Sat. Apr 13th, 2024
alert-–-bizarre-moment-rutgers-gender-study-professor-tells-seminar-that-it’s-‘homophobic-and-violent’-to-flag-how-badly-lgbt-people-are-treated-in-gazaAlert – Bizarre moment Rutgers gender study professor tells seminar that it’s ‘homophobic and violent’ to flag how badly LGBT people are treated in Gaza

A Rutgers University professor told a seminar discussing the Israel-Hamas conflict that it is ‘violent’ and ‘homophobic’ to raise the issue of how LGBT people are treated in Gaza.

Maya Mikdashi, associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at New Jersey’s State University, told students earlier this month that she has been approached by people at pro-Palestine protests who tell her that she would be treated horribly by Hamas. 

‘So I’ve been at protests where I’m then told “don’t you know what Hamas would do to you, if you were in Palestine”,’ she said.  

‘We have to start naming this as homophobic. You cannot rehearse violence to queer people. It’s violent.  

The event, entitled ‘Palestine is a Feminist and Queer Anti-Imperialist Abolition Struggle’, took place on March 20 and was co-hosted by the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Nadine Naber. 

Maya Mikdashi, associate Professor of Women's, Gender , and Sexuality Studies (left) with co-host the University of Illinois at Chicago 's Nadine Naber (right)

Maya Mikdashi, associate Professor of Women’s, Gender , and Sexuality Studies (left) with co-host the University of Illinois at Chicago ‘s Nadine Naber (right)

'Queers for Palestine' events and marches have been criticized as a misguided show of support for a regime that does not support gay rights

‘Queers for Palestine’ events and marches have been criticized as a misguided show of support for a regime that does not support gay rights

‘If you were to say you were experiencing sexism in the SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine] they would say “there goes those Palestinian’s again, silencing women in their communities”,’ Naber told attendees. 

‘So no one is going to say it. And if you do say it [others] will say you’re a “traitor and collaborating with Zionism”.’ 

Naber also argued that rape had been well-documented in the founding of Israel. 

Reading from text she said, ‘indeed the practices of rape and sexual assault that have been well-documented during the founding of Israel and continued today are not an exception or a secondary impact of colonial violence.

‘[They] are part of the settler, colonial white supremacist logics and practices of Israel that conflate colonized women with the land and nature and assume that therefore to dominate the land necessitates dominating Palestinian women’s bodies and their reproductive capacities from 1948 until today,’ she explained. 

Speaking more on why the event focuses on queer people within the Palestinian movement, Naber said: ‘We’re going to need our organizing to center queer and trans people not only because they are especially vulnerable to colonial violence and the racism and the doxxing, but they also embody exceptionally nuanced wisdom about Zionism because they are living it in all its complexity.’ 

Queers for Palestine’ events and marches, which have proliferated across the US since the start of the war, have been criticized as a misguided show of support for a regime that does not support gay rights. 

The Islamic Middle Eastern state follows sharia law, and as noted by Amnesty International, it is not safe for the queer community.

Hamas 's October 7 terror attack on Israel did involve rape and sexual violence, a new report from the United Nations has concluded. Pictured: An Israeli soldier walks through items left by fleeing festival goers at the site of the Nova music festival, October 12

Hamas ‘s October 7 terror attack on Israel did involve rape and sexual violence, a new report from the United Nations has concluded. Pictured: An Israeli soldier walks through items left by fleeing festival goers at the site of the Nova music festival, October 12

Based on a range of evidence, the UN said there was clear and convincing' information to show conflict-related sexual violence was committed by members of the Palestinian terror group - including rape and gang rape. Pictured: IDF troops patrol Kibbutz Be'eri on October 11

Based on a range of evidence, the UN said there was clear and convincing’ information to show conflict-related sexual violence was committed by members of the Palestinian terror group – including rape and gang rape. Pictured: IDF troops patrol Kibbutz Be’eri on October 11

Pramila Patten, the UN envoy focusing on sexual violence in conflict, detailed witness accounts of two incidents involving the rape of women's corpses

Pramila Patten, the UN envoy focusing on sexual violence in conflict, detailed witness accounts of two incidents involving the rape of women’s corpses

Others see the fight for queer rights and anti-colonialism as intertwined because anti-gay laws were first introduced in Palestine by Britain in 1885 – though former colonial powers have since abolished such legislation in their own countries.  

Moreover, Hamas’ brutal rapes of Israeli prisoners on and after the terror attacks of October 7 have been widely reported including by the United Nations. 

Based on a range of evidence, the international organization said there was ‘clear and convincing’ information to show conflict-related sexual violence was committed by members of the Palestinian terror group – including rape and gang rape.

It said such attacks were carried out in at least three locations across southern Israel, including the Nova music festival, the site of one of several October 7 massacres.

Pramila Patten, the UN envoy focusing on sexual violence in conflict, also detailed witness accounts of two incidents involving the rape of women’s corpses.

In addition to its findings relating to the October 7 attack, Patten also said her team ‘found clear and convincing information’ that some women and children during their captivity were subjected to the same conflict-related sexual violence.

This included rape and ‘sexualized torture’ she said.

This evidence was based on first-hand accounts of released hostages, she said, adding there are ‘reasonable grounds to believe that such violence may be ongoing’.

Patten visited Israel and the West Bank from January 29 to February 14 with a nine-member technical team.

The report comes nearly five months after the Oct. 7 attacks, which left about 1,200 people dead and some 250 others taken hostage.

Israel’s war against Hamas has since laid waste to the Gaza Strip, killing more than 30,000 people, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

The UN says a quarter of Gaza’s 2.3 million people face starvation. 

Hamas has rejected earlier allegations that its fighters committed sexual assault.

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