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PPLFF says no BDS of Israeli Apartheid

Crap. The Anti-Apartheid BDS campaign targeted Cannes because of it, Hollywood luminaries boycotted the Toronto Film Festival over the same principles in 2009, you’d think the Springs gay community might have paid heed. Instead the 2010 Pikes Peak Lavender Film Festival opted to screen the Israeli melodrama Eyes Wide Open, Zionists’ illegal appropriation of Jerusalem be damned. When Canadian gays made international news for allowing Queers Against Israeli Apartheid to march in their pride parade, in spite of Jewish philanthropists pressuring the City of Toronto to withdraw funding, I hoped that COS pride festivities might opt to climb aboard. Instead this weekend Colorado Springs gets a full-on endorsement of Israel’s ongoing illegal invasion of Palestine.

It was a false hope. The Pikes Peak area gay community has found itself so embattled since Amendment Two’s 1992 measure to legalize discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, that common social causes are easily crowded out by Gay Marriage, DADT and brand recognition for LGBT. So much so that social justice activists can only participate in the pride parade on the condition that it be about solidarity, not antiwar. With gay issues being so politicized, should gays and lesbians get a pass on staying apolitical about war or racism? Whatever excuses we make, it’s a perfectly flamboyant example of silence equals consent. I count apolitical queens every bit as complicit with US military criminality as the above-it-all new-agers and NASCAR jackasses.

Set in an Orthodox neighborhood of Jerusalem, Eyes Wide Open doesn’t address the Israeli-Palestinian troubles, it ignores them, effectively normalizing an ethnically-cleansed Palestine. The film tells the story of an extramarital gay affair between Jewish scholars, blablabla, minus the evictions of Palestinians in the path of encroachment by Israeli settlers, and the hijacking of Muslim holy sites . “Beverly Hills 90210” was fine without scenes of the LAPD repression of Watts or East LA, but 90210 wasn’t pretending to be taped on non-Jewish land.

Eyes Wide Open was the title of the 2005 American Friends Service Committee antiwar boot-counting exercise to open American eyes to the enormity of casualties of the Iraq War — before the Eyes Wide Open slogan was adopted by a 2008 Israeli PR project to encourage American Jews to pay more attention to their birthright offer of Israeli citizenship. The death count of US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan (now that the AFSC has been cleared to consider both wars illegal) has long since outgrown the AFSC budget for buying boots or lugging them around in rented trucks, and now EWO (Einaym Pkuhot) is a miserable tale about infidelity and sin.

Frankly, Trembling Before G-d was an incredible documentary about gay Orthodox men struggling with the DADT policy of Orthodox Judaism. I remember seeing it at the 2003 PPLFF, or so. I remember Rabbinical experts expounded on both sides of the argument with authority and humor. But that was before the BDS movement to curb Israel’s racist apartheid system. You either support the picket or you scab.

Objective reviews of EWO are scarce in the Zionist-dominated press, and increasing numbers are honoring the cultural and academic boycott of Israeli Apartheid. Refusing to see EWO is by no means concluding it is bad. For all I know the film may be using the ostracism of homosexuals within the Orthodox community to represent the growing alienation Israelis are feeling in the face of the open revulsion expressing itself by the rest of the world. Maybe it’s brilliant.

But I’m not deliberating about whether to see it. BDS means no to Israel, to its statesmen, artists, scholars and products. And the American companies which support Israel’s policy of Apartheid, several dozen, and now that includes our own PPLFF.

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