An Open Letter to LGBTIQ Communities and Allies on the Israeli Occupation of Palestine

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An Open Letter to LGBTIQ Communities and Allies on the Israeli Occupation of Palestine

We are a diverse group of lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and trans activists, academics, artists, and cultural workers from the United States who participated in a solidarity tour in the West Bank of Palestine and Israel from January 7-13, 2012.

What we witnessed was devastating and created a sense of urgency around doing our part to end this occupation and share our experience across a broad cross-section of the LGBTIQ community. We saw with our own eyes the walls—literally and metaphorically—separating villages, families and land. From this, we gained a profound appreciation for how deeply embedded and far reaching this occupation is through every aspect of Palestinian daily life.

So too, we gained new insights into how Israeli civil society is profoundly affected by the dehumanizing effects of Israeli state policy toward Palestinians in Israel and in the West Bank. We were moved by the immense struggle being waged by some Israelis in resistance to state policies that dehumanize and deny the human rights of Palestinians.

We ended our trip in solidarity with Palestinian and Israeli people struggling to end the occupation of Palestine, and working for Palestinian independence and self-sovereignty.

Among the things we saw were:

  • the 760 km (470 mi) separation wall (jidar) partitioning and imprisoning the Palestinian people;

  • how the wall’s placement works to confiscate large swaths of Palestinian land, splits villages and families in two, impedes Palestinians from working their agricultural land, and in many cases does not advance the ostensible security interests of Israel;

  • a segregated road system (one set of roads for cars with Israeli plates, and another much inferior one for cars with Palestinian plates) throughout the West Bank, constructed by the Israeli state and enforced by the Israeli army; these roads ease Israeli travel to and from illegal settlements in the West Bank and severely impede Palestinian travel between villages, to agricultural land, and throughout a territory which is and has been their homeland;

  • a system of permits (identification cards) that limits the travel of Palestinian people and functionally imprisons them, separating them from family, health care, jobs and other necessities;

  • militarized checkpoints with barbed wire and soldiers armed with automatic rifles and the humiliation and harassment the Palestinian people experience daily in order to travel from one place to another;

  • the reconfiguration of maps to render invisible Palestinian villages/homelands;

  • harmful living conditions created and enforced by Israeli law and policy such as limited access to water and electricity in many Palestinian homes;

  • violence perpetrated



Comments [4]

Yvonne's picture

yes! yes yes yes yes

I just had an orgasm.

All of you who can raise your voices and be heard, thank you for bringing this case into attention. Hope you carry on posting on this matter.

Only people who go and live in Palestine can know what truly happens there, few movies give you an idea how it all started but really.. it's beyond a catastrophe, it is simply dehumanizing and retarded in love.

Thanks velvet park, your sincerely tipping the velvet friend.

Grace Moon's picture

are you still living in

are you still living in Lebanon? Where are you these days?

tweet tweet @gracemoon

Yvonne's picture

yea, still in Leb. You doing

yea, still in Leb. You doing ok Grace Moon Grace?

Grace Moon's picture

HAHAHA! I remember that!

HAHAHA!

I remember that! Yvonne Khalil Yvonne.

tweet tweet @gracemoon