(The following declaration was published today (June 22, 2018) on social networks. You may also read the original in Arabic.)
Palestinians and opponents of colonization in Haifa and beyond,
We call on you to boycott the pride events in our city, Haifa, for there is no pride in occupation. Our pride is in our liberation.
For many years, our city faces many projects of “co-existence” that aim to change its features. The municipality with the help of Israeli capital brutalizes our city and its neighborhoods. It demolishes houses in Wadi-al-Salib neighborhood, aiming to convert it to amusement parks and showrooms for “artists”, on the ruins of the memory of the martyrs and refugees displaced from our beloved city. The municipality strangles and suffocates what is left of Wadi al-Nisnas and al-Halisa neighborhoods and it is working to impoverish the population by cutting off vital services in those neighborhoods turning them into slums. Many other neighborhoods face the same fate resulting from policies of impoverishment and demolition.
Despite these atrocities, Haifa municipality is trying to promote the city as a city for coexistence, love, peace, pluralism and acceptance. This is not but a lie that aims to wash the blatant colonial essence of the Haifa municipality, for there is no “love” in the continuing attempts to erase and eliminate us, there is no “peace” in our impoverishment and displacement, there is no “pluralism” in our separation and restriction in our stricken neighborhoods and there is no “acceptance” in its response to our latest stand with our people in Gaza. This approach is not surprising because this was and still is and will continue to be the practices of the Zionist colonization in Palestine.
Haifa municipality, as part of the occupation government, organizes every year pride events across occupied Palestine, in a move that is called by Palestinian and international anti-colonization activists as “Pink Washing”. Through these policies, the municipality uses gay rights showing itself as the benevolent saver of the oppressed. Even though its main goal is to benefit economically – through profit from gay tourism – and politically, hoping to cover its crimes against Palestinians including Palestinian queers.
We refuse these policies, and we encourage you to not participate in the upcoming pride events, to not promote it, and to actively boycott it as a rejection of the manipulation of our destiny.
Palestinian Queer activists in Haifa