Continuing to promote its weird anti-Palestine stance, The Advocate has a largely fact-free op-ed by Lillian Faderman and Roz Rothstein up about how a Palestinian statehood shouldn't happen because a Palestinian state would be homophobic.
More homophobic than the current Palestinian land? Would development of those territories into an autonomous nation-state mean that homophobia would worsen there? The authors never deign to address those points and advance, instead, an argument that reads like biological determinism.
It's like they have a flow chart:
Step 1: Palestinian statehood
Step 2: ????
Step 3: More homophobia
I'm guessing they want us to fill in that ???? with "Palestinians have homophobia in their blood and letting them do what they want will only spell disaster for gay people."
Israel sure as heck isn't doing anything about homophobia in the Palestinian territories right now. Wouldn't getting them out of the way at least take away one impediment to work on ending homophobia? Or: since Israel is dead-set against economic development in Gaza, and gay rights are better protected in wealthier nations, wouldn't taking away one of the biggest obstacles to development at least give a gay rights movement a chance to breathe? Or: isn't an occupation of a people that we know includes lots of queers inherently keep freedom out of reach of some gay people?
Continuing the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, which has done nothing to end homophobia, doesn't seem like the best strategy to end homophobia. Doing the same thing over and over and hoping for different results, etc.
Unless, of course, Faderman and Rothstein don't give a fig about homophobia in Palestinian territories and are just using that argument to get their column into the LGBT paper of record. If they do, in fact, care about homophobia in Palestinian territories, they should have presented some kind of solution in their Advocate column, but that would involve work and working for free on something like human rights requires someone to care, and so here we are.
Anyway, this all reminds me of a guest Alberto and I had at the apartment a couple months ago, a young, gay Israeli who was looking for ways to live in Europe. He told us he was fed up with living in a theocracy that's pretty much run, as he sees it, by a rabidly homophobic right wing. I asked him about how Israel is always portrayed in the media as being so gay-friendly, and he said that there were definitely some people in some parts who were cool, but for the most part he had to stay closeted and politicians refuse to expand gay rights too quickly for fear of pissing off religious fundamentalists.
If anything, he sounded like my gay friends from the US Midwest or South. His interpretation of the politics made it seem like trusting the Israeli right to occupy territories and make them less homophobic is a pretty silly idea.
Of course, one has to remember that the people who are more likely to be gay-friendly in Israel are also the people who are more likely to disagree with Israel's hard-line against the Palestinian people. Faderman and Rothstein's formulation and the ideas lain out by Michael Lucas every few weeks in The Advocate ask gays to agree with Israel's right wing because they're more gay-friendly than the Muslim right.
Huh? Shouldn't we be siding with the Israeli left if we're going to be siding with anyone based on their gay-friendliness?
Anyway, back to the current Advocate op-ed, published in a magazine that apparently has no editors otherwise they wouldn't let something this dumb slip through:
No society, no matter how oppressed, is entitled to ask for statehood when it denies statehood to its neighbor. No society has a right to ask for legitimacy as a nation while disparaging its neighbor's history and rights as falsehoods.
I respectfully disagree. I believe Israel has a right to statehood.