We asked queers in our city to tell us why they are against Israeli apartheid. Here’s what they said.
Video by Alexis Mitchell
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Editor’s Note: QuAIA has come under attack by the pro-Israel lobby and Toronto city bureaucrats: “An April 18, 2010 feature story in the Toronto Star revealed that City of Toronto staff warned Pride Toronto to ban activist group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) from the parade or face repercussions to its city funding” (“LGBT Community Condemns Sponsor Interference in Pride Toronto,” QuAIA, 20 April 2010). See, also, “Martin Gladstone’s Campaign of Lies and Defamation” (QuAIA, 30 March 2010); Daniel Dale, “City May Cut Pride Funding over ‘Israeli apartheid’ Marchers: Bureaucrat Calls Name of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid ‘Very Problematic'” (Toronto Star, 18 April 2010); Daniel Dale, “Anti-Israel Row Threatens Pride Week Funding: Queers Against Israeli Apartheid Violated Policy, City Says” (Toronto Star, 19 April 2010); and “Readers Mull Pride Funding” (Toronto Star, 22 April 2010).
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, or QuAIA, formed to work in solidarity with queers in Palestine and Palestinian resistance movements around the world. Today, in response to increasing criticism of its occupation of Palestine, Israel is cultivating an image of itself as an oasis of gay tolerance in the Middle East. As queers, we recognize that homophobia exists in Israel, Palestine, and across all borders. But queer Palestinians face the additional challenge of living under occupation, subject to Israeli state violence and control. Israel’s apartheid system extends gay rights only to some, based on race. There is no pride in apartheid, and QuAIA is dedicated to fighting it wherever it exists. We work in solidarity with anti-colonial struggles and with queers leading their own struggles of resistance. For more information about QuAIA, visit <queersagainstapartheid.org>.