The cold blooded killings at a queer youth center in Tel Aviv last August put into stark relief the plight of gay Israelis. How can the most sexually liberated state in the Mideast sincerely proclaim the singularity of its freedoms when its GLBT citizenry live in fear of being murdered?
“I hate to ask,” the hand-written sign apologized, “but I have to. I’m broke. Please help.” It’s mid-morning, mid-week, and drizzling. I’m stopped several car lengths down from the traffic light where the man with the sign stands unprotected from the elements and the stares of strangers.
It is difficult to believe that three weeks ago the main news item in Israel was Netanyahu’s endorsement of the two state solution. Notwithstanding the coverage his Bar Ilan address received, within days, it had largely slipped from public consciousness. While Obama’s Cairo speech continues to reverberate throughout the Middle East, the Israeli prime minister’s so-called acceptance of the “leftist” program has left no marks. The dismissive reception that Netanyahu received when he traveled to Europe afterwards, coupled with persistently blatant demands—even from Silvio Berlusconi—to cease all settlement construction in the Occupied Territories shows how little Netanyahu was taken seriously by Israel’s so-called best friends.
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