But starting with a photo from April 2012, if only to show I was a little skinnier 6 years ago. It was Anzac Day.
I see I have my Teachers Federation badge on too — it disappeared between then and now.
On my previous post KVD commented: “Be interested to know where, in Israeli law, the treatment of women or gays is anywhere near equivalent to that of Iran? ”
Or Saudi Arabia of course. Taking just the “gays” bit for now, I have posted before:
Love Is All06 Feb 2006
Nice title, isn’t it? The blogger [on Blogspot, gone as of 2007] is a young gay man in Teheran, and I should warn you there are some pictures there which some might find offensive, sadly. He is 20 years old. The boy below is 18 and also lives in Iran. No, I don’t know either of them, except through seeing their sites.
They don’t exactly fit your stereotypes, do they? And why not ask: who wants to see either one dead?…
Pray that all who deal in death and hatred will lose their grip on humanity, whether those antihuman forces are of the West or of the East.
On the situation in Iran see Intimate spaces: coming out in Iran.
I never thought I’d find a boyfriend in Iran. After all, homosexuality is technically illegal here.
Consensual sex between two adult males is punishable by death. Tafkhiz – defined as the rubbing together of thighs or buttocks – is punishable by 100 lashes.
If two men not related by blood are found “under one cover without necessity” they can be given 99 lashes (for some reason the same offence with two women is 100 lashes). Curiously, “lustful” kissing between two men is punishable by only 60 lashes.
Despite this draconian statutory prohibition, homosexuality is an open secret. My friends tell me that since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – who infamously denied the existence of gay people in Iran – left office, there has been a thaw in official policy towards LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people….
But then in Saudi Arabia, whose side US policy currently prefers in the Iran/Sunni rivalry:
Saudi Arabia is considered to have one of the worst LGBT rights records in the world. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is illegal. LGBT rights are not recognized by the government of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi social mores and laws are heavily influenced by Arab tribal customs and ultra-conservative Wahhabi Islam. Homosexuality and transgenderism are widely seen as immoral and indecent activities, and the law punishes acts of homosexuality or cross-dressing with punishments ranging from fines, floggings, to life in prison, death, and torture.
And yes, Israel is the best in the region in this area, but:
Likewise, the challenges remain. Israel’s gay and lesbian community is shaped by the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians and the Arab states. The central part of World Pride, a parade through Jerusalem, had to be postponed (to an unknown date as of this writing) for two years in a row–first because of Israel’s redeployment from Gaza, and then, because of the war that broke out on Israel’s northern border following Hezbollah’s provocations. But before the parade had to be cancelled because of regional tensions, it was shaping up as a struggle between Israel’s religious establishment and the gay and lesbian community.
The Jerusalem municipality and a veritable alliance of religious leaders united only in their opposition to homosexuality were determined to thwart the holding of the parade. An alliance of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religious leaders, both local and international, contended that such a parade would constitute an attack on the sacred character of the city. They claimed that homosexuality so contradicted the teachings of all three of the monotheistic faiths that a parade for acceptance and equality of the GLBT community would forever stain the holy city. Even many secular Israelis normally supportive of the Israeli GLBT community viewed holding an international gay pride parade in Jerusalem as an unnecessary provocation, showing just how successful Israel’s religious establishment has been in shaping a degree of obedience to its sensitivities.
Since the writing of this article, the World Pride parade was finally held in Jerusalem on November 10, 2006 without the violence that many feared. Israel also elected its first openly gay member of the Knesset, Nitzan Horowitz.
The main thrust of the first half of my previous post was what I thought a particularly intelligent response to Mr Netanyahu’s propaganda piece on Iran. All the above is more or less irrelevant to that, though undoubtedly important. Let me add more relevantly a pre-Trump article from The National Interest:
A majority of Americans, an even larger majority of Jewish Americans, the entirety of the United Nations Security Council, and a long list of former U.S. national security leaders and diplomats endorse the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as the best possible option for preventing a nuclear-armed Iran. But regardless of the merits of the negotiated agreement, some critics, like former Ambassador John Bolton, who explained why in a recent article, are unshaken in their belief that military force is the only way to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This shortsighted and reckless approach would be counter-productive; as former director of the CIA Michael Hayden has explained…
We know where John Bolton sits now, don’t we? See below.
Let me add another of my own posts: Tread warily in the graveyard called Palestine/Israel.
Last Sunday afternoon the Al Jazeera documentary Al Nakba (2008) was screened at South Sydney Uniting Church. It is in fact a four part TV series so it s rather long. I wasn’t there for the screening, but I did download the entire thing so I have now seen it.
Yes, we need to know about what really happened and we need to go beyond Zionist propaganda on these matters. Unfortunately, there are some disturbing features about the Al Nakba documentary. For a start, its history of Zionism had uncomfortable resonance with the conspiracy theories the Nazis made infamous but which circulated much more widely than that and still do in the Muslim world, and of course in the KKK and Stormfront. No-one mentioned the evil and fallacious Protocols of the Elders of Zion, but I couldn’t help thinking they weren’t far away. The reference to Napoleon was both gratuitous and irrelevant. There was no Zionist movement in the age of Napoleon.
Again the account of Jewish immigration into Palestine in the 1930s didn’t actually mention what was happening in Europe at the same time. That is more than an unfortunate omission.
The account of Harry Truman and the foundation of the State of Israel forgot the same Harry Truman wrote things like this:
6:00 P. M. Monday July 21, 1947
Had ten minutes conversation with Henry Morgenthau about Jewish ship in Palistine [sic]. Told him I would talk to Gen[eral] Marshall about it.
He’d no business, whatever to call me. The Jews have no sense of proportion nor do they have any judgement on world affairs.
Henry brought a thousand Jews to New York on a supposedly temporary basis and they stayed. When the country went backward-and Republican in the election of 1946, this incident loomed large on the D[isplaced] P[ersons] program.
The Jews, I find are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or mistreated as D[isplaced] P[ersons] as long as the Jews get special treatment. Yet when they have power, physical, financial or political neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the under dog. Put an underdog on top and it makes no difference whether his name is Russian, Jewish, Negro, Management, Labor, Mormon, Baptist he goes haywire. I’ve found very, very few who remember their past condition when prosperity comes.
Look at the Congress[ional] attitude on D[isplaced] P[ersons]-and they all come from D[isplaced] P[erson]s.
I received about 35,000 pieces of mail and propaganda from the Jews in this country while this matter was pending. I put it all in a pile and struck a match to it — I never looked at a single one of the letters because I felt the United Nations Committee was acting in a judicial capacity and should not be interfered with.
In my view the BBC documentary The Birth of Israel is much better….
Finally, there are Jewish voices none too fond of current policy directions:
John Bolton’s appointment as National Security Advisor has terrifying implications for the Middle East, the United States, and the world. Bolton is an extreme Islamophobe and an advocate of war with Iran. He has close relationships to anti-Muslim hate groups, played a key role in pushing for the war on Iraq in 2003, and repeatedly calls for bombing Iran and attacking North Korea.
Despite the fact that his appointment does not need Congressional approval, Bolton’s record should disqualify him from public service. His elevation to a key foreign policy position is dangerous and deeply alarming….
But surely we must all hope that wisdom eventually prevails.
Well, it appears wisdom has taken a back seat. I venture to add that Israel is no safer than it was before…. I refer you to just one response in Foreign Policy:
As long expected, Donald Trump has bowed to his ego, his petulant envy of Barack Obama, his hard-line donors, his new set of hawkish advisors, and above all his own ignorance and walked away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the international agreement that prevents Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Together with his foolish decision to abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership, this is likely to be his most consequential foreign-policy blunder yet.