November 10, 2023 • Web A Liberatory Demand from Queers in Palestine 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. by 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. Kohl: a Journal for Body and Gender Research – Lebanon – @kohljournal Mizna – Turtle Island – @mizna_arabart Feminist Consciousness مجموعة نحو وعي نسوي – Pan African – @feministconsciousness Group Seiba مجموعة السيبة – Western Sahara الصحراء الغربية – @groupseiba Athens Museum of Queer Arts (AMOQA) – Greece – @amoqa.athens Nionia Films – Greece – @nionia.films Alliance of Internationalist Feminists – Germany – @allianc.int.feminist QuARC – Germany – @quarc.berlin FACQ – Germany – @facqberlin Acció perifèrica-Llibreria transfeminista y LGTBIA – Catalunya – @accionperiferica Associació d’Assistència a Dones* Agredides Sexualment – Catalunya – @aadas_associacio Associació Trans* Girona – Catalunya – @associaciotransgirona La Raposa – Catalunya – @laraposapoblesec Dissidents Futbol Club Girona – Catalunya Lo Relacional Girona – Catalunya – @lorelacional Libertacao da Palestina – Portugal – @libertacaopalestina Feminist Bloc – Palestine Speaks – Germany Queer Shia Collective – Turtle Island – @queershiacollective Antifascist Music Alliance – Germany VisibLES. Festival de Cultures Lesbianes – Catalunya – @festivalvisibles Bolleres al Vapor – Catalunya Candela acció comunitària i feminista – Catalunya – @candelacooperativa Queer Somali Mutual Aid – International Warbixinta Cidda (queer Somali collective) – International Coletiva Anarcofeminista (CAFI) – Brazil – @cafi_insubmissas Non Una Di Meno Palermo – Italy – @nonunadimenopalermo Meem Toronto م – Turtle Island (Canada) – @meemtoronto éditions blast – France – @editionsblast Dark Entries Records – USA – @darkentriesrecords Da’ira – Lebanon – @daira.collective DViJKA Collective – Ukraine & UK – @dvijka_ عتمة AATMA – Lebanon and Germany – @aatma.Berlin Queers For Palestine – UK – @queers.for.palestine Voices4 London – UK – @voices4ldn CLx3 Arts Collective & Community – Canada, USA, Germany, UK, Chile Queers for a Liberated Palestine – United States – @queersforaliberatedpalestine Queer Care – USA – @queeercare Queers Against Apartheid Vancouver – Canada HELEMTL – Canada – @helemtl Photographers Without Borders – USA – @photographerswithoutborders Acció perifèrica-Llibreria transfeminista y LGTBIA Barcelona – Catalunya – @accionperiferica Perrxs Del Futuro – Germany – @lxs_perrxs Grupo Latinoamericano de Estudio, Formación y Acción Feminista (GLEFAS) – República Dominicana, Colombia, México, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile – @glefasgc Coordinadora Feminista 8M – Chile – @coordinadora8M The Republic of Lesbians & Their Friends – Cyprus – @republic_of_lesbians Pride@soas – UK – @soaspride Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QUAIA) Vancouver – Canada – @queersagainstapartheid Front d’Alliberament Gai de Catalunya (FAGC) – Catalunya – @fagc_catalunya Students for Queer Liberation – Toronto, Canada – @studentsforqueerliberation Trans/form South Asia – India – @transformsouthasia Almaarii – India – @almaarii Rise OUT – Romania – @riseoutiasi Queers for Palestine – Winnipeg / Turtle Island (Canada) – @queers4palestinewpg Pink Bloc Montréal/Tiohtià:ke – Canada – @pink_bloc_mtl KyKy Archives – USA – @kyky.archives Soul Alphabet – Australia- @soul.alphabet Queer Squad 酷儿小分队 – Germany – @queersquad_de Chinese Feminism Toronto – Canada – @cnfeminismto Slow Down Somatic’s Mexico – Canada – @slowdownsomatics The Cartoonist Co-op – UK AfroFemKoop – Spain – @afrofemkoop Mubaadarat – مبادرات – Canada – @Mubaadarat Jummah 4 All – Turtle Island (USA) – @jummah4all The Queer Palestinian Empowerment Network – International – @qpaliempowerus The Queer Arabs Podcast – US – @thequeerarabs Vegan Rugby Lesbians – US – @veganrugbylesbians WAIFU – Queer and Femme DJ party in Tokyo – Japan – @waifu_party r0mystery collective – Turtle Island – @r0mystery Los Angeles LGBTQIA+ 4 Palestine – US Adalah Justice Project – USA – @adalahjusticeproject Rainbow Outdoors Wellington – Aotearoa/New Zealand All Things Indigenous – US (Ohlone land) – @allthingsindigenous_ Swati Yoga Shaala – US (Ramaytush land) – @swatiyogashaala The Outside Project – London – @lgbtiqoutside L’ Associo de Drets Sexuals i Reproductius – Catalunya مشروع الألف – The A Project – Lebanon – @mashroualef Mujeres, Voces y Resistencias – Spain – @mvr_vlc Slightly Conscious Monkeys – Germany – @slightlyconsciousmonkeys NEVERTHELESS – Aotearoa New Zealand – @nevertheless_nz Fundación Arcoiris por el respeto a la diversidad sexual – México Crida LGBTI – Països Catalans – @CridaLGBTI South/South Movement – Transnational – @southsouthmvmt YES YES YALL – CANADA (Tkaronto) – @yesyesyall416 GEHITU, Asociación de gays, lesbianas, transexuales, bisexuales e intersexuales de País Vasco – PAÍS VASCO (Basque Country) – @gehitu Human Rights and LGBT + Citizenship Research Group – Federal University of Minas Gerais – Brazil Sweat Collective – Germany, Sweden, Copenhagen Queer Running Club – NYC – @queer_running_club Beyond Bricks & Bars – Australia – @beyondbricksbars Gaysians – UK – @gaysians.official Edinburgh Queer Hiking – Scotland – @edinburghqueerhiking Queer Salsa – UK – @queersalsaldn Sophiavzw – Belgian Gender Studies Network – Belgium – @sophia.asbl.vzw Match – Belgium – @matchbelgium Laboratorio Smaschieramenti – Transfeminist Queer Collective – Italy – @smaschieramenti The Rights Collective – UK – @rightscollective Maddalena Fragnito – Italy – @maddalenafragnito Berlin Against Pinkwashing – Germany – @berlinagainstpinkwashing ATENEU DEL RAVAL– Spain – @ateneudelraval FURIA MEXICANA – Spain – @furiamexicana Takweer – UK – @Takweer_ Feminist Autonomous Centre (FAC) – Greece and Italy – @fac_research The Sextalk Arabic – @thesextalkarabic Baesianz – UK – @baesianz Success Capital Organisation – Botswana – @success.capital SISSY ANARCHY – UK – @sissyanarchy Queer Arabs Halifax – Canada – @QueerArabsHalifax Girls in Film – UK, USA, Czech, South Africa, Netherlands, New Zealand, Greece – @grlsinfilm_gif The Rights Collective – UK – @rightscollective Campeggio Trans – Italy Thank God for Abortion – US – @thankgodforabortion Pittsburgh Protests – US – @burghprotests Street Soundsystem – UK – @streetsoundsystem NAFS نفس – @NAFS.SPACE The West Asian and North African Women’s Art Library – UK – @thewanawal The Road to Nowhere – UK – @the.roadtonowhere Capsules Artist Resources – Canada Dudakların Cengi – Turkey – @dudaklarincengi QTHoMo – International – @QTHoMo DimOut UK – United Kingdom – @dimout_uk Las Marikarmen – Catalunya – @lasmarikarmen BOAR – Berlin – @boar.berlin Collectif Fiertés en Lutte – France – @cfl.lyon Ozen! LGTB – Basque Country – @ozenlgtb Damj, the Tunisian Association for Justice and Equality – Tunisia – @damj_association Collettivo editoriale Asterisco Edizioni – Italy – @asteriscoedizioni 28j Autònom – Catalunya – @28j.autonom Crush Karaoke – Canada – @crushkaraoke No Pride in Policing Coalition – Canada Noon Feminist Movement – حركة نون النسوية – Sudan – @Noonmovementsd Associação Saúde das Mães Negras e Racializadas em Portugal – Portuga l- @samane_portugal Nassawiyat – Morocco – @nassawiyat Ottawa Dyke March – Canada – @ottawadykemarch CSO KAN KOLMO – Spain – @cso_kan_kolmo Emergent Justice Collective – International – @emergentjusticecollective Queer Mutual Aid Lebanon – Lebanon People’s Riisearch Group – Turtle Island – @pplsriisearch Workers for Palestine – The Netherlands – @workersforpalestine.nl Collages féministes 974 – France – @collages_feministes_974 Anthropology Sociology Egyptology Student Association – Egypt – @ase_auc WCU Student Coalition for the Liberation of Palestine – US – @wcu_sclp New York City Movement Chaplain Collective – US – @nycmovementchaplains Black LGBTQIA+ Migrants Project (BLMP) – Turtle Island (USA) – @officialblmp Crush Karaoke – Canada – @crushkaraoke M Marokkueer Zawya – Amsterdam – @marokkueerzawya No Pride in Policing Coalition – Canada – @noprideinpolice Trace Press – Canada – tracepress00 My Kali magazine – SWANA region – @mykali_magazine QT Healers for Change – US – @qthealersforchange Big Gay Market – Arkansas, US – @biggaymarket Migrantifa Berlin – German – @migrantifa_berlin Something To Hold In The Let Go – The Netherlands – @some.thingtoholdintheletgo Institute of Network Cultures – Netherlands D.U.M.P – Berlin – @dump.official Queer Skate Winnipeg – Turtle Island SintraFriendly: Colectivo Juvenil LGBTIQA+ de Sintra e Apoiantes – Portugal – @sintrafriendly Cinamji– Jordan- @cinamji Sexual Rights Initiative – Global Queers for Palestine – United Kingdom Velvele – Turkey – @velvelenet Lambdaistanbul – Turkey – @lambdaistanbul AntepQueer – Turkey – @antepquer Quimera Rosa – España/Aregntina/France Posologia (colectivo transfeminista para la salud) – España – @posologia IQPB / Internationalistische Queer Pride Berlin – Germany – @iqpberlin Misery – London, UK – @miseryparty KUN Libya – Libya – @kunlibya Mubaadarat Collective – Canada – @mubaadarat Queers for Palestine – Germany – @queersforpalestine WILDBLUR – Singapore / United States – @wildblur_ Queer Analog Darkroom – Germany – @queeranalogdarkroom Mutual Aid & Reparations Pod – Philadelphia USA Room 4 Resistance – Germany – @room4resistance Panteras Rosa (Frente de Combate à LesBiGayTransFobia) – Portugal Solidarity with Egypt’s LGBT – Egypt Queer Night Out – Canada – @queernightout_guelph ANKH – France and SWANA region Philly Palestine Coalition – USA – @phillypalestinecoalition Les inverti·e·s – France – @inverti.e.s Armed Queers Salt Lake City– United States- @ArmedQueersSLC Sare Lesbianista – The Basque Country – @sarelesbianista The Regional Coalition for Women Human Rights Defenders in South West Asia and North Africa (WHRDMENA) – SWANA/MENA – @whrdmena Unwanted Words – The Netherlands – @unwantedwordsproject Black Queers – Sweden – @blackqueersswe Collettivo Queernelli Bologna – Italy CUNY Law OUTLaws – USA – @cunyoutlaws Yalla! Party Project – USA – @yallapartyproject Cachín Cachán Cachunga Queer & Trans Arts – Scotland Queer Balkan Collective – Global – @queerbalkancollective Secret Secret Secret Party – Canada – @secretsecretsecretparty Oaxatrans A. C. – Oaxaca, México – @oaxatrans Arkeres Assemblea Feminista de Mataró – Catalunya – @arkeresassembleafeminista Queer Birders Norfolk – UK – @queer_birders_norfolk Intransitive – USA – @intransitive.ar Almanac Press – Finland – @almanac__press Collective for Feminist athought and Action – Kosovë – @kolektivifeminist Loud and Queer – Sudan – @loudandqueersd Libreria delle donne Tuba – Italy – @libreriatuba No Es Terapia – Spain – @noesterapia_net House of Hues – USA Colectivo ¿Teatreverias? Granada – Spain – @cokectivoteatreverias CTO Heredia – Costa Rica – @ctoheredia Creatar Arteterapia – Mexico/England – @creatar_arteterapia Grupa Magdalenas.Granada. – Spain – @magdalenasgranada Colectiva Respiral – Costa Rica – @colectivarespiral Akelarre Impro – Costa Rica – @akelarreimpro Programa Artes Aplicadas de Escuela de Arte Escénico, Universidad Nacional (UNA) – Costa Rica – @artesaplicadas_eae Magdalenas Diversas – Mexico – @magdalenasdiversas2023 ASOCIACIÓN DE MUJERES FEMINISTAS DE DÍLAR LAS ALAYAS (Granada) – Spain – @lasalayas Los ImPaYasas – Costa Rica – @impayasas Felpudas teatro – Mexico – @felpudasteatro Magdalenas Puebla – Mexico – lasmagdalenaspue Visión Trans – España – @visiontrans The original text, with its most up to date list of signatories, can be read and signed here.