Where's Queers Against Israeli Apartheid when it comes to Lebanon???
We've blogged on the lack of Palestinian rights in Lebanon before...
Thousands turned out to protest racial discrimination against Palestinians the other day — and with good reason.
The long-suffering Palestinians face armed soldiers at the gate if they try to leave their camps. They are frozen out of public medical and social services. They are barred from dignified work in dozens of occupations such as engineering, medicine, law and journalism. They cannot own property. Their children are banned from regular schools.
If it looks like apartheid and sounds like apartheid, let's march against it. . .
Except . . . I'm not referring to the quest by Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) to hijack Toronto's Pride Parade over the weekend. While QuAIA and its fellow travellers issue righteous (if wrong-headed) denunciations of the Jewish state, Palestinian protestors in Beirut are targeting “apartheid” closer to home.
Some 6,000 Palestinians marched on the Lebanese parliament late last month to protest their discriminatory treatment — not at the hands of Israel, but by Lebanon itself.
As Lebanese columnist Rami G. Khouri noted last week, the treatment of these Palestinians — like “penned-in animals” — must be condemned as a “lingering moral black mark.” Writing in the Daily Star of Beirut, Khouri argued that “Lebanon faces a moment akin to . . . when South Africans seriously mooted changing their apartheid system in the 1980s.”
Aha — apartheid alert! Perhaps we'll see a Queers Against Lebanese Apartheid protest at next year's Pride Parade?
As Gaza-born journalist Ahmed Moor wrote in the Guardian last month, “the Arab world is rife with hypocrisy when it comes to the Palestinian issue.” His conclusion, from Beirut: “They are second-class citizens here.”
In fact, he's quite wrong. Palestinians are not second-class citizens for the simple reason that they are pointedly ineligible for citizenship in Lebanon, whether first- or second-class. Lebanon's politicians, always wary of upsetting the country's delicate sectarian balance, have preferred to ghettoize their 300,000 Palestinian refugees in camps while righteously railing against Israel to take them back.