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Dispatch from Pride in Tel Aviv

Dispatch from Pride in Tel Aviv

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Group protests commercialization and de-politicization of Pride
Tel Aviv saw two very different parades during Pride celebrations on June 10. The Radical March, led by a group of local activists, split from the main parade and “turned left” in protest of the commercialization and de-politicization of Tel Aviv Pride.
 
Radical march organizers estimated that close to 500 people joined the protest. The group included a contingent of transgender people and supporters, bi community members and animal rights activists. The unifying theme was solidarity with the struggles of those on the margins. 
 
“This is even a bigger turnout than we expected this year,” said Shiri Eisner, a member of the organizing committee. Protesters chanted in Hebrew about discrimination within their own communities and encouraged other marchers to show support by physically turning left at the intersection. 
 
Over the last years, the municipality of Tel Aviv has put effort and money toward portraying the city as one of the world’s hottest gay travel destinations. The polished images of young, model-esque, usually light-skinned men and women appear on most promotional materials marketed to tourists. “Tel Aviv allows us to be free and proud and live exactly as you please,” says one of the English captions on the Pride guide. But for many local queers and trans people who also deal with economic disadvantages and racism, the reality is quite different. 
 
“It’s pink-washing,” says Shiri. She explains that the Israeli government has taken advantage of the fact that there is more acceptance toward gays and lesbians in today’s society. It has used this progress to create an image of Israel as a totally liberal and free country. At the same time, she says, the government continues to support oppression towards queers, trans people, sex workers and Palestinians.  
 
While the radical queer movement in Tel Aviv has been active for a long time, the decision to create a separate march came after the municipality took over the management of Pride in 2007. This shift left many feeling disconnected because of the government’s history of discriminating against gays and sex workers. There was also the problem of Pride becoming a big corporate-sponsored party, which left many queer and trans people feeling silenced and invisible.
 
Since the police refused protesters’ request to gather outside the boundaries of the municipal parade, after the split the contingent was pushed to the sidewalks, and marchers risked arrest. Still, the march ended peacefully with powerful speeches and performances. The organizers are considering filing a human rights complaint against the police. 
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Comments

I agree
The Advocate is much better. I just think we need something in Canada as well. I don't want to knock Xtra too much though. It does do a lot of good reporting -- when it sticks to gay issues. The people at Xtra seem to be in perpetual "policitize" and "alienate" mode. They're not even trying to represent the gay community and they don't care who knows it. Fine -- but don't mispresent to the world what you're doing. If you're the mouthpiece of the "queer left", then have the guts to say so publicly.
Try www.advocate.com
The online version of The Advocate at www.advocate.com is a good source of LGBT news. Unlike Xtra, it seems to follow some journalistic ethics. It reports on QuAIA-type organizations in the United States, but doesn't advocate for them on a near-daily basis like Xtra does. But, as a US-based publication, The Advocate obviously focuses on LGBT people in the United States. But, it's coverage of international LGBT issues is better than Xtra's.
Xtra owns all!
Rich - both the Guide and Fab are owned by Xtra's parent company "The Pink Trianle Press". We cannot escape Xtra! BWAHAHAHAH!
there are other online LGBT news
Those complaining about Xtra being the only source of LGBT news in Canada need to make a little effort to find other LGBT news sources such as Gay Guide Toronto, try googling it to find it, though it seems to be more of homage page to its founder to me personally it might be more to the taste of some of those complaining here. Besides which if you want a mainstream news source for LGBT news why not just check out mainstream news sources instead of Xtra? No one is forcing you to read Xtra after all, in my opinion its the best LGBT news source we have in Canada but its not the only one, mainstream media carries LGBT stories these days and there's always Fab or Gay Guide and probably other online LGBT news sites as well. I encourage you to check them out, though I won't be surprised to see you back here at Xtra.
Xtra is dying
Now that Grindr has DESTROYED Cruiseline, how will the far left loons at Pink Triangle Press fund their anti-white male agenda? There is nothing on Squirt that isn't available free online elsewhere. I predict the dead tree version of Xtra! will be next to get the axe.
thanks
Thanking you for posting some info on Tel-Aviv's Pride march.

You can't please everyone.

I don't see Xtra as being very left at all. I think it is fairly mainstream (Oh...so maybe it's ME that on the EXTREME left!)
Queer is not gay so why confuse people
Xtra should come clean and honest and change its name to Xtra: Canada's Queer Media. Queer is a political stance about many issues that form an ideology -- some homosexual people are part of this but most are not. The ideology of Queer is no different than any other political or religious group in that uniformity of belief in the total package of Queer is the only requirement for inclusion. BUT one must adhere to it religiously -- all or nothing. Cult like in its grasp, Queer is the current incarnation of the confluence of many causes and peoples now united under one catechism. Xtra (and other sources) are its news source. Why you include outdated and reactionary terms like gay and lesbian in your name is bizarre and actually offensive to real Queer peoples.
Xtra and journalistic ethics
I agree with Jim. Since Xtra does not appear to follow any journalistic ethics and is not a member of any press council (which has procedures so members of the public can complain about media bias), I am surprised that it gets media passes to public events. Since Xtra doesn't have the journalistic standards, ethics or accountability of other newspapers or media outlets in Toronto, its reporters should not receive the same privileges as professional journalists.
Journalistic integrity
Not "engaging", but "enraging". I'd like to backtrack a bit: Xtra does include news of interest to the entire gay community and it is an institution of sorts. Xtra is what it is. The first problem is that you are misrepresenting your mandate of representing the gay community as a whole. The second problem is that there is no other news source competing with you. You are not even a news source in the conventional sense. There is far too much bias. To show your integrity, you should openly state your bias and state who you do represent: the "queer left" or something like that. It's wrong that you pretend to be Canada's gay news source.
Ed's note
I don't think "Jim's gay and lesbian news" would be very engaging. Perhaps he ought to start his own publication, or a facebook page for the mainstream gay audience he represents? Nevertheless I've added a story from last year above: Gay Arabs and Jews come together in Tel Aviv. And World Pride in Isreal from 2006 that recounts the story of Adam Russo who was stabbed in the 2005 march in Jerusalem. I also added Deadly attack on Tel Aviv youth centre about the 2009 shooting there.

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