Sunday, February 7, 2016

My FB Response to Columbia Queer Alliance (CQA)

This is what I wrote on Facebook as a reply to Columbia Queer Alliance's post supporting "Apartheid Divest" (I am intentionally NOT putting a link) - which is pretty much the Columbia chapter of the international BDS movement.
Here is CQA's original post.
I am not sure what to say.
As an openly queer Columbia student, I now feel excluded, and in some ways, marginalized within my own marginalized community.
Poster for J Street CU's event, at the Columbia/Barnard Hillel
We had an amazing discussion with an amazingly diverse crowd
about how to find alternative ways to end to occupation while
preserving our belief in Israel's right to exist in peace.
I agree, and I am outspoken about the Human Rights problems in the (entire) Middle East. I joined J Street U at Columbia with one main goal: fight the occupation of the Palestinians in a productive way. My pro-Palestinian stance has put me in odds with many of my Jewish friends, and even more so, with the few family members who still talk to me. Yet I do not support BDS for to many reasons.
·        BDS clearly undermines Israel’s rights to exist, which is somewhat ironic as we are all supposed to fight for the right of self-determination. I have had Jewish family and ancestors in Israel/Palestine going back to the 16th century (at least). BDS is telling me that I have no right to my heritage. Let us not even talk about the fact that a group that is constantly quoting UN resolutions (rightfully) ignores other resolutions from the same body all the time.
·        BDS has proven to jeopardize peaceful negotiations towards a two state solution on both sides. Well, some members of the movement, including the co-founder openly said that they do not want Two States.
·        BDS has thus far affected the Palestinian economy more than it did the Israeli economy. As a Jew who strongly identifies as Pro-Palestinian, I find this challenging.
·        BDS ignores domestic politics. This movement is strengthening the Israeli Right in unprecedented ways. The fact that Israel now has a right wing government that is not interested in a peaceful solution is in large ways thanks to the international BDS movement. That hurts so many of my fellow liberal Jews.
I want to see an end the occupation. I want to see an end to the human rights violations against Palestinians. I want to see an end to the suffering of every human being, Jews, Arab and Druze alike 'from the River to the Sea', and BDS is not helping.
I wish that next time I visit the State of Israel; I should be able to visit the beautiful cities of Ramallah, Jericho, and Nablus as part of the sovereign State of Palestine. 
I feel that BDS is standing in the way of achieving these goals.

So CQA, please take notice that BDS, even the majority of its members really mean well, is not the best way, if an effective way at all, to fight for Human Rights, something that we, Queer people, have been fighting to achieve for years.


  1. What is your reasoning for being pro Palestinian? As a Jew that's unnatural even more so as a transgender.

  2. Palestinians need to renounce (instead of encouraging) violence & terrorism FIRST & agree to Israel right to exist. Without that, there can never be peace. History shows Israel keeps giving up land & for what? I haven't been to Israel since I was a kid and got stuck overnight on a bombshelter at my cousins kibbutz as they once again were being shelled. It was such a routine for them that the kids were all playing & I was terrified, especially when I saw a 9 months pregnant bedridden woman brought in. The Palestinian Authority keeps advocating & teaching violence. Israel isn't perfect either bit they don't have an honorable partner to negotiate with and they're surrounded by neighbors who've tried to destroy it since day 1. As a footnote, Tel Aviv has also become somewhat of a gay mecca. Just this week, sadly, we again had Palestinian terrorists murder innocents. And for what? It's like ISIS where they value death more than life