The photos of little Palestinian children lying dead next to each other are a little harder, for me, to shake.

"But Tel Aviv is not quick to let sports eclipse everything -- which means...party!" Yeah some party a few miles away.

"I don't think any other sports involve shirtlessness or men grappling each other..." I've seen photos of men struggling to pull their brothers out of the wreckage of their offices.

Everybody knows the State of Israel is more tolerant of what we think of as Gay culture than the Islamic countries that surround it. But you know, so what. Is that it? Is that enough to buy our silence, for us to turn our eyes away, to buy our complicity? If there are gay Israelis--if there are gays among the Israelis lining up for the ground invasion of Gaza--then surely there are gays in Gaza--albeit with a vastly different culture and vastly different ethos of survival than our Euro-American gay culture. Do we turn a blind eye to the bombs falling on them?

All the discussions of race and class and culture are laid out here plain to see. I reject this "party" in Tel Aviv. It is complicit in the murder of innocents: some of them are your gay brothers and sisters too.

Yes, let's ignore the fact that many of you could submit guest/official contributions covering the "massacre" issue, instead of wanting this specialized article to cover every tangential issue that you feel like ranting about.

Let's make everyone cover what WE want to see covered; to hell with those who wish to dabble in other interests. It's all about the sanctimonious speeches, baby!

Roland Winston | December 30, 2008 10:23 AM

OMG people, get a grip.
The Bilerico Header says 'daily experiments in LGBTQ'. I think the Prince post meets that standard.
The what if - 9/11 - challenges are just bullshit and irrelevent. I read the front page story about Gaza in the Richmond TD. I also read a ridiculous story about the costs of attending the inaugural 'on the cheap and if you just won the lottery'. Also a story about the slaughter at a Congo sanctuary, and the rise of the Taliban and beheadings in Pakistan. Then I read the comics and my horror scope. After spitting out my 2 cents here, I am going to spend some time on planning relating to our next local Join the Impact event on 1/10.
The way some of you are castigating Prince, I suppose I should have just read the cover story,
immediately written my congressman and then dressed in black and gone into mourning for the rest of the year. I am betting that business and pleasure activities are continuing thru out Israel and Gaza even as the strikes (both ways) go on. Prince, no more apology - Just let them rant.

It was my decision when to publish it.

Honestly, I didn't think about it. It was early in the morning when the post got scheduled. I'd been mostly offline and not watching any news for the past few days and I'd been awake for about an hour.

I saw it a comment on the movie and nothing more or less. Prince didn't mention Gaza, any ongoing bloodbaths, Israel vs Palestine - none of it. He made a 3-5 sentence work in of an LGBT movie that featured Israelis since his topic was OUT Games.

Maybe it's just me, but I would have published a piece on LGBT nightlife in NYC after 9/11 too. Not everything has to be the news topic of the moment. As a few commenters have pointed out, that's the point of the Project. There's always something going on somewhere that we need to talk about.

And Prince's post has generated some interesting conversation. I think it was a worthwhile piece just because of that alone.

Eh, it's clear what all the bitching was about. Some of these peoples are the type that need to vent their righteous indignation and chastise the blasphemers on a daily basis.

OK Serena stated she left the Mormon church, but never came out to them because she would have been excommunicated. She wrote an essay giving everyone hell for "giving shit" to the Mormons over Prop 8. She also stated she was afraid to go home for Thanksgiving because their were requests from Michael Crawford to come out to parents at the turkey dinner table. I took that to mean she was closeted.

Remember when everyone went ballistics over the Advocate cover "Gay the New Black.

Serena said in a previous post “Mormons are the new black baby.”

Bil, you, Alex and Lucrece said nothing. I think everyone was stunned...Bil responded:
Isn't that the truth. *grins* Soon Madonna and Angelina will be cat fighting over who gets to adopt Mitt Romney. I come here because it is amusing and unbelievable at times, like a "Curb Your Enthusiasm" show. lol

Charles, I think you're dead wrong about Serena. She's one of the few Democrats at this site who had the audacity to call Obama on his bigotry. And she ran into a shit storm of misogynistic criticism for it.

Democrats on this site take a very hamfisted approach to demanding unthinking loyalty to Obama and you can see it in the comments of people like Michael Crawford. He even went so far as to call Patrick a racist for criticizing Obama. And if memory serves no one rebuked him for it or invited him to go away. Actually he got a sort of a promotion to the editorial or executive board of whatever it’s called.

People often take detours on the road to becoming radicals and I’m sure that Serena, like all of us, has on occasion taken a misstep or two. That’s what people do. But she does have a respectable commitment for our struggles. As Obama and the Democrats at Bilerico allemande to the right with him she might just one of those who dance to left.

It’s not just the timing of this piece but it’s attempt to paint zionist society as some shining example of democracy. It’s not. It’s a western colony planted by military terrorism in the Middle East. It’s entire history is one of ethic cleansing and apartheid against indigenous people in Palestine.

The zionist idea of peace is to grab a piece of Lebanon, some Syria to chew on, with parts of Egypt and Jordan on the side and later a slice of Turkey. All their weapons including their nukes and rockets are supplied by the US and NATO. Washington supports them becasue they help the US divide and conquer.

For several days the IDF has been carrying out a full scale murder campaign against Palestinians. Hundreds are dead.

There’s no way to pretend to be agnostic in the conflict between Palestine and the zionists. Anyone can easily get all the information they need to quickly and figure out what’s going on and unless they’re zionists to begin with they’ll end up supporting the Palestinian struggle for national independence even if they oppose islamic homophobia or the tactics of this or that Palestinian group.

I certainly hope for the best for the civilian colonists trapped by zionist ideology and artificially sustained by the US. But the truth is that hey have precious little time left, and if they can’t force their government to make the same kind of accommodations the South Africans made to another 'terrorist' group, the ANC, they’re in for it.

When the US is forced out of the Middle East they’ll simply be brushed aside, nukes and all. The oil wars ended any illusions that people from Palestine to Pakistan might have had about the intentions of the US and its lapdogs in the IDF and created an unstoppable thirst for independence. Anyone standing in its way is in for a shock.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 31, 2008 5:22 AM

Bill, Happy New Year! I agree with much of what you have said except the nukes. I do believe that if confronted with regime collapse the Israelis would use them. Because they are who they are, and where they are, they have not signed any nuclear nonproliferation treaty. They have not even admitted to their nuclear arsenal, but in "end times" would use it as their own version of "rapture."

The population bomb is ticking for Israel as soon the Muslims who are Israeli citizens will outnumber the Jews and they have voting rights within the country.

Prince, your lighthearted posting has generated some very good exchanges and small miracles. Like myself agreeing with Bill...to a point. "Illigitimus ne carborundum." Don't let the bastards grind you down.

I didn't say they wouldn't use their nukes. I said they'd be "brushed aside, nukes and all".

Lots of innocent civilians could die, but that’s nothing new for Palestinians. It’s been the central reality of their lives ever since the zionist colonization began and especially since the US invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. That enormous loss of life explains the astonishing determination of the resistance in Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 1, 2009 10:06 AM

Bill, what you said was "The US will be brushed aside" leading me to conclude that you have forgotten the not so secret Israeli nukes. That is unless you meant Israel by the word "they'll" rather than US. The semantics are less important than the idea.

Thanks Bill. I am new to the site. Browning invited me to the site from a posting I made at JoeMyGod. Asked for advice on how he could improve the site.

This attack is, as so many have noted, the worst attack on civilians since the 1948 terrorist Dier Yassin massacres that forced Palestinians to flee for their lives and created the zionist state. It will probably surpass the savage mass murders of Palestinian refugees, mostly old people and children in refugee camps engineered by Sharon. It’ll have very big implications for Obama’s ability to continue the Clinton/Bush oil war.

Obama hasn't criticized the zionist military for their murder of civilians and attempts to destroy Palestinian civil society. Nor has Bush. Here are two very good reports published today that explain why:
Israel's Onslaught: One of Its Bloodiest Attacks on Palestinians in 60 Years By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! Posted December 30, 2008. “Reports indicate that 350 people have been killed and 1,400 injured in the aerial strikes across the Gaza Strip since Saturday morning.” The story carries reports from Gaza, occupied Palestine and the US. Link to it here: http://www.alternet.org/audits/116115/israel%27s_onslaught%3A_one_of_its_bloodiest_attacks_on_palestinians_in_60_years/

Gary Leupp, Professor of History at Tufts and the author Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan. published a new article today about the attack on Gaza entitled “The Fishbarrel War - Will Obama Sanctify Israel's Targeting of Civilians in Gaza?”
Here’s the link: http://www.counterpunch.com/leupp12302008.html