Letter of Support to Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Berkeley
[Occupied Palestine – April 27th, 2010] We Palestinian Queers living in Occupied Palestine (48 territories, West Bank and Gaza Strip), Salute the students of UC Berkley for their courage and tremendous efforts in passing this historic resolution to divest from companies that are directly linked with Israeli war crimes against Palestinians (For more information about this read here).
We noticed lately that whenever the Palestinian struggle is discussed in the West, especially when the BDS campaign is involved in a debate, our identity as Palestinian LGBTIQs is abused. Our name as Palestinian Queers and our struggle to gain recognition and establish our rights are used to support the falsity that Israel is the only “gay haven” in the Middle East and justify their claim that “oppressed Palestinian queers” are one more reason not to support the Palestinians.
In this letter we would like to remind those who give themselves the right to speak in our name that we have a voice and can speak for ourselves. Thus we would like to assert that we, Palestinian Queers, as an integral part of the Palestinian society, believe that the struggle for sexual and gender diversity is interconnected with the Palestinian struggle for freedom. That we believe that the BDS campaign is an effective way of resistance that represents the majority of the Palestinian people: the refugees in exile, those in diasporas, Palestinians who live under the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and the subjugated Palestinian citizens of the Israeli state. Furthermore, we condemn the malicious use of our name and of our fight for our rights as queers, to deny us our rights as Palestinians, and to use it against our national struggle for freedom and Justice. We would also like to assert that we stand wholeheartedly on the side of the students of UC Berkley working on overturning the president’s veto and divesting from companies that profit from Israel’s war crimes.