As a young Jew who used to identify as queer (bisexual) in order to be taken seriously in leftist circles (true story), I am frankly horrified to have read this letter.
The only thing I can conclude from it is that intersectionality theory is ruining an entire generation.
Let us unpack it, shall we?
For the past few years, Queer Arabs of Halifax (QAH) have asked Halifax Pride to counter pinkwashing efforts that portray foreign states as queer-friendly tourist destinations, distracting from these states’ human rights violations and the traumas that queer folks of colour have experienced as a result.
This year, QAH [Queer Arabs of Halifax] put forward a motion to the Pride Society that would bring their concerns to a vote. While the motion addresses pinkwashing in general, it also deals with material from Size Doesn’t Matter—an organization that promotes Tel Aviv as a queer-friendly city, but negates the struggle of queer Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.
Maybe because gay rights in Israel don’t have anything to do with the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, who are governed by the Palestinian Authority and whose suffering has to do with them and their incitement to hate Jews that leads Palestinians to commit terror. This terror leads Israelis – Jews AND Arabs – to mistrust them and think it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Gay rights in Israel have nothing to do with Palestine. Stop making everything about Palestine!
Does Canada’s progressivism in matters of gay rights erase her longterm abuse of Canadian aboriginals?
No. Because one has nothing to do with the other. Except to Palestinians and Arabs who seem to feel a need to inject Palestine into everything, for no reason other than simply to draw attention to it.
But they’re an oppressed people of color so suddenly they could do anything and it would be okay, excusable because of “the occupation.”
Size Doesn’t Matter not only diminishes the presence of queer Palestinian and Arab people of colour, it also exploits queer Israelis. It presents the queer Israeli community as a gimmick to attract positive attention towards the state as a whole, and reduces their identity to a branding object.
Okay, now I’m confused. Under the current conditions, Queer Arabs of Halifax AND Size Doesn’t Matter (the Jewish contingent) are allowed to be at the parade. Isn’t that the most inclusive option, since both would be included?
How does the presence of one group negate the presence of another just by being there?
I don’t think the presence of gay Palestinians at a pride parade somehow negates the presence of gay Jews. It isn’t a zero sum game.
Also I see them playing the People of Color card. So now because they have more melanin in their skin somehow their grievances should get more priority, regardless of how gays are actually treated in the Arab world? Welcome to intersectionality theory, a theory that is not only shallow and discriminatory in this context, but also poisoning the minds of my entire generation.
Exploits queer Israelis? Oh really? Are you queer Israelis? No? Then what makes you think you have the right to say that on their behalf? I’m Israeli, and I say you don’t.
A gimmick? So now you’re saying only Israel has no right to promote itself due to the “Palestinians”.
As young Jews, we were very upset to see from our community leaders yet another attempt to discredit an initiative that would make Pride more inclusive for queer Palestinians and people of colour. What is even more frustrating is the AJC’s soliciting of votes from mostly straight, cisgendered individuals. Members of Pride are meant to identify with or be allies for the queer community. To offer to pay membership fees on behalf of non-queer individuals in order to target queer people of colour’s efforts displays a concerning lack of respect.
I would really like to understand how excluding people – or an entire viewpoint – makes an event more inclusive. But I guess either my leftese is very rusty or the left has gotten way more extremist since I was in university.
When our community leaders do this, they do not speak in our name. That is why we have chosen to create “Jewish Youth for Equality,” an emerging coalition of progressive, young Jews who affirm the humanity of Palestinians as equals. We have felt, and continue to feel that the AJC is out of touch with our values. We are offended that they claim to speak on our behalf without consultation. And we feel hurt as they push us to choose between our Jewish identity and our desire for a better world for all—including Palestinians.
Now I’m super-duper lost. Why does treating Palestinians as equals have to mean treating Jews as not equal? Isn’t the status quo – which allows both groups – making Palestinians equal, by virtue of them being given the same voice as the Israelis? Kicking out Jews to please the Palestinians seems to me more like putting the Palestinians on a pedestal than equality. What in the world can possibly be equal about being censored?
It might not appear evident to non-millennials why putting one group on a pedestal somehow makes them more equal, but let me explain. Intersectionality theory is once again to blame. The whole crux of the argument is that in order to solve the problem of systemic inequality and oppression, we need to do all we can to balance the scales by giving minorities preferential treatment. This could mean retreats paid for by the university for queer people of color only, affirmative action, and the like.
In reclaiming the Jewish values of freedom and dignity for all people, we express our support for Queer Arabs of Halifax, as they ensure that Pride does not exclude or marginalize anyone, not here or elsewhere.
More of the same. So somehow marginalizing Jews is okay? Had I read this letter without knowing the background I would think that Halifax Pride are banning QAH because the Jews are there. In actual fact, to them, equality of participation is unequal. You can’t make this stuff up.
And of course they go on about the Jewish values nonsense. That somehow means, to most Jewish day schools and organizations that advertise “social justice” as part of their mission, “the brave and valiant denial, neglect, and erasure of one’s own cultural interests to the benefit of others’,” or at the very worst at the benefit of those who want to kill us.
The AJC’s implied suggestion that Jews must choose to support Israel’s actions over allying with queer folks and people of colour is dangerous.
So let me get this straight. Because Palestinians are “people of color,” you can’t possibly ally with gay rights without allying with Palestinians, over us “privileged” Jews? (There’s definitely the implication in that letter).
That’s “intersectionality” folks. Anyone who labels themselves as oppressed automatically gets special treatment. Their concerns are taken seriously over everyone else’s, and if someone they consider “privileged” – whites, Jews, Israelis – expresses any concerns, then their concerns get laughed at.
Such is how “equality” means excluding Jews. Because to them it means listening to the grievances of Palestinians and attending to them no matter what they entail. It means tipping the balance that’s currently in favor of Israelis by meeting Palestinian demands to exclude Israelis, therefore neutralizing the disproportionate influence pro-Israel and Israeli lobbyists have on Canadian government policy. That’s how my generation thinks. It’s the kind of thinking that fosters antisemitism and is creating an uncomfortable climate on campuses and in communities.
Who cares about the Holocaust, the 3800 years of anti-Jewish persecution? The leftist hegemony says we’re privileged, so our concerns don’t matter anymore, and if another group’s concerns include excluding or marginalizing us, too bad for us. We will just have to deal with it and see it as a self-sacrifice towards the greater good. It’s all a giant game of Robin Hood for these intersectionalists.
And if we fall into their definition of “rich,” or “privileged” then too bad, we deserve any bad thing that comes to us at the hands of an “oppressed minority.”