Toronto is witnessing a moment of political clarity: There is growing agreement, across the political landscape, that the activist group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QUAIA) should be banned from our annual gay Pride Parade.
While the issue will be resolved locally, it is of national significance: No Canadian group should be permitted to hijack a publicly subsidized cultural event to spread hate. Torontonians, and the visitors to the city who come to attend Pride weekend, seek to celebrate our gay community. QUAIA, on the other hand, acts as a mouthpiece and apologist for those who seek Israel's violent destruction.
QUAIA's supporters have all sorts of tortured explanations for why attacking Israel is consistent with the struggle for gay rights. (Catch-all terms such as "liberation" and "solidarity" come up a lot.) Yet there is no ignoring the fact that Israel is a global gay-rights leader -- a place where gays march at their own gay pride events and serve openly in the military. Meanwhile, groups such as QUAIA remain silent and ignorant about the horrific and cruel treatment of gays in Gaza, Egypt, Iran and the wider Arab and Muslim world -- not to mention Sub-Saharan Africa. Such hypocrisy makes nonsense of the idea that demonizing Israel has anything to do with gay rights.
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Will Toronto stand up to anti-Israel hate?
So asks "gay rights advocate" Martin Gladstone in this editorial in today's National Post: