Dore Feith, president of Aryeh: Columbia Students Association for Israel, claims that that Students for Justice in Palestine is maligning Israel, insulting gays and discrediting itself
This is Queer Awareness Month at Columbia University. Yet instead of advocating for gay rights in the nearly 80 countries where homosexuality is a crime, the Columbia chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine is using the month for programming that defames Israel. “Good Gay/Bad Gay,” for example, claims Israel has an “imperialist LGBT agenda.” The organization attacks Britain and the U.S. along similar lines.
That is, Students for Justice in Palestine is denouncing Western criticism of the anti-gay bigotry of Arab and other governments. Such criticism, it says, is nothing more than a cynical tactic for the West to distract from its own imperialist oppression.
This twisted perspective is integral to the anti-Israel movement and what it calls “intersectional” activism. “Intersectionality” argues that all victims of oppression—racism, sexism, imperialism, classism, etc.—should express solidarity with one another.
The national Students for Justice in Palestine organization states in its mission statement: “We believe that all struggles for freedom and equality are interconnected and that we must embody the principles and ideals we envision for a just society.”
Freedom, equality and justice—all noble-sounding goals. The trouble is that on campuses across the country Students for Justice in Palestine puts its opposition to Israel at the fore of its activism, harming both the credibility of its supposed vision and the very people on whose behalf it claims to struggle.
In March, for example, transgender-rights activist Janet Mock was prevented from speaking at Brown University by, among others, the campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. Why? Because she was being hosted by a student group that operates under Hillel, the principal Jewish student organization on campus.
Of the 10 countries that impose the death penalty for homosexual acts, nine do not have diplomatic relations with Israel. Students for Justice in Palestine apparently thinks it’s more important to show solidarity with fellow Israel-haters in those countries than with the oppressed gays there.