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.
The Spokesmen of the Palestinian police force issued a statement a few days ago saying that they will prevent @alQaws from operating there. Despite the insightful statement, no action has been taken. https://t.co/A9PdTj1ZRY— Anwar Mhajne انوار محاجنه (@mhajneam) August 18, 2019
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.
alQaws’ official response to the PA police statement continued (2/2): pic.twitter.com/32SsW3PonH— alQaws (@alQaws) August 18, 2019
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.
مع مؤسسة @alQaws ضد سياسة القمع وتكميم الأفواه اللي بتتبعها السلطة الفلسطينية ضد التعددية الجندرية ومجتمع الكوير.— Kareem Mahmoud (@Kareem_ama) August 18, 2019
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.
When Palestinians are free to shape up their own society's future you can start judging them all you want on any issue.— andrewwwww (@AndrewVe77) August 19, 2019
What's the point in rushing to criticize them over these things that seem detrimental given the occupation they've been under all this time?
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”.
Yeah. Go ahead. Pinkwash this. https://t.co/vxU37hRVjP— Steven Goldstein (@goldsteinsteven) August 19, 2019
© 2000 - 2019 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)