I agree with every word. The way so-called "liberals" are so quick to step over the dead bodies of Palestinian gays and lesbians in order to not appear an "Islamophobe" to the cool kids is disappointing and sickening. Glenn Greenwald is doubly so.
Hamas is ISIS-lite. The Stranger grows more anti-Semitic every year. Ahh diversity!
Calling for better treatment of queers is aligned with boycotting Israel.
Thank you Dan for being the voice of reason pointing out that the whole situation is a mess and although Israel's treatment of the Palestinians is terrible, their treatment of sexual minorities is better than anyone else in the region.
This is the problem of using only one issue to base your judgments upon. You arrive at a place where Hitler is okay because he was vegetarian. Or now that most courts in the US have approved or upheld same-sex marriage, then police killings and NSA surveillance don't matter.

It is well-documented that the government of Israel sponsors, either indirectly or directly, many groups in Europe and in the States whose sole purpose is to promote Israel as a happy happy place where nothing ever bad happens, and if it does, it happens to bad people. This includes paying commenters to post pro-Israel replies online, not to mention journalists themselves.

Which is an odd approach, as it has the unintended consequence of bringing suspicion upon any author of a pro-Israel post. I mean, Dan probably doesn't need the extra cash Israel would funnel to him for writing the above, but it also means that he's an idiot for writing the above for free when he could be making some extra scratch for it. As well as the rest of you. Especially Raindrop. You're such a slut, you're giving it away for free when you could be making money. It's the American way, after all.
Israel has ample amounts of homophobia and misogyny. And as it panders more and more to the ultra-orthodox it will become more so.
Israel is becoming a de-facto apartheid state with an Orwellian security apparatus, but as a gay dude I'd choose to live in Tel Aviv over any other place in the Middle East. I hope we haven't gotten to the point where it is considered islamophobic to point out that coming out of the closet in most Arab countries leads you straight to the gulag or being tossed out of a tall building.

Not surprisingly though, Israel has a very loud and angry group of domestic haters who despise the gays just as much as their neighbors. It's far, far from being Denmark on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean. Everything is relative.
@6 - The worst oppressors of Arab/Muslims are other Arab/Muslims going back to Arafat's treatment of his own people. Would you rather risk being forced to plunge to your death from a tower in Mosel for being gay (videos available) or deal with snooty Israelis and their mimi-McMansions on the west bank? Or you could also help build rockets in Gaza and hope Hamas doesn't turn you into a human shield.

Leave Ed Murray alone Dan, after all - he's gay.
Blame the victim of massive human rights violations when homophobia is rampant in Israel, especially among ultra-Orthodox. But homophobia in Palestine justifies whole sale slaughter of the population, apparently. But we know you don't give a shit about human rights considering past support for slaughter in the Middle East.
@6 Really? Not killing and torturing gays is the same as Hitler being a vegetarian? Not killing and torturing gays is just some minor detail? IMHO it is an important thing when a country doesn't try to exterminate its gays. That doesn't mean you, me, or anybody else isn't free to criticize the horrible things Israel does.
it is not like it is a coincidence that Israel has a section of its government solely concerned with how American media represents Israel.

American news services are simply unable to report objectively on Israel and so should not be listened to or believed on just about anything involving Israel.

I recommend the BBC.

@Raindrop: Disagreeing with or boycotting the government of Israel is not being anti-Semitic, nor is it being against Jewish people or the Jewish faith. Ever seen Israeli media criticize their own government? Much more pointed and informed than their American counterparts. Are they anti-Semitic?
@11 WTF!? So, praising a country for not jailing and executing its gays in a region where that's rare is implicit support for Palestinian suffering and genocide? You are obviously not gay, because it is a big fucking deal. It's not like anybody is saying this somehow exonerates Israel of all of the terrible things they do.
Fuck, there are a lot of people on here that seem to give a rat's ass about gay rights. It's genuinely disheartening. Why are gays so easy to throw under the proverbial bus? No country is all good or all bad, and most do a lot of evil crap, so I just don't see why you can't heap praise when praise is do (or scorn when it's appropriate). Like I said, it is a big fucking deal when a country has legal protections for its LGBT population, so please celebrate that when it happens since it's pretty damn rare on this planet.
@13 - Yes, I stand corrected on that. You're right.
@15 - you're right, of course. But 'pinkwashing' is real enough. It's more than analogous - it's equivalent - to defenders of American imperialism changing the subject to, say, America's freedom of the press when someone criticizes US domestic or foreign policy.

Btw, many of the Palestinian civilians killed by Israel were gay.
Well said Dan!
@13 - I'm going to trust the BBC on matters relating to the Palestinians as soon as they and the rest of the world recognize that the modern situation traces back specifically to the British efforts to exclude French influence from the Middle East in the period between WWI and WWII, which led to the Balfour Declaration, the creation of the Kingdom of Jordan, and the recognition of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, among other things. Note that I said "modern situation"; I'm well aware that what is now Israel has been an intertribal battleground for thousands of years, and that we who don't live there can watch in horror all we want to but the situation is not going to be solved by anybody but the groups involved. Anyone who's read more than three paragraphs of the history of the region knows the problems are far more complex than just "Israel's mean to the Palestinians" and "the Palestinians are oppressed freedom fighters" and date back millennia.
Do either side in the conflict show concern for the lives of Palestinians? No. Hamas goads Israel by its rocket fire, knowing that eventually Israel will do the shock and awe thing and bomb them into rubble, thus making them the objects of international sympathy and Israel the big Jewish bully. Hamas uses civilians as human shields and hides its rockets in mosques and schools as well as among civilian houses. They court civilian casualties as one of the ways they "win" the war for international support. When countries like Egypt tried to get a cease fire in the last round, it was Hamas who wouldn't cooperate. When money comes to rebuild the bombed areas, Hamas diverts as much of the money and material (like cement) as possible for its tunnels and rockets.

Does Israel show any restraint when it bombs Hamas? No. Given the huge difference in military strength, Israel has the capacity to inflict massage damage, and does. Does it treat its own Palestinian population well? No. There is prejudice, both legal and social, and suspicion that the Israel-dwelling Palestinians would all do Israel harm if they could. And Israel doesn't do any of the things that might reduce hatred, like allowing in goods to make life less harsh or allowing some industry so that more could be employed. They have tried the "make life so miserable that the people will finally turn on Hamas" policy for years, and guess what? The civilians, despite being Hamas cannon fodder, hate Israel so much that they still vote for Hamas and support them.
The civilians, despite being Hamas cannon fodder, hate Israel so much that they still vote for Hamas and support them.

So basically, you could have asked a third question: "Are the Palestinians their own worst enemies? Yes."
As I understand it, Israel uses the information re Palestinians orientation, to blackmail them to assist them. So they show great tolerance to their own citizens, yet turn being gay/ bi into a tool for manipulation with the Palestinians.
Of course all those countries you mention should also be slammed.
Thank you Dan. I agree 100%.

@1 - This is not a liberal cause. It is the cause of a small but very vocal group of extremists, anti-semites and self-hating Jews.
24) "Small but very vocal group of extremists"? As in the entire international community that has condemned Israel for human rights abuses?
And the Islamophobia and racism seeping through the post in using words like "barbaric" is incredibly telling. This monolithic view of the Middle East is completely wrong.
@21 They don't just vote for Hamas because they hate Israel; they vote for Hamas because everything else has failed.

They voted for Fatah for years. There were decades of talks; and Palestine remained just as occupied. Eventually they realised that Israel would never let the (relatively) peaceful solution work, gave up and voted for Hamas. Yes, it brings them misery - just as, for example, the actions of the IRA led to greater misery to the people of Ireland - but it's the only option they think they have left.

Newly-reelected Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has said that he will never allow a Palestinian state to be formed. Given that, what reason do Palestinians have to vote for a non-violent option that is guaranteed to fail?

I hate what Hamas does, but I'm not sure that, if I lived there, I would be able to see an alternative.
@27 It was called the First Intifada. They were slaughtered. And there are countless non-violent actions and movements in modern day Palestine. The weekly demonstrations in Bil'in are but one example. I obviously don't support shooting rockets at civilians, but I can understand the desperation that has led to it as Palestinians don't see non-violence working decade after decade.
@26 At least when it comes to the 'barbaric' ways gays are treated, the Middle East seems to be pretty darn monolithic. Looking at the map, it appears Israel and Jordan are the only places where homosexuality isn't illegal and/or punishable by death. Is it islamophobic to point that out?…
Thank you, Dan. I was brought here by a FB post calling you "racist" for writing this, which I find absurd on many levels. It takes strength to stand up to these people. Personally, I find Sam Harris's take on this issue convincing:…
I'm reminded of the end of the cleanup scene at the end of the meaning of life. It should come as a surprise to no one at all that many/most islamic (hell, just religious) governments are homophobic bigots, as are the societies they engender. That has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not the government of Israel has racist policies.

So the palestinian authorities are (largely) poor and oppressed bigots. And the israelis are (some of them anyway) homo-tolerant bigots who oppress (or tolerate the oppression of) their neighbors on a racial/religious/socio-economic basis. With reasonable people scattered around both sides of that divide with no power to change things. News at 11.
Uh, Dan, isn't this the exact reasoning that had you supporting the Iraq war? Maybe you should revisit the narrow thinking that took you down that road.

People X mistreats LGBT people so it is ok for People Y to mistreat People X and steal their property and homes, while keeping a huge percentage of People X in military occupation conditions of geographic isolation, under collective punishment and cut of from life necessities, in violation of many international laws created in response to the horrors of World War II. How is this different from your support back then of Thomas Friedman like fantasies about how we were going to teach a lesson to the whole the Arab world: "going house to house with guns in Basra, saying 'suck on this.'"?

Dan, I don't think you learned a damn thing about what was wrong with your support for the Iraq war. You just caught on that huge numbers of people thought you were massively ignorant and completely misguided, so you just stopped talking about it, without ever understanding what was wrong. I won't bother defending you on that anymore after this. Sheesh.
Re @23; of course, the LGBT community in Isreal. I'm sure there are some pretty beautiful trans*women there.
My husband of 30 yrs was a Jew.
The Jew and the Catholic got married.... A powerful culture. As a young man, he was very beautiful. All those curls.
Our sons now have them.
@33 These aren't two competing political parties. Actually, Israel is a military occupying force controlling main lines of commerce and giving pieces of land from the occupied people as a reward to some of their own citizens in return for political support for the policy The whole thing is easily analysed as a military occupation and annexation, which is why Israel, the country, can't put the thing behind them. The only way to succeed with this kind of occupation/annexation is to either absorb the annexed peoples or ethnically cleanse them. Israel can't accept the first option, and the criminal second option just looks bad in the aftermath of what happened in World War II.
And put Australia on that list. Evil
Treatment of refugees. Corrupt politicians running the country.
Wake Up Australia.
Israel is committing genocide. Genocide does not support the regional or global LGBTQ community. We cannot abandon our fellow humans.
Thank you for speaking truth Dan!!!!
Thank you, Dan! We should stand for democratic principles, support advances in civil rights, and condemn injustice—on both sides—not condemn progress because there is also injustice, and not ignore injustice because it doesn't fit the narrative.

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