Parvez wrote about what happened yesterday in Huffington Post. Sharma continues to be my gay, Muslim hero.
Update: Thanks to Cole Krawitz of JVoices who just sent me this article from gay mag The Advocate with the headline, and I kid you not: Israel to Recruit Gay Community in Anti-Iran Campaign.
Israel plans outreach to groups including the international gay community as part of its ramped-up public-relations effort against Iran, reports the newspaper Haaretz.
“We have to lay the foundation in the world, and particularly in Europe, in order to be able to take harsher steps against Iran, especially in the economic sector,” said a senior political source in Jerusalem.
The strategy of the new campaign, which will be managed by the foreign ministry, is to reach people who are more concerned about Iran’s human rights abuses than its nuclear aspirations. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (pictured) famously announced in 2007 that there were no homosexuals in Iran, and international human rights organizations have reported hundreds of executions of gay men and lesbians in the country.
As the first commenter wrote:
This is a classic guilty-conscience move: blame someone else when you get caught. Rather than address legitimate criticisms of its policies, Israel points in the other direction and says, Look over there! They’re worse than we are! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! Don’t be fooled. Gays can criticize Iran, Israel and Palestinians all at the same time. We can also work towards peace and security for all of them, and equal rights for ourselves, while doing so.
I’d add that in this case, a lot of people are authentically fearful about Iran and Israel’s existence. And they have some good reason to be. But the way to respond is not to whip up the rhetoric of demonization, make Ahmedinejad appear to be much bigger and more powerful than he is, and try to bring the US into a war. Obama says, talk to our enemies. The US and Israel could try a little something called diplomacy for once.
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