QUIT! (Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism) condemns the decision by Jerusalem Open House and other promoters of World Pride Jerusalem to go ahead with the planned week of international pride events scheduled for August 6-12, despite Israel’s ongoing assault on civilian communities in Lebanon and Gaza. Israel, which killed 4 UN workers in Lebanon on July 26, has been accused by Human Rights Watch of using cluster bombs in civilian areas, in violation of international law.
“While members of the Lebanese queer group Helem are turning their community center into a shelter for refugees, their counterparts in Jerusalem are preparing for a film festival and beach party,” said QUIT member Kate Raphael. “What is the message that this sends to the world about what our community cares about?”
Over 25 organizations and individuals worldwide have called for an international boycott on travel to World Pride.
“One year ago, World Pride was cancelled because a small group of Israeli settlers were being peacefully removed from Gaza,” observed Deeg Gold, also of QUIT!. “This year, when more than 700,000 Lebanese people have been made homeless by relentless bombing, the organizers choose to go ahead. This does not stand up for the principle that as queer rights are human rights, human rights are queer rights.”
QUIT!, which is part of the newly formed “Break the Siege Coalition” which organized last Thursday’s large demonstration in San Francisco, calls for all LGBT people in the United States to protest our government’s complicity in the Israeli siege. The United States government has shipped special weapons to Israel to assist in the assault on Lebanon. The United States and Great Britain are the only members of the United Nations besides Israel to oppose an immediate cease fire.
“Instead of being visible in Jerusalem, partying during an ethnic cleansing, we must be visible in the movements in our home countries calling for freedom and justice for all people,” said Raphael.
QUIT! is a grassroots Bay Area queer direct action group challenging Israeli apartheid in creative ways. QUIT! has been around since early 2001, and initiated the call to boycott World Pride Jerusalem almost two years ago.