Statement Against Pro-Israel Groups at Progressive LGBT Conference in Chicago

For Immediate Release:  January 22, 2016
For Information:
Andy Thayer, Gay Liberation Network, 773.209.1187,
Bob Schwartz, Gay Liberation Network, 773.878.3697,
Statement Against Pro-Israel Groups
at Progressive LGBT Conference in Chicago
Recently the National LGBTQ Task Force, a U.S.-based organization that bills itself as not only opposing anti-LGBTQ discrimination, but as anti-racist as well, allowed pro-Israel organizations to host a reception as part of their official program at their annual conference in Chicago.
The Task Force also invited to participate in their conference the federal government’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, which currently is in the midst of anti-immigrant sweeps adding to President Obama’s already record-setting number of deportations.
Vigorous protests forced the Task Force to cancel both the ICE and pro-Israel events, but a PR campaign by Zionists falsely equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism recently caused the Task Force to backtrack and re-slate the pro-Israel event.
Below is a statement on these events by the Gay Liberation Network, a Chicago-based, multi-issue LGBT group founded in 1998.
Why We Oppose Pro-Israel Organizations at Creating Change
For several years the Israeli government has attempted to use propaganda about the freedoms some LGBTQs in that country have as a cover for their increasingly brutal rule over Palestinians, a process known as “pink-washing.”
Because of the brutal racism of the country, mimicking South Africa under apartheid – one set of laws for Jews, another for Palestinians – most Palestinian LGBTQs don’t enjoy those freedoms. Instead, they endure the anti-Palestinian racism meted out on a daily basis to gay and non-gay alike.
Israel’s racist rule features widespread imprisonment of Palestinians without charges or trials, systemic torture documented by numerous human rights organizations, and the intentional, extreme impoverishment of Palestinians thru the purposeful destruction of their economic activity in Gaza and the West Bank.
Nothing more succinctly encapsulates the racist nature of the Israeli state than its infamous apartheid wall, facilitating the increasing theft of land from Palestinians even as they approach a majority of people in all the areas controlled by Israel. As progressives rightly criticize the racist wall that Donald Trump proposes to build on the U.S.-Mexico border, why can’t some of them see the profoundly racist nature of the wall that Israel has already built?
By allowing a pro-Israel group space at its Creating Change conference, the National LGBTQ Task Force has turned its back on its ostensible mission to oppose racism in all of its forms.
We will not keep silent as the LGBTQ movement is used as a cover for this anti-Palestinian racism.
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