Tel-Aviv queers: City’s nomination in MTV’s gay tourist attraction contests – “a shameful tribute to apartheid”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 10, 2010. Tel-Aviv, Israel

MTV’s LGBT Network, Logo, has just published the results of two Internet award-bearing polls it conducted, nominating, among other cities, the Israeli city Tel-Aviv for gay ‘sexiest city’ and ‘year breakthrough’. The mere nomination was denounced by a Tel-Aviv-based queer group, Israeli Queers for Palestine, arguing MTV’s choice of Tel-Aviv sends a normalizing message to the Israeli occupation and oppression of the Palestinians, particularly in light of a Palestinian queer and general calls for a boycott of Israel. The full statement reads:

Just a few months after Palestinian Queers for BDS have issued their June 28 Call upon all queer groups, organizations and individuals around the world to boycott the apartheid State of Israel, Logo, MTV’s LGBT Network, nominated Tel-Aviv, among other cities, within a gay ‘sexiest city’ and ‘year breakthrough’ award-bearing tourism promotion contests. We, Tel-Aviv-based queers, denounce the mere nomination of Tel-Aviv within this context of gay tourism promotion. These polls were conducted by Logo while a global human rights based movement for boycotting Israel is gaining strength in a pace that surpasses that of similar efforts to overthrow the apartheid regime of South Africa. Granting a shameful tribute to apartheid, Logo encourages LGBT communities to ignore such important efforts, and in particular the specific call made by Palestinian queers to boycott Israel.

We support Palestinian Queers for BDS’ Call, which follows the July 9th 2005 Palestinian united civil society Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights. We view BDS as a powerful, legitimate and much needed tool to end the impunity in which Israel continues to colonize and oppress the Palestinian people. This includes the continued occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, including the illegal siege on Gaza and West Bank apartheid wall; the systematic discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel; and the prevention of the right of return and compensation for Palestinian refugees, who were expelled by Israel since 1948. We encourage queer groups, organizations and individuals to heed the Palestinian Queers for BDS’ Call and boycott the apartheid state of Israel.

Signed,

Israeli Queers for Palestine

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