COMMEMORATING THE RAINBOW HOLOCAUST

They died too …..

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Israel Inaugurates First Memorial to Gay Holocaust Victims in Tel Aviv

Monument Pays Tribute to Jews and Non-Jews Alike

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First of Its Kind: The new monument stands in front of the municipal community center for the gay community in Meir Park.
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First of Its Kind: The new monument stands in front of the municipal community center for the gay community in Meir Park.
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Under gray and rainy skies, without fanfare, history was made in Israel on Tuesday with the inauguration in Tel Aviv of the country’s first memorial to victims of the Nazis that commemorates not only their suffering as Jews. After Berlin, Amsterdam, Sydney and San Francisco, Tel Aviv now has a memorial to the thousands of people who were persecuted by the Nazis for their sexual orientation – Jews and non-Jews both.

The memorial stands in front of the municipal community center established in Gan Meir (Meir Park) for the gay community in 2008, ahead of Tel Aviv’s centennial. The driving force behind the memorial, which was established and funded by the municipality, is attorney Eran Lev, an activist in the gay community who was a city councilman for Meretz. “It’s important to me that people understand that persecution of gay people was not the usual story of the Holocaust that we know from the final solution, and from the Wansee Conference. This is a different story, more modest, but still an important one,” he said. “It’s important that people in Israel know that the Nazis persecuted others as well, not because they were Jews, but because they were gay,” Lev said.

The memorial was planned by the landscape architect Prof. Yael Moriah, who has been in charge in recent years of the renovation of Gan Meir. It consists of three triangles – the symbol of the gay community. One is concrete, and on it appears a explanation of the persecution of homosexuals during the Holocaust. The second, which is painted on a concrete triangle, is an upside-down triangle painted pink, of the type the Nazis forced homosexuals to wear. The third triangle faces the other two and consists of three pink benches.

On each of them a sentence is written in Hebrew, English and German: “In memory of those persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The memorial’s main text was written by Hebrew 
University Prof. Moshe Zimmermann, the project’s historical adviser.

The inscription states that special steps were taken against gay people and that “according to Nazi ideology, homosexuality was considered harmful to ‘public health.’ The Gestapo had a special unit to fight 
homosexuals and the ‘Center for the Fighting of Homosexuality and Abortions’ kept a secret file on about 100,000 homosexuals.” The memorial states that gay people were sent to concentration camps and made to wear a patch featuring a pink triangle.

It is difficult to know the precise number of victims the Nazis persecuted for their sexual orientation. Zimmermann notes that the text on the memorial states that 15,000 such people were sent to the camps and more than half were murdered. He adds that medical experiments were carried out at Buchenwald concentration camp to “cure homosexuality.” The memorial cites the names of prominent Jewish homosexuals, including the sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, an anti-Nazi activist who was persecuted, and Gad Beck, who saved the lives of many Jews in Berlin, and who died in the German capital last year.

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WHAT DO WOODY ALLEN AND VLADIMIR PUTIN HAVE IN COMMON?

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There’s an old saying that ‘politics makes for strange bedfellows’ …..
Could this be the case of a strange connection between Woody Allen and Vladamir Putin?
One is on the list of nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize … where he obviously wants to stay, while the other is a long standing member of the infamous S H I T List which he seems not too happy about.
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Putin wants to stay on the list he’s on …. but he must gain support from zion to win the Prize …. at the same time possibly even try to get support from Russia’s LGBT Community for his archaic positions against them.
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Here’s what’s happening in Russia;
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The flag, designed in 1996 for the Birobidzhan region, boasts colorful stripes on a white background. It was under review for its possible violation of Russia’s ban on LGBT propaganda.
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Russian Jewish Region’s ‘Gay’ Flag Is Kosher!

By Anne Cohen

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The Kremlin’s self-styled flag experts have declared that the flag of Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region —which bears an uncanny resemblance to the rainbow gay pride symbol — is in fact 100% kosher, Buzzfeed World reported.

The flag, designed in 1996 for the Birobidzhan region, boasts colorful stripes on a white background. It was under review for its possible violation of Russia’s ban on LGBT propaganda.

“Regarding the similarity of this flag with the symbol of the gay movement, we explain that not every rainbow image is linked to sexual orientation,” Georgy Vilinbakhov, a Kremlin advisor, wrote in a letter published by local website EAOMedia.ru.

“Obviously, the above described flag, the flag of the Jewish Autonomous Region, whose foundation is a white cloth, has nothing to do with that,” he wrote. “This flag does not contradict the current law of the Russian Federation and so there is no basis to cancel or change it.”

The Jewish Autonomous Oblast, or region, was designated by Stalinist Soviet authorities in 1934 as a “Jewish socialist republic.”

Interviewed by the same local outlet, the flag’s creator, Alexander Valyaev defended his design. “On its flag the gay movement uses seven stripes, not six,” he pointed out. “The rainbow is a divine symbol, taken from the Bible. God threw the rainbow from the sky into the wilderness of the desert as a symbol of hope.”

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As for Allen ….
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Woody Allen on Israel Criticism, Anti-Semitism

The filmmaker drops some knowledge in an interview with Channel 2 Israel

By Adam Chandler
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While promoting his latest film Blue Jasmine in France, Woody Allen was interviewed by Israel’s Channel Two. As the Times of Israel reported, when the conversation turned to life in America and anti-Semitism, Allen had some noteworthy remarks. Specifically, he was asked whether it’s difficult to be a Jew in America today, an especially curious query coming from an Israeli media outlet on assignment in France, two places dealing heavily with the issue.

“No, I don’t think so. By the low standards of tolerance for Jews all over the world, America’s been a very tolerant country.”

He added:

“I do feel there are many people that disguise their negative feelings toward Jews, disguise it as anti-Israel criticism, political criticism, when in fact what they really mean is that they don’t like Jews.”

We’ve come a long way from Alvy Singer in Annie Hall.

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NOTE … My initial comments at the top are pure sarcasm and not to be taken seriously.

ADL SPEAKS OUT AGAINST DEFAMATION OF GAYS IN RUSSIA

 Is the ADL finally realising what the ‘D’ in their name stands for? They seem to be waking up to the fact that many injustices are taking place in the world today not involving Jews. This seems to be the start of a good trend, let’s hope it continues …
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Anti-Defamation League Compares Russia’s Abuse of Gays to Soviet Treatment of Jews

Calls for New Jackson-Vanik Edict for Pressure

By JTA

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The Anti-Defamation League called for a new version of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to pressure Russia to improve its treatment of gays.

Jackson-Vanik was a provision of the 1974 Trade Act that denied favored status to nations that restricted emigration. The amendment was used to pressure the Soviet Union to loosen its restrictive emigration policies.

“It is obvious that Russia is oppressing the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in a manner similar to the ways in which the Soviet Union once oppressed the Jewish community,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman wrote Friday in an article in the Huffington Post. “We need a new Jackson-Vanik to convince Russia that steps backward on this issue of basic human rights will be met with strong repercussions from the United States.”

In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed new anti-gay legislation that prohibits “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations amongst minors,” including any gay-rights literature; banned gay-rights advocacy in general; and prohibited gay pride events in Moscow for the next 100 years.

Protests against the new law have met with violent retribution in recent months.
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IF YOU ARE GAY, STAY AWAY!

GAYS NOT WANTED IN ‘CELEBRATE ISRAEL PARADE’

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“The Torah states that homosexual behavior can lead to the spitting out of Israel’s inhabitants,” Goldstein writes. “If we participate in a parade that endorses homosexuality, how are we contributing to Israel’s welfare?”
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Hopefully these people will soon join forces WITH where they are welcome!
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Gay Marchers Spark Celebrate Israel Parade Boycott Threat

Yeshivas Agree To Allow Gays To Participate in Annual Event

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

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Big Zionist Tent: There’s room for bikers along with the Modern Orthodox youth groups and day schools that dominate the annual Celebrate Israel parade in New York. One activist says the parade should draw the line at gay marchers.

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Big Zionist Tent: There’s room for bikers along with the Modern Orthodox youth groups and day schools that dominate the annual Celebrate Israel parade in New York. One activist says the parade should draw the line at gay marchers.
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An Orthodox activist has launched an effort to boycott New York’s Celebrate Israel parade for allowing gay and lesbian groups to participate, despite a reported agreement among Orthodox yeshivas not to object to the gay groups.

Avi Goldstein, a Orthodox Jew from Long Island, called for the boycott of the June 2 parade in a lengthy letter circulated in the Modern Orthodox community. In his letter, Goldstein writes that gay groups’ participation “compromised the moral integrity of the parade.”

Yet Goldstein’s effort appears doomed from the start. Goldstein reports in his own letter that a group of Jewish day schools principals agreed that they would not object to the gay organizations marching in the parade at a recent meeting attended by a representative of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York , which organizes the annual Celebrate Israel event.

A spokesperson for the JCRC would only confirm that the meeting took place. Rabbi Ellis Bloch, a staff member at the Jewish Education Project, which coordinated the meeting, would not comment on the meetings’ content.

This Celebrate Israel parade draws tens of thousands to Manhattan’s 5th Avenue each Spring. This year’s parade marks the second year in which gay Jewish organizations have marched openly. Before 2012, efforts by the gay and lesbian synagogue Congregation Beit Simchat Torah were met with a demand that the group not march with a banner that used the word “gay” or “lesbian.”

Mordechai Levovitz, co-director and founder of Jewish Queer Youth, which marched last year, said that he expects the 150 people to march with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender contingent this year. Gay and lesbian groups participating in the 2013 parade include Levovitz’s group, CBST, A Wider Bridge, and Eshel.

Though the parade is organized by the nondenominational JCRC, participation is heavily Modern Orthodox. Three quarters of the Jewish day schools that marched in 2011 were Modern Orthodox, according to a 2012 Forward report.

Gay groups’ participation didn’t cause much trouble last year. The groups marched at the end of the parade, and their participation drew little media attention. This year, however, Goldstein hopes to marshal Orthodox support and ban the gay participants.

“I hope to reach school parents, most of whom likely are unaware that Jewish Queer Youth was permitted to march in last year’s parade,” Goldstein told the Forward in an email. “Schools serve their parents and their student bodies; if concerned parents and students protest to their schools, the schools are obligated to take these protests into account.”

In his lengthy letter, Goldstein argues against gay marriage and the acceptance of homosexuality. He warns that biblical punishments threaten those who tolerate homomsexuality.

“The Torah states that homosexual behavior can lead to the spitting out of Israel’s inhabitants,” Goldstein writes. “If we participate in a parade that endorses homosexuality, how are we contributing to Israel’s welfare?”

Levovitz, for his part, said that he hadn’t been approached about the letter. The JCRC confirmed that Jewish Queer Youth and the other gay organizations were scheduled to march in the June 2 parade.

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ZIO PORNO KING LOSES HIS BID TO BAN PRO PALESTINE EVENTS AT NEW YORK’S LGBT CENTRE

 Managers at the LGBT Center imposed the ban two years ago, succumbing to the threat of a donor boycott orchestrated by Michael Lucas, after Siege Busters, a group that had been meeting at the center for over a year, requested space to hold an Israeli Apartheid Week event.

Lucas, a vocal opponent of Palestinian rights, is a pornographer whose work includes Men of Israel, a film featuring men having sex against the backdrop of the ruins of ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages.

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Queer activists welcome end of New York LGBT Center’s ban on Palestine events, but plan to test it

 by Ali Abunimah 

Members of NYC Queers Against Israeli Apartheid staged a sit-in at the New York LGBT Center to protest ban on Palestine events, 8 June 2011 (source).

 (NYC Queers Against Israeli Apartheid)

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Queer activists in New York City have welcomed a decision by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center (LGBT Center) to end a two-year ban on events related to Palestine.

The LGBT Center announced the end of the “moratorium” and a new “space use” policy in a statement on 15 February.

But NYC Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QAIA) cautioned in a response posted onlinethat, “we in QAIA believe that the true test of the Center’s new space usage policy will come when we request space at the Center.”

QAIA pointed to a clause in the LGBT Center’s new policy emphasizing that “no group utilizing space at the Center shall engage in hate speech or bigotry of any kind.”

“We completely deplore bigotry of any kind,” QAIA said, “but we cannot help but wonder who will define ‘hate speech” and/or ‘bigotry of any kind.’”

“Such open-ended policies have frequently been used to silence critics of Israel, most often when anti-Arab/anti-Muslim forces conflate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism,” QAIA added.

Ban imposed under threats from Zionist donor

Managers at the LGBT Center imposed the ban two years ago, succumbing to the threat of a donor boycott orchestrated by Michael Lucas, after Siege Busters, a group that had been meeting at the center for over a year, requested space to hold an Israeli Apartheid Week event.

Lucas, a vocal opponent of Palestinian rights, is a pornographer whose work includes Men of Israel, a film featuring men having sex against the backdrop of the ruins of ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages.

Queer activists fought to end censorship of Palestine events

QAIA has spearheaded a determined two-year campaign to open the center back up to Palestine solidarity groups.

Matters came to a head last week after it was revealed in Gay City News that the LGBT Center had refused a request for space for Sarah Schulman to do a reading from her new book Israel/Palestine and the Queer International.

In an interview with Saeed Jones of BuzzFeed, Schulman called the ban a “weird kind of anti-semitism,” where LGBT Center managers held “cliched and stereotyped beliefs about punitive rich Jews who will pull out their Jew-money if anyone criticizes Israel.”

Amid rising controversy about what now effectively amounted to book-banning, the LGBT Center’s decision to lift the ban is a clear indication that intimidation, threats and bullying from donors cannot make the issue of Palestine disappear or silence Queer activists.

Full statement from NYC Queers Against Israeli Apartheid

From: NYC Queers Against Israeli Apartheid:

15 February 2013

The New York City Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center issued a statement lifting the moratorium on Palestine solidarity organizing and discussion of Israel/Palestine.   While we are pleased to see the Center’s announcement, we in QAIA believe that the true test of the Center’s new space usage policy will come when we request space at the Center. We are also concerned that the Center’s guidelines for using space there says “no group utilizing space at the Center shall engage in hate speech or bigotry of any kind.” We completely deplore bigotry of any kind, but we cannot help but wonder who will define “hate speech” and/or “bigotry of any kind.” There needs to be more clarification on this issue. Such open-ended policies have frequently been used to silence critics of Israel, most often when anti-Arab/anti-Muslim forces conflate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

In spite of lifting the moratorium, the Center appears to be positioning itself to police and shut down queer organizing in support of Palestinian queers, and Palestinian civil and human rights. A statement issued by pro-Israel elected NYC officials just minutes after the Center’s announcement, clearly coordinated with the Center, “reject[s] attempts by any organization to use the Center to delegitimize Israel and promote an anti-Israel agenda” and dismisses this burgeoning queer movement as “politics that are not the core of [the Center’s] important mission.” The elected officials’ makes clear, both to the Center and to the queer community, that the Center’s ban on mentioning Palestinians, queer or otherwise, has its source in powerful political circles. The bigotry institutionalized in New York City’s politics, which has chained our community center for the past two years, must still be challenged.

Regardless of how the Center implements this decision and regardless of the misguided and uninformed opinions of these elected officials, we in QAIA are committed to continuing to organize around our mission to help end Israeli apartheid, the system of control exercised over the lives of Palestinians living under the illegal Israeli occupation. We expect a prompt issuance of detailed guidelines for the use of space at the Center as well as the formal complaint procedure mentioned in the Center’s statement on the rescission of the ban; such guidelines should be free from any ambiguity on the question of the right of individuals as well as organizations such as QAIA to engage in discussion of Israel/Palestine and organizing in solidarity with the people of Palestine. We will remain vigilant in responding to any attempts by either elected officials, Center donors, other organizations, or the Center itself to modify or interpret the new policy in such a way as to preclude free and genuine discussion of the Israel/Palestine issue on the Center’s premises.

We are pleased that our two years of organizing is beginning to have positive results, but the LGBT Center is not in the clear yet and our work is not yet complete.

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