The Palestinian Authority's Crackdown on LGBT+ Only Helps Israel

Published August 19th, 2019 - 10:48 GMT
Pro-Palestine LGBT+ supporters taking part of a protest in support of freedom, sexual diversity and against "pinkwashing". (@AlQaws/Twitter)
Pro-Palestine LGBT+ supporters taking part of a protest in support of freedom, sexual diversity and against "pinkwashing". (@AlQaws/Twitter)

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has been facing heavy criticism after banning members of an LGBT+ organization from carrying out any activities or meetings in the West Bank. 

The story was first sparked on Saturday when Al Qaws organization said on their Facebook page they have held a gathering in the West Bank earlier this month in which they discussed gender pluralism. In response, a statement issued by the PA’s police spokesman, Louay Arzeikat has condemned Al Qaws activities and their plan to hold another event by the end of this month. Arzeikat had also threatened to arrest anyone involved with them labeling their activities as “contradictory” to the values of the Palestinian society. 

On top of that, the group was also accused of affiliation to “suspicious parties” that plan to undermine the “society’s peaceful state of affairs."

The failure of the PA’s to provide safety and security for millions of Palestinians living the West Bank - in addition to massive corruption - remains a taboo subject in much of the Middle East. 

Al Qaws, the non-governmental organization established in 2001 to support the LGBT+ community in Palestine has responded by an official statement condemning the threats and promising to continue their work into promoting sexual diversity.

While the story has made waves among Palestinians, it brought attention to the PA’s crackdown on freedoms from the LGBT+ community, to dissidents and journalists in the West Bank.

Translation: “In support with Qaws in the PA’s crackdown and oppression against the gender pluralism and the queer society.”

On the internet, the story has split Palestinians opinions. Yet, they were mostly calling for maintaining freedoms and acceptance of others so they would be able to face oppression and gain their freedoms and land back.

Meanwhile, many pro-Palestine activists have pointed out the fact that the crackdown against the LGBT+ community would provide Israel the opportunity to pinkwash its occupation by attempting to shift the global attention from the human rights violations it carries out against Palestinians to their “liberal” and “gay-friendly” society often labeled as “the only gay-friendly country in the Middle East”.


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