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18 Nov 2023
Grateful Calvin

NextImg:OOF! The Nation Steps on All the Rakes Trying to Blame Israel for 'Outing' Queer Palestinians

We haven't written about The Nation in a while (we kind of forgot they exist), but of course, far be it for The Nation to let the Israel-Hamas war slip by without trying to gaslight the conflict and make everything Israel's fault. 

Their latest effort hilariously tries to blame Israel for 'outing' queer Palestinians as an intimidation tactic.

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Wow, that sounds bad, huh? Fortunately, none of it is true. Despite this tweet, the linked article, written by Sarah O'neal, has very little at all to do with Israel doing anything to LGBTQ+ Palestinians, but instead, talks about how they are identifying themselves to share their stories. 

However, LGBTQ Palestinans are finding ways to counter these narratives and make their existence known ... Chief among their outlets is an interactive website, Queering the Map, that allows users to pin stories and memories of their queer and trans experiences all over the world.

And there is rake number one, striking The Nation square in the nose. 

About halfway through the article, O'Neal does try to support her claim of Israel 'outing' Palestinians. 

By painting Palestine and Palestinians as intrinsically homophobic, Palestinian resistance is framed as antithetical to queer liberation, while Israeli occupation is a form of queer salvation. In fact, Israeli security forces have admitted to deliberately threatening and outing queer Palestinians as a tactic to intimidate them into working as informants.

Except there is one problem with the article O'Hara links to here: What she says is not what it says. 

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The full tweet reads: 

As you might imagine, this is not accurate. The writer links to a 2014 Guardian article citing multiple anonymous 'Israel Intelligence Corp' individuals giving 'testimony' of Israeli crimes. Describing themselves as 'oppressors.' Still, it's only implied sexual orientation *could be* used as blackmail, among many, many other things allegedly secretly heard in surveillance. There is nothing presented to indicate any actual gay palestinian was outed or threatened into working as an informant.

A decade-old article about an intelligence-gathering organization, gathering intelligence? How dare they. And of course, The Guardian article uses the most reliable information possible: anonymous sources (it's always anonymous sources). 

How did rake number two feel, O'Neal? 

The most hilarious rake though is the article's attempt to refute the premise that Gaza does not welcome LGBTQ+ Palestinians. We read the entire thing (please keep us in your thoughts and prayers). There isn't one instance in it of LGBTQ+ being openly welcomed in Palestinian society. 

In just a few short lines, these anonymous Palestinians were able to capture all that is lost when people are annihilated. Each of these submissions is pinned to Gaza, though the date they were uploaded to the platform is unknown.

The entire point of 'Queering the Map' is that it allows people to post anonymously. And every post on the map from Gaza is exactly that: anonymous. It doesn't scream 'welcoming,' does it? 

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The article never addresses this question, obviously. The entire point is to accuse Israel of 'pinkwashing' and distract from the fact of how LGBTQ+ is viewed in Palestinian society. 

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That, of course, is not important. 'ISRAEL BAD' is the only message here. Sadly, far too many people will fall for that. 

But for our part, we'll never tire of seeing all those rakes pop up and whack O'Hara and The Nation in the noggin.