November 10, 2023 • Web

A Liberatory Demand from Queers in Palestine

Pinko is proud to republish this call from queers in Palestine for sympathetic groups around the world to stand with the Palestinian people in their resistance to Israeli designs for annihilation. We find it meaningful that in the Palestinian struggle for a dignified existence on their own land we can see the contours of an existing queer international. As they write, this call "cannot be answered only by sharing statements and signing letters but by an active engagement with decolonial and liberatory struggles in Palestine and around the globe." Nevertheless we republish the text with its signatories as of November 9, 2023 (01:44 AM Gaza time) as part of our engagement with the hope to see it spread further.

The original text, in eight languages and with a more updated list of signatories, can be read and signed here.

[image via Palestine Poster Project]

We write this as workers, students, farmers, parents – as Palestinians, as queer Palestinians. We write this not because our queerness exceptionalizes our positions but because, in the same way, we have been othered as queers, we are now facing patriarchal colonial tactics that seek to further alienate us as queer Palestinians. To gather our words and energies requires an enormous effort. We are sickened that amidst these moments of spectacular brutality and carnage projected onto Palestinian bodies, including rape, torture, mutilation, and maiming, we are diverted from grieving and organizing to make a demand.

Since October 7th, we have been witnessing an accelerated genocide unfolding in the Gaza Strip and in all parts of Palestine, blatantly and publicly declared on numerous occasions by Israeli governmental and military figures. The brutality and lethal magnitude of the atrocities committed by the Israeli state and its supporters produce increasingly harrowing conditions for those who remain alive in Palestine, every day, everywhere. This brutality has been sustained through the continued economic, military, diplomatic, and political support of world leaders historically and presently. We note, document, and narrate the hundreds of catastrophic massacres for the past 75 years at the hands of the annihilatory wrath of the Zionist regime; from Deir Yassin to the Tantura Massacre (1948) upon which Israel’s foundation is based, to the Kafr Qassem Massacre (1956) to Sabra and Shatila (1982), and this is just to name a few. There is no possibility of any liberatory political and social movement to achieve life and dignity if it is aligned with the genocidal death machine of Israel. Israel is founded on blood and is sustained through blood.

During these times, and in line with its long-standing exploitation of liberal identity politics, Israel has been weaponizing queer bodies to counter any support for Palestine and any critique of its settler-colonial project. Israelis (politicians, organizations, and “civilians”) have been mobilizing colonial dichotomies such as “civilized” and “barbaric,” “human” and “animal,” and other dehumanizing binaries as a discourse that legitimizes the attacks on Palestinians. Within this settler-colonial rhetoric, Israel seeks to garner and mobilize support from Western governments and liberal societies by portraying itself as a nation that respects freedom, diversity, and human rights, that is fighting a “monstrous” and oppressive society, illuminated clearly through the declaration of the Prime Minister of Israel “There is a struggle between the children of light and children of darkness, between humanity and law of the jungle.”

While these blatantly racist genocidal declarations take the stage, activists in Palestine and internationally are being silenced, harassed, detained, criminalized, workers fired from their jobs, and students suspended from universities. International feminist and queer activists, in solidarity with Palestine, are facing attacks and harassment by Zionists under the premise that those who support Palestine will be “raped” and “beheaded” by Palestinians for merely being women and queers. Yet more often than not, rape and death are what Zionists wish upon queers and women who stand in solidarity with Palestine. Zionist fantasies of brutalized bodies do not surprise us, for we have experienced the reality of their manifestation on our skin and spirit. Yet they never seize to accelerate in their explicit vehemence. It becomes evermore absurd when such framings are constructed against Palestinian society, in light of countless testimonies, reports, and documentations of sexual violence Palestinians have been facing throughout Israel’s 75 years of military occupation. From the thousands of Palestinian prisoners, men and women, who are subject to sexual torture and rape since Israel’s inception to this very day, to daily and escalating settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, to Israeli “civilians” filming themselves torturing kidnapped Palestinians as a TikTok trend, and the most recent harrowing footage published on social media platforms by Israeli soldiers which document the lengths of torture and sexual abuse soldiers and settlers inflict on our bodies regardless of their sexual orientation and gender – all forms of violence, including sexual violence are systematically and structurally part of Zionist domination over Palestinian life. And yet Israeli society continues to weaponize queerness for the purposes of justifying war and colonial repression, as if their bombs, apartheid walls, guns, knives, and bulldozers are selective of who they harm based on sexuality and gender.

We refuse the instrumentalization of our queerness, our bodies, and the violence we face as queer people to demonize and dehumanize our communities, especially in service of imperial and genocidal acts. We refuse that Palestinian sexuality and Palestinian attitudes towards diverse sexualities become parameters for assigning humanity to any colonized society. We deserve life because we are human, with the multitude of our imperfections, and not because of our proximity to colonial modes of liberal humanity. We refuse colonial and imperialist tactics that seek to alienate us from our society and alienate our society from us, on the basis of our queerness. We are fighting interconnected systems of oppression, including patriarchy and capitalism, and our dreams of autonomy, community, and liberation are inherently tied to our desire for self-determination. No queer liberation can be achieved with settler-colonization, and no queer solidarity can be fostered if it stands blind to the racialized, capitalist, fascist, and imperial structures that dominate us.

We call on queer and feminist activists and groups around the world to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their resistance to displacement, land theft, and ethnic cleansing and their struggle for the liberation of their lands and futures from Zionist settler-colonialism. This call cannot be answered only by sharing statements and signing letters but by an active engagement with decolonial and liberatory struggles in Palestine and around the globe. Our unequivocal demands are as follows:

  • Reject Israeli funding, refuse collaborations with all Israeli institutions, and join the BDS movement.
  • Strike: Silently or publicly, refuse that your exploited labor be used for the silencing of Palestine activism or the funding, support, and endorsement of military settler colonization and genocide.
  • Do what anti-colonial queers have done for decades, reclaim the narrative, and set the terms of the conversation, this time about Palestine. What is happening in Palestine is Genocide. Israel is a Settler-Colony. Palestinians are a Militarily Occupied and Colonized Society. Under international law, Israel Does Not have the right to “defend” itself against the population it occupies, while Palestinians Have the right to Resist their occupation. Demanding Ceasefire is the first step in holding Israel accountable for its crimes against humanity. We must also demand to break the siege on Gaza and the dismantlement of the Zionist settler-colony.
  • Contact your local representatives to pressure them into defunding the genocide, ending their military, diplomatic, and political support with Israel. Speak up against the ongoing and complicit criminalization of solidarity with Palestine and the colonial and Islamophobic projection of European Antisemitism on Palestinian and racialized voices, as we are witnessing particularly in France, the UK, the US, and Germany. UK template; US.
  • Shut down main streets. Organize a sit-in in your local central station. Interrupt the flow of commerce. Complacency is a choice.

We, queer Palestinians, are an integral part of our society, and we are informing you: from the heavily militarized alleys of Jerusalem to Huwara’s scorched lands, to Jaffa’s surveilled streets and cutting across Gaza’s besieging walls, from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.

We, the undersigned, Palestinians and allies, amplify the Liberatory Demand from Queers in Palestine:

Number of signatories (211) – last updated on 09 November 2023 – 01:44 AM Gaza time.

  1. Kohl: a Journal for Body and Gender Research – Lebanon – @kohljournal
  2. Mizna – Turtle Island – @mizna_arabart
  3. Feminist Consciousness مجموعة نحو وعي نسوي – Pan African – @feministconsciousness
  4. Group Seiba مجموعة السيبة – Western Sahara الصحراء الغربية – @groupseiba
  5. Athens Museum of Queer Arts (AMOQA) – Greece – @amoqa.athens
  6. Nionia Films – Greece – @nionia.films
  7. Alliance of Internationalist Feminists – Germany –
  8. QuARC – Germany –
  9. FACQ – Germany – @facqberlin
  10. Acció perifèrica-Llibreria transfeminista y LGTBIA – Catalunya – @accionperiferica
  11. Associació d’Assistència a Dones* Agredides Sexualment – Catalunya – @aadas_associacio
  12. Associació Trans* Girona – Catalunya – @associaciotransgirona
  13. La Raposa – Catalunya – @laraposapoblesec
  14. Dissidents Futbol Club Girona – Catalunya
  15. Lo Relacional Girona – Catalunya – @lorelacional
  16. Libertacao da Palestina – Portugal – @libertacaopalestina
  17. Feminist Bloc – Palestine Speaks – Germany
  18. Queer Shia Collective – Turtle Island – @queershiacollective
  19. Antifascist Music Alliance – Germany
  20. VisibLES. Festival de Cultures Lesbianes – Catalunya – @festivalvisibles
  21. Bolleres al Vapor – Catalunya
  22. Candela acció comunitària i feminista – Catalunya – @candelacooperativa
  23. Queer Somali Mutual Aid – International
  24. Warbixinta Cidda (queer Somali collective) – International
  25. Coletiva Anarcofeminista (CAFI) – Brazil – @cafi_insubmissas
  26. Non Una Di Meno Palermo – Italy – @nonunadimenopalermo
  27. Meem Toronto م – Turtle Island (Canada) – @meemtoronto
  28. éditions blast – France – @editionsblast
  29. Dark Entries Records – USA – @darkentriesrecords
  30. Da’ira – Lebanon – @daira.collective
  31. DViJKA Collective – Ukraine & UK – @dvijka_
  32. عتمة AATMA – Lebanon and Germany – @aatma.Berlin
  33. Queers For Palestine – UK – @queers.for.palestine
  34. Voices4 London – UK – @voices4ldn
  35. CLx3 Arts Collective & Community – Canada, USA, Germany, UK, Chile
  36. Queers for a Liberated Palestine – United States – @queersforaliberatedpalestine
  37. Queer Care – USA – @queeercare
  38. Queers Against Apartheid Vancouver – Canada
  39. HELEMTL – Canada – @helemtl
  40. Photographers Without Borders – USA – @photographerswithoutborders
  41. Acció perifèrica-Llibreria transfeminista y LGTBIA Barcelona – Catalunya – @accionperiferica
  42. Perrxs Del Futuro – Germany – @lxs_perrxs
  43. Grupo Latinoamericano de Estudio, Formación y Acción Feminista (GLEFAS) – República Dominicana, Colombia, México, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile – @glefasgc
  44. Coordinadora Feminista 8M – Chile – @coordinadora8M
  45. The Republic of Lesbians & Their Friends – Cyprus – @republic_of_lesbians
  46. Pride@soas – UK – @soaspride
  47. Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QUAIA) Vancouver – Canada – @queersagainstapartheid
  48. Front d’Alliberament Gai de Catalunya (FAGC) – Catalunya – @fagc_catalunya
  49. Students for Queer Liberation – Toronto, Canada – @studentsforqueerliberation
  50. Trans/form South Asia – India – @transformsouthasia
  51. Almaarii – India – @almaarii
  52. Rise OUT – Romania – @riseoutiasi
  53. Queers for Palestine – Winnipeg / Turtle Island (Canada) – @queers4palestinewpg
  54. Pink Bloc Montréal/Tiohtià:ke – Canada – @pink_bloc_mtl
  55. KyKy Archives – USA – @kyky.archives
  56. Soul Alphabet – Australia- @soul.alphabet
  57. Queer Squad 酷儿小分队 – Germany – @queersquad_de
  58. Chinese Feminism Toronto – Canada – @cnfeminismto
  59. Slow Down Somatic’s Mexico – Canada – @slowdownsomatics
  60. The Cartoonist Co-op – UK
  61. AfroFemKoop – Spain – @afrofemkoop
  62. Mubaadarat – مبادرات – Canada – @Mubaadarat
  63. Jummah 4 All – Turtle Island (USA) – @jummah4all
  64. The Queer Palestinian Empowerment Network – International – @qpaliempowerus
  65. The Queer Arabs Podcast – US – @thequeerarabs
  66. Vegan Rugby Lesbians – US – @veganrugbylesbians
  67. WAIFU – Queer and Femme DJ party in Tokyo – Japan – @waifu_party
  68. r0mystery collective – Turtle Island – @r0mystery
  69. Los Angeles LGBTQIA+ 4 Palestine – US
  70. Adalah Justice Project – USA – @adalahjusticeproject
  71. Rainbow Outdoors Wellington – Aotearoa/New Zealand
  72. All Things Indigenous – US (Ohlone land) – @allthingsindigenous_
  73. Swati Yoga Shaala – US (Ramaytush land) – @swatiyogashaala
  74. The Outside Project – London – @lgbtiqoutside
  75. L’ Associo de Drets Sexuals i Reproductius – Catalunya
  76. مشروع الألف – The A Project – Lebanon – @mashroualef
  77. Mujeres, Voces y Resistencias – Spain – @mvr_vlc
  78. Slightly Conscious Monkeys – Germany – @slightlyconsciousmonkeys
  79. NEVERTHELESS – Aotearoa New Zealand – @nevertheless_nz
  80. Fundación Arcoiris por el respeto a la diversidad sexual – México
  81. Crida LGBTI – Països Catalans – @CridaLGBTI
  82. South/South Movement – Transnational – @southsouthmvmt
  83. YES YES YALL – CANADA (Tkaronto) – @yesyesyall416
  84. GEHITU, Asociación de gays, lesbianas, transexuales, bisexuales e intersexuales de País Vasco – PAÍS VASCO (Basque Country) – @gehitu
  85. Human Rights and LGBT + Citizenship Research Group – Federal University of Minas Gerais – Brazil
  86. Sweat Collective – Germany, Sweden, Copenhagen
  87. Queer Running Club – NYC – @queer_running_club
  88. Beyond Bricks & Bars – Australia – @beyondbricksbars
  89. Gaysians – UK – @gaysians.official
  90. Edinburgh Queer Hiking – Scotland – @edinburghqueerhiking
  91. Queer Salsa – UK – @queersalsaldn
  92. Sophiavzw – Belgian Gender Studies Network – Belgium – @sophia.asbl.vzw
  93. Match – Belgium – @matchbelgium
  94. Laboratorio Smaschieramenti – Transfeminist Queer Collective – Italy – @smaschieramenti
  95. The Rights Collective – UK – @rightscollective
  96. Maddalena Fragnito – Italy – @maddalenafragnito
  97. Berlin Against Pinkwashing – Germany – @berlinagainstpinkwashing
  98. ATENEU DEL RAVAL– Spain – @ateneudelraval
  99. FURIA MEXICANA – Spain – @furiamexicana
  100. Takweer – UK – @Takweer_
  101. Feminist Autonomous Centre (FAC) – Greece and Italy – @fac_research
  102. The Sextalk Arabic – @thesextalkarabic
  103. Baesianz – UK – @baesianz
  104. Success Capital Organisation – Botswana –
  105. SISSY ANARCHY – UK – @sissyanarchy
  106. Queer Arabs Halifax – Canada – @QueerArabsHalifax
  107. Girls in Film – UK, USA, Czech, South Africa, Netherlands, New Zealand, Greece – @grlsinfilm_gif
  108. The Rights Collective – UK – @rightscollective
  109. Campeggio Trans – Italy
  110. Thank God for Abortion – US – @thankgodforabortion
  111. Pittsburgh Protests – US – @burghprotests
  112. Street Soundsystem – UK – @streetsoundsystem
  113. NAFS نفس – @NAFS.SPACE
  114. The West Asian and North African Women’s Art Library – UK – @thewanawal
  115. The Road to Nowhere – UK – @the.roadtonowhere
  116. Capsules Artist Resources – Canada
  117. Dudakların Cengi – Turkey – @dudaklarincengi
  118. QTHoMo – International – @QTHoMo
  119. DimOut UK – United Kingdom – @dimout_uk
  120. Las Marikarmen – Catalunya – @lasmarikarmen
  121. BOAR – Berlin –
  122. Collectif Fiertés en Lutte – France – @cfl.lyon
  123. Ozen! LGTB – Basque Country – @ozenlgtb
  124. Damj, the Tunisian Association for Justice and Equality – Tunisia – @damj_association
  125. Collettivo editoriale Asterisco Edizioni – Italy – @asteriscoedizioni
  126. 28j Autònom – Catalunya – @28j.autonom
  127. Crush Karaoke – Canada – @crushkaraoke
  128. No Pride in Policing Coalition – Canada
  129. Noon Feminist Movement – حركة نون النسوية – Sudan – @Noonmovementsd
  130. Associação Saúde das Mães Negras e Racializadas em Portugal – Portuga l- @samane_portugal
  131. Nassawiyat – Morocco – @nassawiyat
  132. Ottawa Dyke March – Canada – @ottawadykemarch
  133. CSO KAN KOLMO – Spain – @cso_kan_kolmo
  134. Emergent Justice Collective – International – @emergentjusticecollective
  135. Queer Mutual Aid Lebanon – Lebanon
  136. People’s Riisearch Group – Turtle Island – @pplsriisearch
  137. Workers for Palestine – The Netherlands –
  138. Collages féministes 974 – France – @collages_feministes_974
  139. Anthropology Sociology Egyptology Student Association – Egypt – @ase_auc
  140. WCU Student Coalition for the Liberation of Palestine – US – @wcu_sclp
  141. New York City Movement Chaplain Collective – US – @nycmovementchaplains
  142. Black LGBTQIA+ Migrants Project (BLMP) – Turtle Island (USA) – @officialblmp
  143. Crush Karaoke – Canada – @crushkaraoke M
  144. Marokkueer Zawya – Amsterdam – @marokkueerzawya
  145. No Pride in Policing Coalition – Canada – @noprideinpolice
  146. Trace Press – Canada – tracepress00
  147. My Kali magazine – SWANA region – @mykali_magazine
  148. QT Healers for Change – US – @qthealersforchange
  149. Big Gay Market – Arkansas, US – @biggaymarket
  150. Migrantifa Berlin – German – @migrantifa_berlin
  151. Something To Hold In The Let Go – The Netherlands – @some.thingtoholdintheletgo
  152. Institute of Network Cultures – Netherlands
  153. D.U.M.P – Berlin – @dump.official
  154. Queer Skate Winnipeg – Turtle Island
  155. SintraFriendly: Colectivo Juvenil LGBTIQA+ de Sintra e Apoiantes – Portugal – @sintrafriendly
  156. Cinamji– Jordan- @cinamji
  157. Sexual Rights Initiative – Global
  158. Queers for Palestine – United Kingdom
  159. Velvele – Turkey – @velvelenet
  160. Lambdaistanbul – Turkey – @lambdaistanbul
  161. AntepQueer – Turkey – @antepquer
  162. Quimera Rosa – España/Aregntina/France
  163. Posologia (colectivo transfeminista para la salud) – España – @posologia
  164. IQPB / Internationalistische Queer Pride Berlin – Germany – @iqpberlin
  165. Misery – London, UK – @miseryparty
  166. KUN Libya – Libya – @kunlibya
  167. Mubaadarat Collective – Canada – @mubaadarat
  168. Queers for Palestine – Germany – @queersforpalestine
  169. WILDBLUR – Singapore / United States – @wildblur_
  170. Queer Analog Darkroom – Germany – @queeranalogdarkroom
  171. Mutual Aid & Reparations Pod – Philadelphia USA
  172. Room 4 Resistance – Germany – @room4resistance
  173. Panteras Rosa (Frente de Combate à LesBiGayTransFobia) – Portugal
  174. Solidarity with Egypt’s LGBT – Egypt
  175. Queer Night Out – Canada – @queernightout_guelph
  176. ANKH – France and SWANA region
  177. Philly Palestine Coalition – USA – @phillypalestinecoalition
  178. Les inverti·e·s – France – @inverti.e.s
  179. Armed Queers Salt Lake City– United States- @ArmedQueersSLC
  180. Sare Lesbianista – The Basque Country – @sarelesbianista
  181. The Regional Coalition for Women Human Rights Defenders in South West Asia and North Africa (WHRDMENA) – SWANA/MENA – @whrdmena
  182. Unwanted Words – The Netherlands – @unwantedwordsproject
  183. Black Queers – Sweden – @blackqueersswe
  184. Collettivo Queernelli Bologna – Italy
  185. CUNY Law OUTLaws – USA – @cunyoutlaws
  186. Yalla! Party Project – USA – @yallapartyproject
  187. Cachín Cachán Cachunga Queer & Trans Arts – Scotland
  188. Queer Balkan Collective – Global – @queerbalkancollective
  189. Secret Secret Secret Party – Canada – @secretsecretsecretparty
  190. Oaxatrans A. C. – Oaxaca, México – @oaxatrans
  191. Arkeres Assemblea Feminista de Mataró – Catalunya – @arkeresassembleafeminista
  192. Queer Birders Norfolk – UK – @queer_birders_norfolk
  193. Intransitive – USA –
  194. Almanac Press – Finland – @almanac__press
  195. Collective for Feminist athought and Action – Kosovë – @kolektivifeminist
  196. Loud and Queer – Sudan – @loudandqueersd
  197. Libreria delle donne Tuba – Italy – @libreriatuba
  198. No Es Terapia – Spain – @noesterapia_net
  199. House of Hues – USA
  200. Colectivo ¿Teatreverias? Granada – Spain – @cokectivoteatreverias
  201. CTO Heredia – Costa Rica – @ctoheredia
  202. Creatar Arteterapia – Mexico/England – @creatar_arteterapia
  203. Grupa Magdalenas.Granada. – Spain – @magdalenasgranada
  204. Colectiva Respiral – Costa Rica – @colectivarespiral
  205. Akelarre Impro – Costa Rica – @akelarreimpro
  206. Programa Artes Aplicadas de Escuela de Arte Escénico, Universidad Nacional (UNA) – Costa Rica – @artesaplicadas_eae
  207. Magdalenas Diversas – Mexico – @magdalenasdiversas2023
  209. Los ImPaYasas – Costa Rica – @impayasas
  210. Felpudas teatro – Mexico – @felpudasteatro
  211. Magdalenas Puebla – Mexico – lasmagdalenaspue
  212. Visión Trans – España – @visiontrans

The original text, with its most up to date list of signatories, can be read and signed here.