Photo credit: Magdalena

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network condemns the latest cynical attack by the Palestinian Authority against marginalized people in Palestine, noting that the ban on activities by al-Qaws is an attempt to distract from the PA’s ongoing failure to defend Palestinian rights from Israeli occupation, colonization and apartheid. While the PA claimed that it was investigating how to end its catastrophically damaging “agreements” with the Israeli occupation, in reality, security coordination with the occupier at the expense of the Palestinian people continues on a daily basis.

By targeting LGBTQ-identified Palestinians, Palestinian Authority security officials – also responsible for carrying out security coordination with the occupation on the ground and locking up Palestinian youth and students in political detention – are attempting to claim the mantle of religious and cultural identity to hide the PA’s ongoing involvement in coordinating “security” with the occupier. Instead, the PA seems to be attempting to incite conflict between Palestinians while providing free propaganda to the pinkwashing campaigns of the colonial Israeli regime and Zionist organizations around the world, while marginalized Palestinians bear the brunt.

Mohammed Khatib, the European coordinator of Samidoun, said:

“This dangerous reaction only proves once again that the PA is serving as a tool in the hands of the Zionist occupation that is used to oppress our people and to break any movement against the occupation. We know, very well, that the Zionist entity will be the only baneficiary of these repressive actions against LGBTQ-identified Palestinians. We can already see how these forces – which actively attack Palestinians of all identities through ongoing colonization, apartheid, occupation, killings, siege, imprisonment and dispossession – have already begun to disingenuously use this action to pinkwash the occupation.”

“Al-Qaws and other organizations have played a key role in building international awareness of the real situation of the Palestinian people, exposing the pinkwashing propaganda of the occupation state. Their members are part of the Palestinian people and our national liberation movement. The Palestinian people are diverse in our struggle for national and social liberation, and our diversity includes the LGBTQ community. Our vision of liberation includes justice for all.”

“These events should only encourage progressive and revolutionary LGBTQ movements and communities around the world to escalate their solidarity with the Palestinian people through fighting pinkwashing campaigns and building the boycott campaign against the racist, settler-colonial Israeli apartheid project, and building the BDS movement. Palestinians of all identities and sexualities are fighting for liberation from settler-colonialism as well as fighting for social liberation and democratic rights. It is impossible to achieve the latter without the fotmer.”

“Pinkwashing campaigns are, in reality, an international propaganda assault on LGBTQ Palestinians by the very forces most responsible for their oppression. We know that the Palestinian Authority is engaging in ongoing security coordination with the Israeli occupation. Far from protecting Palestinian values, it has completely sold out those values while pursuing normalization and cooperation with the Zionist occupation and the imperialist forces that fund, aid and arm it. In response to these attacks, this is the time to intensify all of our efforts to fight for national and social liberation in Palestine and for freedom for all oppressed communities.”