In their own words, Stand With Us and other Zionist organizations "play gay card"; "Tel Aviv's burgeoning gay scene may be the single most effective Israel-advocacy instrument in the Zionist toolbox."
On Saturday evening, August 1, a shooter (presumably a Jewish Israeli, based on police reports' language, but no confirmation yet) injures 15 and kills 2 (with 3 more in critical condition) in LGBT teen center in Tel Aviv (as reported in Ha'aretz).
The mayor of Tel Aviv says "we will fight for every person's right to live their lives as they see fit."
I wonder what he means by "every person."
The irony makes me furious and scared. Furious at Stand With Us and organizations like it, furious at the shooter, and furious at the Jewish community here in the U.S. for pressuring me to "love
(But, oh yeah - youth centers like the one where the shooting took place are exactly where I ran for safety when I needed it. And violence happened there, too. Machine guns are harder to come by in the
, but fucked up power dynamics are easy to find. And we did get hurt, in those moldy church-basement youth centers. U.S.
I've learned that safe spaces aren't always safe - for Jews, for queers, for anybody. That's because safety isn't a matter of place and walls. Safety has to be made some other way.)
Stand With Us wants you to love
Hey, queer Jews: Do not let them fool you!
Hey, straight Jews: Talk to your queer Jewish friends. Talk to queers from
Hey, queer Jews: Here in the
Hey, queer gentiles: Talk to your queer Jewish friends. Most of us are farther left on Palestine/Israel than you might imagine. Most of us are not fooled by the rainbow flag waving. You can support us best by hearing our concerns about these issues, and making your own thoughtful and informed decisions. To be an ally to the Jewish community, support the Jews you are in community with. This may or may not align with supporting
Hey, queer Jews: Check where you're standing! We don't need Tel Aviv to be our queer / Jewish homeland. We have been building homeland and building family wherever we go for generations. Who's your queer / Jewish community, here and now? How will you protect and nurture it? How will it protect and nurture you? How will you make your community what you need it to be?
Hey, everybody: It's not so complicated. Well, okay, it is. But you're smart! Don't let "it's complicated" become an excuse for not having an opinion. Gather information. Share news sources. Exchange perspectives. Listen. Speak. Don't be afraid to say something you might later think is wrong. Don't believe everything you're told. Question. Argue. It's the Jewish thing to do! It's the queer thing to do! And if you're not Jewish or queer ... you know, this is something we've got right. Give it a try. Don't let someone do your thinking for you. Don't let someone else define "home" for you. You gotta do it yourself. We gotta do it together.
(This article is cross-posted on indybay.)