Madrid gay pride march bans Israelis over Gaza flotilla raids
A delegation of gay residents of Tel Aviv has been banned from joining a gay pride march in Madrid because authorities in the Israeli city have not condemned the recent attack on the Gaza flotilla.
“After what has happened, and as human rights campaigners, it seemed barbaric to us to have them taking part,” explained Antonio Poveda, of Spain’s Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transexuals and Bisexuals. “We don’t just defend out own little patch.”
The Tel Aviv group have reacted angrily to the decision, claiming that the Madrid activists were getting their priorities wrong by mixing the nine flotilla deaths with gay pride.
“Don’t they know that Islamist fundamentalists don’t just want to finish off Israel, but that they also believe homosexuals should ‘cure themselves’ or die?”
“It is shameful that they should join with pro-Palestinian and fundamentalist groups which are not exactly tolerant with homosexuality,” he said.
“Why do they mix politics with a gay pride procession? We were invited as an apolitical association and we do not represent the government,” Mike Hamel, one of the Israeli invitees, said.
“We invited the organisers of the gay pride event in Madrid to join a march this Friday in Tel Aviv, the only place in the Middle East where you can be gay in public,” he said.
“They would be able to talk to Arab gays who travel here secretly because they would be murdered at home if they revealed their sexuality.”