Aniella Fields: “Off the Record: Israel/Palestine and Queer Jewish Politics, Values, and Activism” SJ Crasnow, Religious Symposium UCR Event

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In this discussion Senior Doctoral UCR Religious Studies Student talks about the event in January 2016 at the Creating Change Conference in Chicago. While this event was going on there were protestors from Palestine and Israel and they were chanting, “from the rivers to the seas” as well as “Israel should be free.” This however disrupted the Shabbat dinner, which was not appreciated by the people at the reception. After the event the media sources showed both opinions of both sides. There were claims that the liberal Jews chanted “Black Lives Matter” which people connected it as relating to an oppressive situation that Israel is going through. In talking about the issue of Israel oppression there was the question if you could measure how liberal a country is by looking at the countries LGBT support which was found by finding shared support stories. With the end of this event we have learned after the mishap in the Creating Change Conference that gay Palestinians are trying to find support and so far protests are one of the actions that have taken place for this cause.

While I am not very familiar with Judaism the part of the talk that really caught my ear was the comparison made between black lives matter and LGBT Israel. It seems unusual that at a protest you would bring up a different cause than your own but maybe this possibly was because Black Lives Matter is more known. I personally have heard about Black Lives Matter but prior to this talk I was not aware of the protests for the Israel LGBT cause. Maybe this calls for a different approach to spreading the cause and the knowledge behind it since you cannot necessarily convert to being Jewish so there are fewer people involved with this cause. Pink washing is not working so possibly planning the protests around the right places that have to power to have a voice for the liberation would be much more effective.

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