The strategy of the radical left is to engage disgruntled Muslims and by adding them to their own numbers, creating the impression of larger support for their cause. Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, whose membership includes a number of anti-globalization opponents and Marxists, engage in this method frequently. While they may share foreign policy outlooks in places like Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan and have a common interest in the liberalization of immigration policies, those common interests end there.
But this self-serving engagement suggests a naivete bordering on stupidity. Conservative Muslims who share QuAIA's disdain for Western interests in the middle east, including the existence of Israel, have traditional values that absolutely reject homosexuality.
"Queers Against Israeli Apartheid" in Canada may serve as useful idiots to their Muslim allies here and in the Middle East, but they would find a very different welcome from Hamas were they gays who happened to have the misfortune of being born Palestinian in Gaza.
There, they would be subject to imprisonment and possibly judicial or extra-judicial murder.
QuAIA engages in the cultist mentality of only accepting any facts which coincide with their ideological beliefs and rejecting anything that contradicts them. That is why one never hears any criticism from them of the Palestinian side in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. In what is obvious to anyone who observes the conflict objectively, there are faults on both sides.
North American support for Israel is largely based on the idea that there is no moral equivalence between a democracy fighting for its survival and non-democratic parties who use terror as their primary tactics. But even the supporters of the Palestinian cause who employ moral equivalency as an ideological approach, like Noam Chomsky, will recognize wrongdoing on the part of the Palestinian side.
Yet one never hears serious, pronounced criticism from the absolutist, ideologically driven membership of QuAIA directed towards Hamas, either for their murderous attacks on Israeli civilians or about Hamas' and the Palestinian Authority's brutal, repressive treatment of gays.
Part of what drives QuAIA's approach is the delusional notion that if they are seen to attack the enemies of Hamas, then perhaps the Muslim extremists will take a more benevolent view of gays.
This motivation was described by Jenny Peto, a self-described activist with the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid in a column at rabble.ca.
In one of the most bizarre and self-defeating arguments I've ever seen trying to justify homosexuals attacking a gay-friendly country for the benefit of a society that represses and brutalizes gay people, Peto acknowledges that:
"Palestinian society is homophobic...Queer Palestinians do face violence and discrimination"But Peto attempts to justify her attacks on Israel in misguided and non-applicable analogies to apartheid-era south Africa which betray an ignorance of history and a startling lack of insight into the culture with which she wants to be allied.
Peto's and QuAIA's logic, insofar as we can stretch that word's meaning, is:
We cannot choose to support them as queers, but not as Palestinians or vice versa. Real support comes through solidarity -- it can and does effect change. In South Africa, alongside queer mobilizing there, international queer anti-apartheid activism shifted the ANC's position on queer issues and to this day, South Africa has some of the most progressive gay rights in the world. This can happen in Palestine if we work alongside queer Palestinians through genuine solidarity and supporting the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).Or to put it at its most basic, what she's saying is, 'if we suck up enough to the Palestinians by attacking Israel, maybe they won't hate us anymore.'
But Peto and QuAIA have not considered a number of things aside from the lack of morality and integrity in their approach.
The African National Congress was never antithetical to gays, whereas the South African Apartheid rulers, like QuAIA's allies Hamas, had outlawed homosexuality. The fanatical Imams in Hamas are driven by a rigid theocratic doctrine that doesn't even recognize the full rights of heterosexual women and considers homosexuality an abomination. While they are happy to take advantage of useful idiots like QuAIA, the idea that they will show gratitude to the extent of revising their attitudes towards homosexuality is absurd, and shows no understanding of the tenets of conservative Islam.
The attitude of conservative Muslims towards "Queers Against Israeli Apartheid" reminds me of a famous line from the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, Commando. Arnold's character, talking to a terrorist, says, "I like you.. I'll kill you last."
If QuAIA are sincere in what they say, they should consider holding a Gay Pride festival in Gaza. While Muslim extremists are prepared, for the moment, to tolerate Western gays who they can use and manipulate to their ends, QuAIA would learn a cruel lesson from their masters. 'Killing them last' is not a privilege Hamas extends to Palestinian Gays unfortunate enough to live under their authority.