CUNY Welcomes Jew-Hating Gay Activists

Sarah Schulman

The anti-Semitic impulses of some NYC college faculty departments apparently remain insatiable. Fresh off Brooklyn College’s political science department co-sponsoring a February 7 forum advocating  boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) against Israel — during which four Jewish students were removed from the event — the City University of New York’s (CUNY) psychology and philosophy departments are co-sponsoring yet another bash-fest against the Jewish State. “Homonationalism and Pinkwashing,” is scheduled to be held on April 10-11. Departments and programs at Brooklyn College will also be underwriting the event.

According to conference coordinator, gay activist, and CUNY professor Sarah Shulman, “pinkwashing” is part of the “growing global gay movement against the Israeli occupation” that consists of a “deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians’ human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life.” In other words, despite the reality Israel is one of the most gay-friendly nations in the world, that ethos is little more than a smokescreen designed to deflect attention away from their alleged execrable treatment of Palestinians.

“Homonationalism,” a word coined by Jasbir K. Puar, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, is defined as the “tendency among some white gay people to privilege their racial and religious identity,” due to the “emotional legacy of homophobia.” Thus, according to Shulman, the true nature of Israeli society remains misunderstood. “Increasing gay rights have caused some people of good will to mistakenly judge how advanced a country is by how it responds to homosexuality,” she contends.

There is no mistaking where most other nations in the Middle East stand. In 2005 in Dubai, more than two dozen homosexuals attending what police described as a “mass homosexual wedding” were arrested and threatened with hormone treatments forced upon them by the government, five years in jail and a possible lashing. That same year, two men were executed in Iran for being gay. In 2007, two men were sentenced to receive 7,000 lashes for sodomy.

Such examples only touch the surface of gay persecution in the Middle East. Several more examples can be found here.

And lest anyone get the idea that the so-called Arab Spring ushered in a new era of tolerance, that notion has also been disabused by reality. Last year, Tunisian Human Rights Minister Samir Dilou, after noting that “freedom of expression has its limits,” declared that homosexuality was a perversion requiring medical treatment, and that sexual orientation was not a human right. In Saudi Arabia, religious police, known as Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, arrested 49 gays who were having a party. Saudi Arabia has also instituted a ban against Saudi “gays and tom-boys” who are now not allowed to attend government schools and universities. In Pakistan in 2011, a group of conservative Islamic political and religious officials accused the United States Embassy of inciting “cultural terrorism” for its support of gay rights in that country. “[Homosexuals] are the curse of society and social garbage,” said a statement issued by the group. According to the UN, homosexual acts committed in Pakistan are punishable by whipping, imprisonment–or death.

Perhaps Shulman and her fellow traveler friends are willing to ignore such unpleasant realities to focus on the Israeli/Palestinian impasse. Yet Palestinian intolerance towards homosexuals is equally troubling. In 2003, the BBC reported that hundreds of gay Palestinians were fleeing to Israel, “due to Palestinian attitudes towards gay men.” In 2004, another gay man explained that he chose to live in Israel because revealing his sexual identity could potentially leave him “subject to random arrests, torture and random killings.” In 2007, several West Bank gays revealed that they too are more comfortable in Israel, because homosexuality among Palestinians is “strictly taboo, sometimes violently so.” In a story published a week ago by website vice.com, a 20 year old gay man contended that Palestinian Authority police are aware of his and other gays’ sexual orientation, and keep files on them so they can be blackmailed into working as spies and informants.

Such stories are hardly unique. As the Global Gayz website reveals, many Palestinian homosexuals view Israel as a sanctuary, even if it means living in the Jewish State as an illegal alien. In fact, two Tel Aviv University lawyers published a study in 2008 titled “Nowhere to Run: Gay Palestinian Asylum-Seekers in Israel,” criticizing Israel for not being accommodating enough to gays fleeing persecution by Palestinians. According to lawyer Shaul Gannon, who works for Aguda, an Israeli LGBT organization, approximately 2,000 homosexuals from the Palestinian territories reside in Tel Aviv, most illegally, at any one time. Few seek asylum because they are worried about collaboration between Israeli and Palestinian agencies that might result in them being outed in their Palestinian communities. Yet in two separate cases, in 2008 and 2010 Palestinian homosexuals were granted permission to stay in Israel to avoid persecution for being gay.

Thus, it is no wonder many gays prefer living in Israel, even under tenuous circumstances. In contrast to the Palestinian territories, Israel is a model of tolerance whose determination to enshrine gay rights began in 1992, when the Knesset banned gay discrimination in the workplace, followed by the 1993 abolition of all restrictions against gays in the military. And while Israel does not officially recognize gay marriage, they have recognized same-sex partner benefits in both the private and public sector, and full adoption and custody rights for same-sex couples. Furthermore, a poll conducted by American Airlines in 2011 revealed that Tel Aviv is considered the most gay-friendly city in the world, besting even New York by a more than three-to-one margin.

Yet for Shulman, none of this is relevant. “In Israel, gay soldiers and the relative openness of Tel Aviv are incomplete indicators of human rights–just as in America, the expansion of gay rights in some states does not offset human rights violations like mass incarceration,” she writes. “The long-sought realization of some rights for some gays should not blind us to the struggles against racism in Europe and the United States, or to the Palestinians’ insistence on a land to call home.”

Keynote speakers for the upcoming event include Rabih Alameddine, Jasbir Puar and Haneen Maikey. While Alameddine, an openly gay author, appears to be largely non-political, Jasbir Puar and Haneen Maikey embrace both the “pinkwashing” message and BDS.

Puar is on the Advisory Board of the “US Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel.” In a column written for the Guardian in 2010, she accuses Israel of marketing itself as a gay-friendly nation in order to “counter its growing reputation as an imperial aggressor.” “These two tendencies should not be seen as contradictory, rather constitutive of the very mechanisms by which a liberal democracy sanctions its own totalitarian regimes,” she concludes. Last year at an April 2012 New York forum, Puar claimed the Israeli occupation “is one of the most contentious issues in queer organizing today.”

Maikey is a Palestinian gay activist and self-described “Palestinian citizen of Israel.” Why she would live in Israel remains a mystery. “It’s really pathetic that the Israeli state has nothing besides gay rights to promote their liberal image,” she told Ha’aretz in 2009. “Ridiculous, and in a sense hilarious, because there are no gay rights in Israel.” In 2011, she held a workshop in Amsterdam to “promote the BDS strategy in the queer context.”

Thus, one gets a good sense of what will occur, much as it did during the BDS rally at Brooklyn College, when that next manifestation of anti-Semitism masquerading as an “intellectual exchange” takes place at CUNY.

Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, who sits on the Board of CUNY Trustees, and was instrumental in the attempt to deny playwright and Israel-basher Tony Kushner an honorary CUNY degree, is incensed by the thought of another Israel-bashing conference being held on campus. “It’s just amazing to me that one of the few free societies in the world like the state of Israel should be a target for people so stupid that they can’t recognize what their fate would be in any other nation in the Middle East,” he told The Algemeiner.

Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz further illuminates the intellectual bankruptcy that attends the claims of the “pinkwashing” witch-hunters:

“Are the media supposed to be so impressed with Israel’s pro-gay policies that they no longer cover the Palestinian issue? Well, that certainly hasn’t worked,” he writes. “Are gays around the world supposed to feel so indebted to Israel that they no longer criticize the Jewish nation? That surely hasn’t worked, either–witness the increasingly rabid anti-Israel advocacy by some radical gay groups.”

Dershowitz then gets to the real motivations animating the upcoming conference, explaining that “to the anti-Semite, it doesn’t matter how Jews manage their supposed manipulations. The anti-Semite just knows that there’s something sinister at work if Jews do anything positive. The core characteristic of anti-Semitism is the certainty that everything the Jews do is wrong, and everything that’s wrong is done by the Jews…Whenever the Jews seem to be doing good–giving to charity, helping the less fortunate, curing the sick–there must be a malevolent motive, a hidden agenda, a conspiratorial explanation beneath the surface.”

This then, is the essence of the conference being sponsored by CUNY. It is yet another indication that far too many college campuses have abandoned intellectual rigor in favor of dim-witted theories, and the free and open exchange of ideas in favor of one-sided, polemic outbursts, especially when they are directed against Israel. Even worse, universities are sponsoring, such events. Intellectual bankruptcy combined with anti-Semitism is not only welcome at ostensible “institutions of higher learning,” but underwritten by them. Pathetic.

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  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    Not unlike Tourette's symptoms (and my apologies to the sufferers), leftist academia is reflexively anti-Israel, in effect, anti-semitic. Leftist Jews included. EVERY minority is seen as this or that victim, but Jews are held to a double and triple standard. If that is not anti-semitic, then what is?

    Be that as it may, the following is emblematic of their visceral hatred, demonstrating that nothing is out of the pale within US campuses, and even at top tier Oxford – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/02/03/the-nexus-bet

    A follow up expose', on the above matter, will be at tomorrow's blog commentary.It ain't a pretty picture.

    Adina Kutnicki Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • candy

    Beware of the half baked, frivolous, outrageously absurd, incoherent and grotesquely ridiculous. As in pinkwashing. Remember, Hitler and his assinine theories. Who would have thought that 75 years ago scores of millions of people would have died so that blue eyed blonds could rule the world? The world is an illustration of lewis Carrol's card queen who caught off heads because her white roses should have been painted red or vice versa.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    How about a Gay Pride march in Mecca or Tehran or Cairo or Gaza or Ramallah?

    How successful would it be?

    • Drakken

      Now that would be worth getting the lawnchair and a case of beer out to watch. Nothing like a cruel taste of reality to wake these morons up.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    What would happen to the pictured above Sarah Schulman if she were in Tahrir Square.

    A gay, Jewish, female American.

    How well would she be treated?

  • Ralph

    Toeing the party line is the price of continued membership ion the circles of the left.

    If gays do not do this, their movement will not survive if the left completes its’ takeover.

    A Quid pro Quo.

  • kafir4life

    Is that a malformed T that looks like a Y next to that beast in the picture?

    • johnnywoods

      I would like to ad that she is uglier than Whoopie Goldburg.

  • Chezwick

    Well, just wait folks. "Homonationalism" is a word that has just entered our lexicon. Within 5 years, it'll be standard boilerplate all over academe to denounce any attempt to censure the Islamic world for its persecution of homosexuals.

    As we learned so clearly during the OJ trial and its aftermath, race trumps gender in the liberal/left ethos. We've seen the culmination of that ethos in the total abandonment of Muslim women by the Western feminist movement. Now it is the gays who must prostrate themselves at the alter of multiculturalism….and subordinate their interests to that of the race-hustlers….(in case anyone is confused, in the Orwellian world of the Left, Islam constitutes race).

  • WilliamJamesWard

    The left in it's malodorous manifestations can be explained quite often by the Muslim funding
    it receives through CAIR and other Islamist front organizations. Follow the money and also
    that most homosexuals are easy prey for any form of praise so much so that if they were
    told how wonderful they are and should burn themselves in public to prove it they would
    flood gas stations for fuel screaming love me adore me………………………..William

  • EthanP

    I have said it many times. These people are radical leftists. This is more important than "Gay Rights" to them. Thus Israel, the only gay friendly nation in the region is still a target of far left hatred, gay or not. Thus they stand for nations and people that proclaim loudly and often that they would kill ALL gays. The radical left has shown itlelf to be anti-semitic/anti-zionist for years. Even far left Jews are subject to this. (I.E. J Street).

  • john spielman

    "potical science" is an oxymoron if ever there was one. And Ms Schulman is, to quote Lenin, a useful (useless?) idiot!
    She wouldn't survive an hour in Gaza.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Right ON!

      Political Science? Should be a sub department of the PSYCHOLOGY department.

  • Lan Astaslem

    This homely thing wouldn't survive in any muslim cesspool unless she kept all her lesbo activity in private, but at least she'd have a burkha covering that ugly face!

  • BS77

    Who says going to college makes you intelligent?

    • bluffcreek1967

      Very true. Some of the dumbest, intellectually slow and most naive people I've encountered in life have been university graduates. As in most liberal academic institutions, the students are taught WHAT to think, but not HOW to think. Most of them by far are merely indoctrination centers.

      • Mary Sue

        that's because stupid people think that going to college makes them smarter.

  • Keith

    I am an gay American male and I fully appreciate the freedoms in America and Israel, and I deplore the treatment of gays and lesbians in the Muslim world. Life in America and Israel is far from perfect for us, but the Muslim world has far to go in its respect and tolerance of women and sexual and religious minorities.

    I must point put however that this article falsely equates opposition to Israeli policies with anti-semitism. I disagree with many Israeli and American policies, but I'm not anti-semetic, anti-Israeli, or anti-American. I realize that there are some anti-semites in leftist circles, just as there are some on the right who are anti-gay, but it's grossly unfair to say that anyone who disagrees with Israeli policies towards Palestinians are anti-semetic and Jew-haters.

    I am pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli. There are valid arguments and concerns on both sides. Anyone who says you have to choose one side or the other is wrong.

    • bluffcreek1967

      "I am pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel." No, you're just confused.

      "Anyone who says you have to choose one side or the other is wrong." The lines have already been drawn. The entire matter, although tragic, is not dubious or unclear. There is a right and a wrong side in this debate. Sooner or later, you must choose. Or, you can remain in the mushy middle, hesitant and confused because you're unable to fully discern the truth.

    • Gee

      So you are "pro-Palestinian" meaning you support ethnic cleansing, stealing and genocide. That is exactly what those 'Palestinians' demand.

      Well – go to hell – we refuse to surrender our territory and our lives to those fascists.

    • UCSPanther

      Here is a sampling of the penalties for "embracing the alternative lifestyle" in the Middle East:

      Saudi Arabia: Forfeiture of one's head
      Palestine: Having a brick wall collapsed onto you
      Iran: Hanging with a crane

      Any questions?

      • Terry

        Of course Keith has questions. It is no longer LGBT but LGBTQ

    • Mary Sue

      you can't really straddle both sides of the fence, here. The Palestinians are run by a bunch of terrorists that Will. Not. Stop. Until. EVERY. LAST. JEW. IS. DEAD. How can you negotiate with such? How can you find a solution for peace? Supporting the Palestinians IS anti-semitism because the Palestinians want all the Jews dead, whether you realize it or not.

      Sure, there's Palestinians that tolerate Jews on an individual basis, but the Palestinian Organizations such as the PLO and Hamas and Hezbollah are absolutely genocidal in their jew-hatred. This is fact.

    • Mo_

      "I am pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli."

      No, you are either confused or outright insane.

      "There are valid arguments and concerns on both sides. Anyone who says you have to choose one side or the other is wrong. "

      Really? Muslims slaughtering Jews and wiping Israel off the map in obedience to their religion is a "valid argument"? Choosing the side that works toward peace (Israel) over the side that continues to murder ("Palestinians") is wrong to you?

      You need help. I mean that sincerely.

    • kafir4life

      One of the two (Israel or "palestine") wants you dead because of your sexuality. Why would you side with someone who would kill you if they were in control? You may as well be a leftist Jew. They also support those that would see them dead, the fools.

    • aspacia

      The Pals cheered and passed out candy on 9/11 and they butcher gays and any dissidents.

      You, Keith, are an uneducated fool.

  • http://twitter.com/davidcaryhart @davidcaryhart

    OK, this article, on the whole, is correct in tone and accuracy. Israel is an LGBT friendly nation amidst a sea of homophobia in the region. HOWEVER, could people please stop calling those who are critical of Israel antisemitic or, in this case "Jew-hating." I am a strong supporter of Israel. I am also critical of the state when criticism is warranted.

    The Christian right often conflates support for Israel with acceptance of Jews – as they sweetly tell us that we are going to rot in hell. BTW, I am gay and Jewish.

    • LibertarianToo

      But it is their belief that you are going to BURN -not rot- in hell. Would you have them lie?

      And criticism of Israeli policy on this or that is not the same as accusing Israel of "pinkwashing" to somehow manipulate and confuse those poor little progs. Criticism is welcome in a democracy like Israel -not so in any other country in the region. "Pinkwashing" is another conspiracy theory, beloved of anti-semites who find a Zionist under every bed.

    • Drakken

      The difference is, even the most rabid christian isn't going to kill you, the muslims will.

      • Ilyssa

        "The difference is, even the most rabid christian isn't going to kill you"

        Yup! Just ask George Tiller…oh wait.

        • Defcon 4

          LOL, yeah one killing by a Christian a pattern makes. Tell that to the MILLIONS of Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Jews killed by muslims in the name of islam over the last hundred years sweetheart in places like Bangladesh, Israel, E. Timor, Armenia/Turkey, Sudan/Darfur etc.

    • Raymond in DC

      Are you as openly critical of France, India, Turkey and Brazil "when criticism is warranted", never mind Russia, China and Iran? If not, you should hold your criticism of Israel. And "as a Jew" criticisms don't convey additional authority.

    • aspacia

      Read some Glen Beck, Warren, et al for what many Christian right believe.

      A Deist

  • bluffcreek1967

    Sarah Shulman, another drab and frumpy gay-activist on a mission to destroy Israel, the West and everything that's morally decent. I've seen so many of these types in my life that I can almost spot them a mile away. They try to pass themselves off as deeply conscious of human affairs and suffering, but they are tyrannical in nature. They align with all the wrong causes. They have academic degrees, but they are some of the most close-minded people you will ever meet. Like most graduates of liberal State academic institutions, they have been taught only WHAT to think, not HOW to think. They exist in the world of books, sterile abstract ideas, but not in the real world where ideas have consequences. They never seem to grasp this. They believe humans are basically good in nature, and that all we need is their 'progressive' ideas to make us healthy and whole. They think all races and cultures of people are of equal value and worth. This is what the Sarah Shulman's of the world think – and they dead wrong. Reality will one day catch them by surprise. http://www.ambrosekane.com

    • Elaine

      Having a college degree today is a sign of insanity. No sane person would spend four or more years sitting through the brainwashing and propaganda of the Communist, Marxist, Progressive, Liberal idiots who are 99% of the professors in all universities in this country.

  • Underzog

    Sarah Schulman is not the only one. Obnoxious butt burgaler, Tony Kushner, also talks against his people and joins forces with countries that would push a wall down on him or hang him if they could. It really is very annoying. Maybe Tony Kushner is mad at Leviticus for predicting AIDs, but I am not sure what Sarah Schulman's motivations are. Maybe the enemy of my enemy (in this case, America) is my friend or something.

  • thomas_h

    Ladies and gentlemen. For goodness sake, stop referring to homosexuals as gays!

    There is nothing gay about practicing homosexuality, which is sordid, unnatural and repulsive activity.
    Do not forget that for a thousand or so years of the existence of the English language that beautiful word signified something that is merry, happy, jovial, joyous, glad, cheerful, sunny, blithe…amiable. .
    I am talking of “gay” of Shakespeare, Chaucer, Byron, Blake, Shelley and Browning and as recent as Robert Frost and the past generation.
    A few decades ago homosexual activists targeted for appropriation that charming, innocent and life affirming word to paste it over something which in essence is ugly, deadly and terribly sad. That was an act of most brazen deception. They never bothered to consider the vandalism against language, literature and tradition that was caused by their fraudulence.

    For the love of English language but especially out of respect for truth we should not participate in that charade. Only gay is truly gay. Homosexuality is anything but gay and should be referred to as well…homosexuality. What else?

    • Underzog

      I think it is more accurate to refer to homosexuaity as men having sex with men rather than gay or even homosexual. Homosexualitty, as you call it, is a serious of nauseating and dangerous acts.. It is not an identity as gay or even the more accurate homosexuality imply it is. That is why when talking technically I use men having sex with men. There is also women having sex with women, but that comes with its own sets of problems; e.g., battery (which is usually covered up by our drive by media). Incidentally, sodomy does not really fit and is physiologically untenable. That is why men who have sex with men have so many of the medical problems (AIDs; etc.) that they do.

      • Dmitriy M

        AIDS worldwide is largely a heterosexual problem.
        In the united states you will actually find that lesbians have lower rates of infection than the heterosexual population according to the CDC. Yet you rail against "homosexuality" and the "medical problems" we supposedly have because at heart men who have sex with men make you insecure about YOUR OWN masculinity.

    • Elaine

      I've said the same thing for years. When we adopt their language of ugliness and death, we diminish ourselves and in the case of sodomites, offend God as well.

    • aspacia

      Numerous brilliant minds, Turing, stem from gay sex drives.

      Another fool lands and makes many on the right appear rather stupid.

  • Drakken

    We are completely looking at this in the wrong way, we should encourage the state dept to ship all these "activists" to Gaza, have them organize a gay pride anti-isreal parade and sit back with a favorite cocktail and watch the ensueing chaos, panic and disorder, now that would make for some great reality tv that I could watch, nothing like a heathly taste of reality to open their eyes.

    • defcon 4

      That would be hilarious, well, at least from a spectator POV that is removed from the festivities by thousands of miles.

  • mcmorrowpc

    The muslim anti-gay activists are a nest of vipers, to paraphrase a Biblical phrase. The biggest mistake anyone can make is to assume that the stated issue is real. The real issue for these dirtbags is the destruction of the State of Israel. That hasn't changed and sadly may never change. Israel needs our support now more than ever.

  • Laura

    "These two tendencies should not be seen as contradictory, rather constitutive of the very mechanisms by which a liberal democracy sanctions its own totalitarian regimes,” she concludes".
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    By definition a liberal democracy cannot be totalitarian.

    I don't care about gays. If they want to support islamic fascists, they get what they deserve.

  • Islamofoob

    The gay movement in the US will not survive the Obama Muslim administration anyway.

  • Elaine

    We already know God's answer to homosexuality and that is the only one we need care about and defend. We already know that one day God will have had enough and his wrath will not be anything those alive who have denied him, mocked him, and profaned him will want to experience. The academics at the majority of universities will probably have a special place in Hell. Until then, let them spout their stupidity so on judgement day, they cannot deny it.

    • g_jochnowitz

      Homosexuality serves no purpose. Nevertheless, it has existed throughout history everywhere in the world. Why does it survive? It has to be a miracle–part of the variety and glory of the Creation.

  • Mo_

    I vote for sending these activists to Iran or Saudi Arabia.

    If they manage to survive, then they can come back and rant on about how supposedly evil Israel is. Deal?

    • defcon 4

      I'm certain these LGBT supporters of islamofascism would have a ton of fun visiting the various islamofascist countries that constitute the REST of the Mid-East and N. Africa. Maybe they could organise a kind of grand tour of islamofascist theocracies of the Mid-East and N. Africa then go to Israel and write up a high school essay comparing and contrasting the differences they find.