Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Voice of ASWAT, the Voice of Palestinian Gay Women

August 2, 2009

A Horrendous Crime of Hatred Against Gay and Lesbians in Israel

Aswat- Palestinian Gay Women laments the tragic death of the two youngsters at the Tel-Aviv gay center Saturday evening.

Aswat harshly condemns the horrendous attack on the center of LGBT community in Tel-Aviv, resulting in the killing of gay and lesbian activists and severly wounding several others. We call upon our partners and supporters to fight all forms of crimes of hatred, specially, ones directed the LGBT community.

We are utterly appalled by this crime of hatred that marks an extreme escalation of homophobia in our community, particularly, that it occurred in Tel-Aviv, supposedly a symbol of pluralism and diversity.

The horrific crime followed a wave of massive incitement of hatred against the LGBT community in Israel, and it is unfortunate that the Israeli government condemns these crimes but frequently tolerates verbal attacks directed from seniour government officials against the gay community in the country.

Aswat stands in solidarity with all LGBT organizations and activists in the country, Palestinians and Israelis alike, against the atrocious killings of innocents. We will march together, hand in hand, in Haifa, in Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem against hatred and discrimination and raise our voices, the voices of justice and freedom.

In solidarity with all victims of the Crimes of Hate

Aswat-Palestinian Gay Women

website: www.

Aswat Believes in the Power of the Movement
My communications, print outs pile up beside the computer and so does my anger, sadness, determination. What does all else matter if in our own times, knowingly, we allow the suffering of a people in our name. Hatred, streets, doorways guarded by guns, walls shutting away a people's pain so normality can flourish on the other, freedom of movement, of expansion, of dreaming, of consuming, but this is not a normal society--evicted Palestinians sleeping in the street across from their ages old home, now newly occupied by a settler family whose teen age children come to the gates of their new home to sneer at the now homeless family--they should go away, all of this is ours. These children will be the future of this "normal" country."
I grew up in the Bronx in the 1940s where many of our neighbors had the blue numbers of their deadly dispossession on their lower arms--reaching for pickles or bread revealed the grocer's miraculous history of survival--and the word that reaches out from that time now is "rokmunis," the feeling of another's pain, much of the Bronx ran on rokmunis. Occupation is built on the absence of this word. Articles after articles, those articles I read through every night, depict its loss in this "normal" land. Palestinian workers rising before dawn to wait hours in steel chutes before they will be allowed into Israel, workers told they are not allowed to bring food or beverages in with them, no home cooked meals to make their day of labor easier; the face of a young Palestinian-Israeli child whose family has been told she can no longer attend a day care center because her kind are not wanted--what is normalized in Israel is hatred, fear and exclusion of difference. And yet so many other Palestinians/Israelis struggle to make the unseen seen, to monitor the acts of cruelty, to intercede, to keep alive another kind of national vision, another kind of human heart.

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