Who thought Israel would serve as a shelter for a Palestinian from Jenin?
This week Israel has granted a residency permit to a 33-year old gay Palestinian who asked to stay with his partner in Tel Aviv. This is not the first time that a Palestinian gay man asks for residency permission, claiming his life is threatened in their hometown.
Under the Hamas regime, the lives of Palestinian gays and lesbians have become more difficult than ever. According to the Palestinian law, homosexual sex is a serious offense punishable by law. The accusations lead to further charges such as spreading the HIV virus. Ten years ago, a Palestinian officer was executed for having sex with a younger man. Next to that, any act of homophobia in Israel looks like a walk in the park!
The lives of gays who live at the West Bank continue to be in constant danger. As part of Israel’s strict security policy, applications on the basis of sexual orientation are typically denied. The Defense ministry does not allow Palestinians to formally unite with their Israeli partners within its territories. This policy applies to both heterosexual and gay couples.
Peter Lerner, spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories says: “In this case the man’s lawyer said his life was in danger because of his sexual preference. On this basis we issued the temporary permit”.
Why the apologizing tone? Finally we can say that we have something to be proud about! There is nothing wrong with showing human decency in front of our neighbors and the rest of the world.