A group known as “Queers for Palestine” held a rally in New York City on October 24 and chanted, “Queer rights, trans rights, we say no to genocide.” The “genocide” protested against is the alleged Israeli genocide of Palestinians, whom the protestors equated with black Americans. One demonstrator said, “Palestinian liberation is black liberation,” while another compared the Black Lives Matter riots of 2020 with Palestinian terror attacks against the Jewish state.
Video clips of the demonstration appeared on Twitter, and users pointed out some apparent inconsistencies in the protestors’ positions. Chief Editor for Middle East Forum Jim Hanson posted a film taken inside a mosque in the Palestinian territories during which the imam says, “The people of Palestine will not allow a single homosexual in our land.” Other posters pointed out that the only safe place for homosexuals in the Middle East is Israel and that many gay Arabs move to the Jewish state for safety.
Amnesty International says homosexuals are often beaten or killed in the Gaza Strip, and authorities do not prevent it. Last October, gay Palestinian Ahmad Abu Marhia, who sought asylum in Israel, was kidnapped and taken back to his place of birth and beheaded.
The Times of Israel newspaper wrote of Marhia’s life and said he fled his West Bank home for Israel at the age of 23 because he feared being killed by his family and neighbors. The newspaper also reported on a poll of Palestinians taken in 2019, which showed that only 5% believed their society should “tolerate” homosexuals.
Back in 2016, a senior Hamas commander was executed for alleged homosexuality. Members of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades shot and killed Mahmoud Ishtiwi, saying his execution was justified because he was guilty of “moral turpitude,” the term Hamas uses to describe male homosexuality.
Ishtiwi had two wives and three children, but Hamas said he was secretly gay, and this made him vulnerable to blackmail by Israeli authorities.