When will the first Gay Pride take place in Gaza? Answer yourself!
This question was posted by the Viennese City Councilor Mr. Marco Schreuder on my blog as part of a comment and discussion on my article “Gay Parade Subverted by Zionists”. In this article strongly I defended the right of gays, and at the same time criticized information without source printed in a leaflet or a “magazine” which was distributed during the parade. I originally thought that this flyer was form the Green Party, but Mr. Schreuder wrote me to complain about my error. I corrected this and offered my apologies in written in Emails to Mr. Schreuder and in the article. The magazine (it was not a flyer) was being distributed by an organization called MiGay and was carrying advertisement for the Green Party.
Between this magazine which was distributing unsourced information which looked implausible about oppression of homosexuals in some Muslim countries, the omission in this same magazine of information regarding terrorist attacks, murders, insults and repression against homosexuals in Israel, from the Knesset and the religious authorities, and ultimately the presence of an israeli soldier at the parade, I decided that I had to write something. The gay and lesbian issue or this community is normally not something I write about, and if I had not seen all these things last Saturday, I would most probably have written a small article and posted some pictures.
Two days after posting my article Mr. Schreuder wrote ordering me to delete it and calling me a liar. His tone reminded me of the calls from the offices of the israeli generals after most of my articles, also ordering me to “take down, delete, correct” whatever I had written back then. It needed two or three Emails until he stopped giving me orders and somehow condescended to explain to me what was wrong in his opinion. I corrected the wrong attribution of the magazine (and calling it a “pamphlet), and apologized.
I did not apologize out of weakness, but out of respect for the truth, credibility, my readers and the ethics of journalism, but it seems to me that Mr. Schreuder did not understand the meaning of my apology. The bad taste of my article still in his mouth, and the result of my apology were more impolite Emails and comments on that article, one of which I deleted because it was offensive and inappropriate; this brought me the accusation of “censoring”.
Here is the comment of Mr. Schreuder which I deleted:
“Now you corrected, that it wasn’t a Green leaflet, but you still attack MiGay for something they wrote, which is totally correct: Death penalty against Gays & Lesbians only exist in Muslim countries, while Gays and Lesbians can asopt children in Israel. It is a fact, your propaganda is as wrong as imaginable. And MiGay is a group of Gay & Lesbian immigrants, who should get all iour support, and there ary many Muslims in that group. It is still the most disgusting article I have read about Vienna Pride. SHAME ON YOU! PS: When will the first Gay Pride take place in Gaza? Answer yourself!”.
I trashed that comment of Mr. Schreuder after reading it. I could not believe that somebody who advertises himself and his party as “cosmopolitan out of conviction” (“Weltoffen auf Überzeugung”).
- How is it possible to offend the Palestinians of Gaza in this way, leveraging blanket accusations against these people who are victims of genocide on part of the israelis?
- How can anybody of sound mind become offended because there are no gay parades in this extermination camp?
The people of Gaza are under a blockade which is constantly increasing in severity since about 1996. These people have nothing, they have shortage of food, no medical facilities, irregular electricity, most buildings are reduced to rubble, most children suffer of anemia because they get no food, and those who can go to classes among the ruins of their former schools, there are massive health problems caused by the use of forbidden weapons by the israelis, and most people suffer severe mental trauma since the so-called Operation Cast Lead at the beginning of 2009, which blanketed them with phosphor bombs, cold-blooded murder, destruction of agricultural areas, and even more poverty on top of their already ruinous conditions.
Only among the European and American squatters who come to my country to steal and murder under the protection of the Israeli soldiers have I seen such callousness, to heap the culpability of their afflictions on the shoulders of the victims of outright genocide.
It is clear that Mr. Schreuder does not understand the Palestinian suffering and oppression. He distanced himself from the unanimous resolution which the municipal council of Vienna passed unanimously against the Israeli massacre on board of Mavi Marmara last 31 May (read here). He is free to think and to say what he wants. The elections stands before the door in Vienna and the 15.000 who demonstrated against this massacre in Vienna last month, and their friends and families, will have their say at the ballots.
Mr. Schreuder was not happy that I deleted his last comment (the one which is quoted above) asking when the first Gay Pride parade will take place in Gaza. His last comment was:
“Is it too offensive here, to ask when the first Gay Pride will take place in Gaza? And why Israel allows Gays to adopt children? This is just propaganda and has nothing to do with facts. This website is undemocratic as it censors comments.”
My answer to his comment was:
“As I see it, it is far beyond offensive and shameless to ask if and when a gay pride parade will take place in an extermination camp. That none has taken place may also have to do with more mundane priorities like eating, having a place to live and tending to sick and injured relatives.
But you are welcome to do whatever you think will make Palestinian culture richer, even more:
I challenge you to organize a gay pride parade with at least 90% Palestinian gays and lesbians among the participants, in Hebron, first. Since that area is free of Hamas, it should suppose no problem for you to get permission from the israelis. After you have done that, go to Gaza and do the same there. I am sure that everybody will welcome your ideas and your enterprising spirit. And send me pictures and all info about your adventures as a white man bringing enlightenment to the benighted natives of Palestine, so that I can publish them here. And also send me your travel diary with all details of your talks with the israeli authorities in Hebron and Hamas in Gaza.
Now, the only question is: will you take the challenge or will you weasel out of this?”
I take him by his word and challenge Municipal Councilor Mr. Marco Schreuder, who thinks that it is important to have a Gay Pride Parade, to the following:
- a) to organize a Gay Pride Parade in Hebron, my home city, in which at least 90% of the participants are Palestinian gays and lesbians from the West Bank. At the very least, the parade should march through the full length of Al-Shuhada street in the center of the city. Hebron is free of Hamas influence, so it should suppose no problem for him to get this project on track during the next year or so.
- b) after he has successfully organized done Hebron, to organize and implement a Gay Pride Parade anywhere in the Gaza strip, with as many gays and lesbians of Gaza as possible and with anybody else who manages to get in.
I ask to receive extensive picture, video and information material from both parades, which I will publish here. I also ask from Mr. Schreuder that when he goes to Hebron he brings my mother a small present from me, and sends me a picture of himself together with her.
I just want to caution Mr. Schreuder that not even the birds can get into Gaza or the West Bank, which are two giant concentration camps. I still wish him the best of lucks if he takes up this challenge. I know that in the name of all Palestinians I can say that he and his gay pride parades will receive a warm welcome, if he and his friends survive the Mediterranean and are not shot by the Israelis.
The Mayor of Hebron can be contacted here:
Major: Mr. Khaled Osaily
Cell Phone: 009725599211211
Tel: ++ 9722 2227992
Fax: ++ 9722 2228167
I am sure that the Austrian Embassy in Tel Aviv will also be of great assistance to Mr. Schreuder. I sincerely hope that he decides to take up this challenge and uses this opportunity to become a true hero to many people.