NYC LGBT Center bars Sarah Schulman from discussing book on Israel/Palestine

ActivismIsrael/PalestineUS Politics
on 3 Comments

From the Gay City News:

A leading queer community author was barred from an appearance at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center apparently because the book she was to discuss deals with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We requested space for me to do a presentation of my new book ‘Israel/ Palestine and the Queer International,’ which has gotten a good review in the Lambda Literary Review,” wrote Sarah Schulman in a February 11 email. “It is amazing to me that after all my work in the community, I could be refused a platform to present a queer book.”

Just two days ago we published Ethan Heitner’s comic “There is a checkpoint around this center!” about the struggle against the Center’s ban on all Palestine-related organizing. In the intro to his piece, Heitner pointed out that this March will mark the 2nd anniversary of the ban. The Gay City News draws a parallel to the recent fight over Omar Barghtoui and Judith Butler’s event in Brooklyn, “The continuing ban is in marked contrast to a similar fight at Brooklyn College.”

Ceclilie Surasky comments on Jewish Voice for Peace’s blog Muzzlewatch:

But let’s be clear— the ban isn’t on just any person or group that cares about Palestinian liberation-and presumably an Israeli dating group could meet there without a problem. It’s in effect a ban on the precise people the center is meant to serve, like Palestinian queers who can not separate their dating lives from their occupation or refugee or inequality-filled lives, and Jews and others like Schulman who have absolutely no problem understanding how queer liberation and Palestinian liberation are linked.

As Sarah Schulman told us, “The Occupation is so indefensible and depraved that its supporters censor rather than risk arguments they cannot justify.”

Amazing, Brooklyn College could stand up to a whole swath of NY elected officials threatening to take away their funding if they didn’t didn’t stamp down on free speech for Palestinian rights, but the LGBT center folded in just 8 hours to the threats of a bigot and presumably his equally deep-pocketed friends.

No standing on principle. No attempt to resolve the situation. Just shameful folding to hate.

    Leave a Reply