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A Look at the Invisible Lives of Gay Palestinians In Israel

In a fascinating piece over at The Daily Beast, Itay Hod looks at the the unique trials that gay Palestinians must face in Israel.

Many of these men are forced to deal with opposition from both sides - from their Palestinian families who feel"dishonored" for having a gay family member and from Israeli security forces for being Palestinian. 

Writes Hod:

Israel-mapIt’s hard to say how many gay Palestinians live and work in Israel. There are no studies on the matter, not that it would help. “When you’re in survival mode, it takes over,” said Anat Ben-Dor of the Refugee Rights Clinic at the Tel Aviv University Law Faculty. “In this case, a big part of that survival is hiding.”

The ones who’ve managed to elude authorities are mostly from the West Bank. Few, if any, are from Gaza, partly because of the blockade and partly because Hamas has pushed gays even deeper into the closet. So far no gay Palestinian has ever been granted asylum in Israel. In fact Palestinians, gay or straight, are barred from even applying for refugee status in Israel. [...]

But experts say even if there was a way for them to apply, many can’t. “To get help, gay Palestinians have to get through incredible hurdles,” said Ben-Dor. “They have to meet Israelis or other Palestinians they trust enough to confide that they’re both gay and living in the country illegally. That person has to then be willing and able to find the right organization that could direct them to the appropriate lawyers, and even then, there is no chance of getting protection against deportation back to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Check out the full article HERE


Israel Will Now Allow Jews To Immigrate, Gain Citizenship With Non-Jewish Same-Sex Spouses

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 8.35.36 AMIsraeli interior minister Gideon Saar [pictured] gave word on Tuesday that immigration authorities should not distinguish between same-sex and opposite-sex couples when granting citizenship. The new allowance amends a previous law allowing Jews to immigrate to Israel along with a non-Jewish relative/spouse.

USA Today reports:

In a few cases in recent years, Israel only naturalized non-Jewish same-sex spouses of Jews following threats of Supreme Court petitions, says Israeli immigration attorney Nicole Maor.

Israel does not permit gays to marry in the country, but recognizes same-sex marriages if they were performed legally abroad. 

Despite its same-sex marriage laws, Israel can add this as further evidence of its generally supportive legislation about LGBT-identified people. Along with recognition of citizenship, the Israeli Supreme Court grants same-sex couples inheritance and survivors' benefits, among other rights.


Hillary Clinton Sits Down with Jon Stewart, Suggests She Wouldn't Mind an Oval Office: VIDEO

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Hillary Clinton joined Jon Stewart on The Daily Show last night to talk about writing her book Hard Choices, whether she enjoys a certain shape for her home office (such as oval), the "cottage industry" of attacks on her, the "dead broke" comment, income inequality, and doing something about young people who are neither in school, nor in work.

The interview is in four parts, AFTER THE JUMP...

Part 2:

Modernizing the State Department, the bureaucracy of government, the empowerment of people by the internet and how it affects government and leadership, the context of the U.S., what it stands for, and how we've tried to move the world toward democracy and freedom, how American culture and ideas are important in teaching the world about who we are.

Parts 3 and 4:

The conflict between Hamas and Israel, and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The peace process and previous attempts to come to agreements in the region, and making....hard choices.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Hillary Clinton Sits Down with Jon Stewart, Suggests She Wouldn't Mind an Oval Office: VIDEO" »


Israeli Education Minister Apologizes for Attacking Gay Families

Piron_Shai

Shai Piron, Israel’s Education Minister, has apologized for the homophobic comments he made against same sex families earlier this month. Piron was met with a fierce outpouring of backlash from Israel’s prominent LGBT community after asserting that “[i]t’s a Jewish state’s right, maybe even its duty, to say to same-sex couples who decide to live their lives together—that’s not a family,’" in an interview with the Israel National News.

Hagit Rimon, Piron’s lesbian sister, came to the Education Minister’s defense soon after his comments were made public. “I wasn’t offended. I don’t get offended by general statements, and I trust his intentions,” Rimon said to Israel’s Walla News. “He does work for many different communities, and he is a pluralistic guy.”

Piron took to his Facebook account to issue an awkwardly articulated backtracking of his previous stance.

”You can disagree with the wording of words, yet it reflects the reality in Israel and the difficulties of the religious community with changes in family structure.” He wrote, “Every day I try to build a bridge between groups and communities, the first phase of the bridge is to accept and understand.” Piron went on to faux-pologize “if [his] words were understood incorrectly” in the post, prompting for yet another, appropriate apology. Chairman of the Knesset Gay Pride Lobby MK Nitzan Horowitz, called the apology “feeble” and “inadequate.”

“Piron is the education minister and his comments affect the entire system,” he said yesterday. “Students in the education system, children of gay families, gay teachers, and gay parents, all were hurt by the statement of the man who is in charge of education in Israel.”


Tony Perkins On LGBT Pride Flag at U.S. Embassy: Obama is Turning America Into Sodom - VIDEO

PerkinsOn yesterday’s radio program, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins blasted the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv’s decision to fly the LGBT pride flag this month, saying:

"The rainbow flag over Israel — the last time they were flying that over Sodom and Gomorrah it didn’t work out so well. The reality is this administration is not just ignoring or indifferent to traditional values, it is hostile to them, it is hostile to the very things that made America great.” 

Later, in a chat with a listener who called President Obama “Satan personified,” Perkins speculated on whether Obama may have threatened House Speaker John Boehner and his family to keep him in check while his administration “dismantled the country morally and culturally”

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

[via Right Wing Watch]

Continue reading "Tony Perkins On LGBT Pride Flag at U.S. Embassy: Obama is Turning America Into Sodom - VIDEO" »


Israel Forbids Soldiers From Wearing Uniforms In Pride Parades

On March 30 Israel Defense Forces Manpower Directorate Commander Major General Orna Barbivai overturned a policy allowing Israeli soldiers to march in uniform in Pride parades.

IsraelisoldiersprideflagSoldiers will now have to march in civilian clothing. No explanation thus far has been given for the policy change.

According to GayAsiaNews:

The new ruling also states that it will allow soldiers to participate in such events provided they receive permission from their commanders.

Soldiers may only attend social protests that are not organized by a political party. They are also forbidden to participate in protests related to the army and its policies, or in anti-Israel protests.

The Israeli military accepts LGBT soldiers. However same-sex marriage is not legal in the country even though they recognize such marriages that occur elsewhere.

(image via Desert Peace Files)


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