Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

Marrickville, Palestine and gay rights

A friend mentioned to me yesterday that someone, probably the Australian Labor Party, has been trying to slur Marrickville Green candidate Fiona Byrne. Street posters have been appearing which claim that in supporting Palestinian rights, she must be homophobic.
Antony Loewenstein reports on other dirty tricks against the Greens here. ALP tactics seem to include fake phone surveys, whilst the local press has apparently been making up random numbers to claim that Marrickville’s BDS decision will cost the taxpayer thousands of dollars.
Palestine is undoubtedly a socially conservative society where many people are not comfortable with same-sex relationships. So, for the record, is most of Israeli society, despite Tel Aviv’s efforts to market itself to the pink pound. There’s a good blog post by FagBurn on the subject here. FagBurn also reminds readers that in ‘tolerant’ Israel a gay centre was attacked by gunmen in 2009, injuring several gay teenagers, and according to Ha’aretz gay activists and gay pride marches have been targeted by bombers, apparently from the religious Jewish community.
On the subject of whether Palestinian society is homophobic, the complexities of that are best left to two excellent Palestinian gay and lesbian organisations, Aswat and Al Qaws.
Al-Bab’s links page for gay organisations in the Arab world is here.
Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT Israel) are here.
And Arwa Aburawa‘s interview with Aswat’s Rauda Morcos is here.

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8 comments on “Marrickville, Palestine and gay rights

  1. Sarah Irving
    March 29, 2011

    See the Australians for Palestine website for Sonja Karkar’s round-up of the ALP smear campaign, biased reporting and electoral mess surrounding Fiona Byrne and the Marrickville Greens BDS motion: http://australiansforpalestine.com/41976#more-41976

  2. Gift
    April 14, 2011

    The nation of Israel has made a greater contibution to humanity than both the Palestinians and the Greens put together. If this lunatic Mayor wants to truly boycott Israel, here is (partial) list of Jewish contributions that she will have to forfeit:

    Prozac, Valium, The Polio Vaccine, Radiation,Chemotherapy, the Artificial Kidney Dialysis machine, the Defibrillator, the Cardiac Pacemaker, Vaccination against the deadly “Hepatitis B” virus, the Vaccinating Needle, Laser Technology.

    Discount Stores, Pawn Shops, the Shopping Cart and the Ready-to-Wear Clothing Industry. Levi Jeans, Lipstick, the Ballpoint Pen, Contraceptives, Instant Coffee, Television Remote Control, Traffic Lights, Scotchguard, the Flexistraw.

    Google, the Wire Transmission Facsimilie (FAX) , the Microphone, the Gramophone, the Microprocessing Chip, Optical Fiber Cable, Laser, Cellular Technology, the Videotape Recorder.

    Monotheism, Psychoanalysis, the Theory of Relativity, the Weekend (the Sabbath). The Atomic Bomb, the Thermonuclear Bomb, Genetic Engineering, the Nuclear Chain Reactor, Virtual Reality.

    Hollywood, the Sit-Com, the Long Playing Record, Woodstock, Sound Movies, Videotape, Color Television, Instant Photography, Holography.

    Drip Irrigation, Scale Model Electric Trains, the Pager, the Walkie-talkie, Refrigerated Railroad Car, High-vacuum Electron Tubes, the Incandescent Lamp, Kodachrome Film, the Blimp, the Adding Machine, Stainless Steel, Tapered Roller Bearings.

    At least 178 Jews have been awarded the Nobel Prize, accounting for 23% of all individual recipients worldwide between 1901 and 2008. Yet, they only make up 0.25% of the world’s population.

    The Jews have done a lot to improve our quality of life. How does it benefit us to turn them into enemies?

    • Sarah Irving
      April 15, 2011

      I’ve approved this post as a means of showing the poor state of the debate over the Marrickville BDS motion, and the frankly libellous and stupid comments made by opponents of Marrickville’s principled stance. Marrickville council is not proposing to boycott inventions by Jewish people – far from it. It intends to boycott commercial products made in a single state which does not (despite its attempts to appropriate and hijack Jewish identity and Holocaust memories) represent all Jewish people, but which does oppress in a fundamentally racist way anyone who disagrees with its specific colonialist agenda. The fact that Israel’s supporters have to sink to misrepresentations such as this just exposes the weakness of their argument and their desperation in the face of growing awareness of this state’s human rights abuses. And for the record, the inventors of some of the things listed would be listed amongst those many Jews (including many Israeli ones) who do take a principled stance against the behaviour of the State of Israel.

      • joe
        May 17, 2011

        To start, you are a DISGRACE to the name Sarah. You’re obviously intelligent but to much so to see yourself. You’ve put yourself on a pedestal and in a delusionsal fashion behave as if you will champion the underdog. it’s good to have a purpose in life and pursue it headstrong as you have. But alas you are truly misguided and misdirected. Israel is the historic land of the Jewish people who have been subjugated and suppressed for thousand of years. And yes the Arab nations have over the years been less suppressive than their Christian counterparts to Jews but please step back and try to realize what you are doing.

        Thank You

      • Sarah Irving
        May 18, 2011

        This comment is by what is known as a troll. It shows the typical troll characteristics of a combination of ad hominem (or in my case ad feminem?) attacks with factual selectiveness or inaccuracy and poor spelling and grammar. Joe, unsurprisingly, is (to judge by his IP address) from Brooklyn, New York, source of many Zionist extremists (including a lot of those now living in settlements on stolen Palestinian land).

  3. joe
    May 17, 2011

    I wish there were arabs speaking out for Israel the way you a Jew have for the arabs

  4. Lester Ballard
    April 25, 2012

    I’m non-Jewish but with a parent who fought the Nazis and saw a concentration camp first hand. I’m not trying to change your mind. Just letting you know there are people out there who fundamentally disagree with you and would do anything to stop you paving the way for something similar to happen.

    Where else do you boycott?

    • Sarah Irving
      April 26, 2012

      Why does the fact that the West – Europe – ie Germany, Russia, France, Britain, etc etc – have a long and vicious history of anti-semitism and persecution of the Jewish people mean that the Palestinians should suffer for that now? If we’re going to say that the Holocaust makes having a national homeland for the Jewish people necessary, surely the Germans should be handing over Bavaria or the Czechs or the Russians or the British clearing a big area of one of their countries of people to make a safe place, not forcing the effects of our own guilt onto a people who had nothing to do with the Holocaust?

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