Should Queers Boycott Israel?
Why are we here?
Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT!), a grassroots Bay
Area group, is here today because there is an event that
features a prominent Israeli artist or speaker.
We ask Bay Area queers to respect the cultural
and academic boycott against Israel which has been
called in response to:
Israeli state’s ongoing refusal to comply with
international covenants to which it is signatory and
with resolutions of the United Nations and the
International Court of Justice.
call for international solidarity from over 100
organizations representing all sectors of
What are the goals of the
cultural/academic boycott is part of the larger
international campaign for Boycott, Divestment and
Sanctions against Israel.
The goals of that campaign are:
single democratic state in the 1948 borders of
Palestine, with equal rights and dignity for
everyone who lives there;
with all international covenants and resolutions
including implementation of the right of Palestinian
refugees to return to their homes, and an end to the
Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza,
East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and southern
What do we want?
that queer institutions (including Frameline, LGBT Pride
and the LGBT Center), as representatives of a
progressive community, not accept funding from or
cosponsor events with the Israeli consulate or any other
representative of the Israeli government.
We ask queer people not to attend events
sponsored by the Israeli consulate or featuring Israeli
performers or speakers who are not explicitly opposing
Israel’s racist and discriminatory policies.
But how do you know these
performers/speakers are not opposed to discrimination?
some internationally known artists and athletes, like
tennis star Shahar Peer, are active members of the
Israeli military, the boycott is not about punishing or
rewarding individual Israelis.
We are not saying that Israelis are bad people.
A boycott is not about individual intentions,
either of the people participating or the people
targeted by it. It
is a time-honored collective nonviolent action to
pressure those in power to change their policies.
The Israeli people must be pressured to change
the policies of their government.
Over 65% of Jewish Israelis are on record
supporting the Apartheid Wall in the West Bank. 66% of
Jewish Israeli youth and 59% of adults have said that
they want their government to “encourage Palestinian
Arabs to emigrate” from Israel (which translates to
As many as 90% voiced support for the recent
invasion of Lebanon, in which over 1,000 Lebanese
civilians (30% children) were killed, using banned
weapons such as cluster bombs.
scholars such as Tanya Rinehart and Ilan Pappe have
spoken in favor of the academic boycott, even though
they themselves may be hurt by it.
We are not urging a boycott of
anti-apartheid Israeli speakers or artists participating
in explicitly anti-apartheid events.
Isn’t the U.S. also an
aggressive and discriminatory country?
What right do we have to judge Israelis?
not holding ourselves above Israelis or anyone else.
As people who also oppose our government’s
policies, we feel we would not participate in activities
abroad sponsored by our government, but if we did, we
would understand that we might be the targets of boycott
or protest. Though
few of us are people who are ever invited to speak or
perform abroad, if we were, we would feel a
responsibility to make public condemnation of our
government’s policies a key component of all presentations.
What about the right of
Israeli artists and academics to freedom of expression?
not trying to prevent them from expressing themselves.
We are simply saying that they should express
themselves in Israel and use their role to challenge the
apartheid policies of their country.
Why are we singling out
focusing on Israel because it is perpetrating a serious
human rights crisis which is getting worse by the day.
However, we are in solidarity with the
divestment/boycott campaign against Sudan (because of
the genocide in Darfur).
In the past boycotts have been used against South
Africa, Chile and Colorado (because of its anti-gay
initiative), to name only a few.
more information about the Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions
This flier brought to you by QUIT!