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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Gay & pro-Israel

National Post columnist Kelvin Browne writes in an editorial titled Gay, pro-Israel and fed up about being gay, supporting Israel and Stephen Harper. The column was prompted by anti-Semitic comments made at a dinner party he attended. I can sympathize - I've been lectured by gay men on Israeli "apartheid" on the assumption that I'm a fellow-traveller, and I'm deep in the closet in gay social circles about my support for Harper. Browne writes:
I'm not going to pretend to understand the Middle East fully. But I understand who supported gay rights when few others would. Jews. Who supported AIDS charities before it was fashionable? Jews. Fine to have issues with Israel, but you can't be openly gay anywhere else in the Middle East except Israel (although I'd choose Tel Aviv over Jerusalem). This fact should make the anti-Israel activists at Toronto's annual Pride parades a conflicted group, though you wouldn't know it from their militant slogans. Half my friends are Jewish. One of the reasons I can't possibly tolerate anti-Semitism is that I identify with Jews.

I support Stephen Harper because of his unshakable commitment to Israel. This perplexes some of the people who know me, as the Conservatives often appear to appease a base presumed not to be gay-friendly. Supporting Harper even seems odd to a few of my Jewish friends who are skeptical of his conversion to Zionism; they continue to vote for the Liberals or NDP out of habit.

In any event, I'm not going to sit quietly and fail to confront what I believe is an increasing tolerance of intolerance. I still shudder that I nodded in fascination that night at dinner -- but didn't say anything -- as it was explained to me that Israel has to be taught a lesson. No longer.

1 comment:

Peter said...