Palestine is for Lovers!When one thinks of the West Bank and Gaza, one may think of many things: Palestinian national aspirations, terrorism, bad governance, rampaging gunmen, religious fundamentalism… I dunno, Olive trees? And way, way, way down at the very bottom of the list, if it’s there at all is HOT MAN-ON-MAN ACTION! Well, maybe that used to be the case, but not anymore! Turns out that despite appearances, the areas controlled by the Palestine Authority and Hamas are fleshpots extraordinaire that make San Francisco look like Orem, Utah. Scratch under the surface and you are sure to find gay orgies, man-boy love in the mosque and wives who are more than just coveted. This according to Khaled Abu Toameh of the Jerusalem Post who describes various sex scandals involving high ranking Palestinian leaders in both the West Bank and Gaza:

…Fatah men had been spying on several senior PA officials, some of whom were caught on tape having homosexual intercourse… A DVD distributed among a limited number of Hamas representatives features a former PA official having sex with another man. The disc, according to a Palestinian journalist in Gaza City, is being sold on the black market for NIS 20… According to one document, entitled “A Large Number of Homosexuals,” a number of wealthy and influential figures in the Gaza Strip had formed a “gang” for practicing homosexual intercourse … “Some of them were summoned for questioning and they admitted to having sexual intercourse with boys and adult males,” the document, dated May 12, 2005, stated … “Some of them had individual sex, while others preferred group sex. Some of them paid money for sex, while others performed sexual intercourse with males in front of their wives.” … The document described the homosexuals as a “very dangerous group” and warned that the phenomenon might spread to other parts of the Gaza Strip, adding that rival political factions could exploit the case to defame Fatah and “create chaos and confusion … “Another Hamas official said his men had uncovered three brothels that had been frequented by top Fatah officials in the Gaza Strip… In a bid to counter the Hamas campaign, Fatah members have published details about “sex scandals” involving Hamas activists… According to Fatah, a Hamas imam was recently caught having sex with a male minor in a mosque basement… In another incident, according to Fatah, a senior member of Hamas’s armed wing, Izaddin Kassam, was expelled from his refugee camp after he was caught having sex with a male colleague in a vehicle. And according to a report on a Fatah-controlled Web site, a Hamas man was caught naked together with his neighbor’s wife in her bedroom.

Well… at least they, unlike a certain President of Iran, admit to the existence of the dreaded homosexuals in their midst. Frankly, I think all these guys should just come out of the closet already – it might make them a little less aggressive or suicidal if they just come to terms with who they are. Finally we’ll all be able to go to Gaza for Gay Pride celebrations and attend the Ramallah Love Parade. Dude – we already have the Palestine is for Lovers t-shirts in both straight and gay versions!

Well boys, the world awaits your introduction to polite society – that’s going to be one fun cotillion where we will all celebrate your coming out. Till then, keep your gun well oiled and keep looking fabulous in those kicky scarves darlings!

UPDATE: At times like this, when there are contentious issues, it’s always good to ask WWJD? Meaning – What would James Kirchick of The New Republic have to say do when faced with such a story? The answer folks is right here:

That accusations of homosexuality are seen as such a grave issue in Palestinian society (and Muslim and Arab society in general) illustrates a plain lack of liberal values. For the Palestinians, homosexuality itself is redolent with corruption, otherwise Hamas and Fatah would not care to publicize these claims, whether they are true or false. We’ve come farther in the United States (but certainly not far enough), where the mere fact of being gay is no longer a bar to public office or high attainment in the corporate world, and wildly casting aspersions about someone’s private life like this is viewed as improper and crass. Clearly, the Palestinians have a bit farther to go.

Thanks James!

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About the author

ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

21 Comments

  • “A DVD distributed among a limited number of Hamas representatives features a former PA official having sex with another man. The disc, according to a Palestinian journalist in Gaza City, is being sold on the black market for NIS 20…”

    If you enjoyed One Night In Paris …

  • CK – Since I know you personally, and know that you are not homophobic I didn’t directly take offense to this post. However, the mere fact that gay sex is a scandal or something to even write about is a shade of homophobia. Why should these men be called out if it’s not “bad”? – let me just say that gay sex is not bad. There’s also a hint of judgment – as if secret gay sex is somehow as bad as corruption and terrorism. Can these guys be faulted if a machismo culture forces them to get married young and repress their sexual orientation? Moreover, who are we to even deem this behavior “wrong” – it seems like cultural imperialism to do so. It’s as if we’re saying – stop doing what you do (having secret gay sex) and come do it our way (have secret gay sex???!!!). Hopefully change will come to Palestinian society but I think that encouragement rather than finger pointing is better. Anyway, everyone knows real men have sex with men.

  • I never said it was wrong John. Notice this story is about something deemed scandalous in the West Bank and Gaza where Hamas and Fatah are competing with each other to produce lurid sex scandals. The only thing I find scandalous was the pedophilia. The homosexual sex is unimportant. Neither is the heterosexual sex. Notice I called for greater tolerance and openness and I didn’t point fingers at anyone. Gays in Gaza? Like that’s news? There are homosexuals everywhere (except for Iran of course) so why should Gaza and the West Bank be any different? The story is that this is a story at all. Palestinian society has a way to go in this respect. Maybe all those nice ISM people can teach them about how being gay is cool?

    To reiterate, this is a story ABOUT homophobia. But I appreciate your concern John. Now go reply to my text messages! I get more attention from YOUR facebook friends than I do from you!

    🙂

  • Anyway, everyone knows real men have sex with men.

    Ummmmm…..what?

    Sounds like heterophobia to me.

    And “cultural imperialism”? Is this some kind of stupid multi-culti joke? Like the reason Arabs are so fucked up sexually is because Big Bad Judgmental Westerners are the ones telling the poor Arabs (who clearly are so infantile and helpless that they cannot be anything but victims of Western cultural hegemony) that homosexuality is bad?

    You can’t possibly be serious, can you?

    Islam tells them it’s bad. They came up with this on their own. If you are seriously entertaining the notion that the Arabs got their idea of sexual morality from Europeans, there is really something worng with you.

  • And I was making obscure reference to my witchiness, something you couldn’t have known about. Never mind … 🙂

  • Ephraim – Why must you go do the road that there is “something worng” with me? Why can’t you debate ideas without getting personal? How about, “John. your argument is flawed?” or “John, have you considered…?”

    I was not suggesting that Westerners are telling Arabs that homosexuality is bad. I was suggesting that Westerners pointing out contradictions in Arab society (public no to gay sex while having secret gay sex) and then judging that contradiction is not ok.

    CK – It is still irksome to me that gay sex is considered moral corruption. Moreover, every time I read an article that aligns homosexuality with pedophilia I find that very troubling. Some people are a discerning as we are and I feel that the proximity creates links in a reader’s thinking. Yes yes! Text messages! 🙂

  • “Moreover, every time I read an article that aligns homosexuality with pedophilia I find that very troubling.”

    You should find it troubling. An imam having sex with a minor is … yes, very troubling.

  • I think what John wanted to point out is that not all homosexuals are paedophiliacs and that mentioning homosexuality and paedophilia in one context (also in relative spatial proximity) may cast a bad light on homosexuals.

  • Well of course not all homosexuals are pedophiles. Neither are all heterosexuals. I simply find the focus strange. The concern for gay men not being seen as pedophiles is greater than the concern for the children being raped.

    Westerners have every right to point out contradictions in Arab society. Why not?

    John wrote: “Moreover, who are we to even deem this behavior “wrong” – it seems like cultural imperialism to do so.”

    Why should I not be allowed to say that I think this behaviour is wrong? Cultural imperialism — hilarious. In other words, gay group sex is part of the Arab culture. Who knew?

  • zulubaby, I agree that the children’s well-being should be the most important concern, though I can fathom a certain sensitivity to the homosexuality vs paedophilia-issue considering where John comes from (I’ve come across his blog before and read several of his posts).

  • Sarah – thanks for trying to explain. I have serious issues with dumping homosexuality in with any criminal behavior.

    zulubaby – You have every right to say whatever you’d like. However, when people examine a culture and generalize behavior there is a difference between observation and judging the observed culture. You may think that secret gay sex is wrong – fine – but if a group of people have a different understanding of that behavior (gay sex is ok as long as it’s kept a secret or as an adjunct to marriage) and you use your own cultural-specific values of observed behavior to judge the observed culture – that is not ok.

    There is a big difference between “it has been reported that some Arab men engage in gay sex and that’s not for me” and “it has been reported that some Arab men engage in gay sex and therefore Arab men/culture are/is bad”.

    It’s just fine to examine contradictions – but there are many contradictions in Western culture too. I just don’t think negative value judgments and shame are very positive reactions to contradictory behavior. Understanding and sensitivity for how difficult and high-stakes it can be to be an out gay man in any culture seems to be more appropriate.

  • John, you’re making a huge leap here. This is one article, not a case study of an entire culture. I want to be clear here … are you saying that gay sex is simply part of Arab culture? What about adultery? Pedophilia? Should everything be condoned as part of a “culture” that I have no right to judge?

    I think you’re missing the point of the article.

    “I have serious issues with dumping homosexuality in with any criminal behavior.”

    Then your issue should be with what is being reported, not that it is being reported.

    “You may think that secret gay sex is wrong – fine – …”

    I don’t care one way or the other.

    ” .. but if a group of people have a different understanding of that behavior (gay sex is ok as long as it’s kept a secret or as an adjunct to marriage) and you use your own cultural-specific values of observed behavior to judge the observed culture – that is not ok.”

    Oh, it’s more than okay. I am entitled to judge whatever I want and not condone deviant behaviour as part of a “culture”. Anyone who touches children should be taken out back and shot. How’s that for cultural sensitivity? And yeah, I’m not all up in there with sleeping with the neighbour’s wife either. Call me old fashioned.

    “There is a big difference between “it has been reported that some Arab men engage in gay sex and that’s not for me” and “it has been reported that some Arab men engage in gay sex and therefore Arab men/culture are/is bad”.”

    Who said anything of the sort? If we’re going to discuss this I’m going to request that you stick to what I’ve said and not put words in my mouth.

    You read the article and see the need for understanding and sensitivity for how difficult it is to be a gay man in a macho society. Welcome to the world. I read the article and see gang warfare and violence, manipulation and extortion. I don’t feel the need to be sensitive toward any of that behaviour.

  • Z – I think that you misunderstood my use of quotes. I wasn’t trying to put words in your mouth. I was trying to highlight differences in thinking – the use of “” was like thought bubbles. Sorry for the confusion. Cheers.

  • John, I feel perfectly OK judging Arab culture. Western liberal culture is, by any yardstick, far superior to anything the Arab world has to offer. There’s no reason to apologize for it. We may not be perfect, but we’re light years ahead of the primitive savagery that pervades Islamic culture.

    Or do you think murdering gays and women who offend family “honor” is OK?

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