US Embassy Excludes LGBT Palestinians from Israel Reception

Aswat-Palestinian Gay Women was recently invited to attend a reception hosted by the US Embassy in honor of the LGBTQI community in Israel, planned for Thursday 16th May.
Enquiring about speakers at the event, Aswat learned that no Palestinian LGBTQI activists had been approached to speak, and that only Jewish Israeli campaigners were invited to speak.
Aswat said: “Despite requests on our part to be included in the list of speakers, the Embassy repeatedly made the excuse that arrangements had been finalized and that there had not been room to include us in the list.
“Whilst Aswat welcomes cooperation and mutual support between all organizations campaigning for the rights of LGBTQI people, we ask the US Embassy to recognize that our situation is distinct from that of the Jewish LGBTQI community. Our struggle for respect for our sexual identities is inextricably linked to our struggle for justice as Palestinians.
“Although many LGBTQI groups in Israel are happy to accept and welcome us as fellow LGBTQI, they refuse to recognize our Palestinian identity. Until this change occurs, Jewish Israeli groups attempting to work with our community will fail to grasp our needs and aspirations, and ultimately risk doing more harm than good”.
Below are some of the organizations in The International Lesbian and gay Association’s (ILGA) directory .

1. HeLeM
2. Meem
3. Arab foundation for freedoms and equality – AFE
4. Bekhsoos
5. Al-Qaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society