“QuAIA has never preached hatred. We are just stating a fact,” [spokesperson Tony Souza] says. “We are not anti-Semitic. We work for justice, peace and equality for Palestinian queers. The fact remains that Palestinian queers do not have the same rights. Apartheid means separate. [Palestinian queers] have a separate identity and rights within Israel, and that’s our message.
“If people are uncomfortable with that message, and see it as offensive, that’s different than saying it’s a message of hate. Those are two totally different things.”To help QuAIA make its case, Xtra, the gay rag in which this appears, seeks input from Palestine House:
Assam Alyamani, a representative with Palestine House in Mississisauga, says the term "Israeli apartheid" is an accurate criticism of the Israeli government's policy in regard to the Palestinian Territories.
"It is well documented that the Israeli government discriminates against indigenous people,” he says. “There are different rules for Jewish and non-Jewish people in many aspects, such as services, budgets, [policies] within municipalities, occupations and laws. They evacuate indigenous people from their villages and towns. There are many facts that support the argument that Israel is an apartheid state.”