The Irony of Jewish Activists Facing Anti-LGBTQ Backlash for Supporting Palestinians

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“Mr. President, you care about Jewish people. As a rabbi, I need you to call for a cease-fire right now,” called Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg final week, interrupting Biden at a marketing campaign reception in Minneapolis.

Biden responded with “I think we need a pause.” It was the primary time Biden had wavered from his unconditional support for Israel, although he clarified that “a pause means give time to get the prisoners out. Give time.”

Rosenberg, a Reconstructionist rabbi, writer, and organizer, is a member of the rabbinical council of Jewish Voice for Peace, a big coalition of anti-zionist Jewish Americans calling for a ceasefire within the ongoing battle in Gaza. Organizers say that JVP protestors’ mass arrests in current weeks are the biggest scale arrests of Jews for civil disobedience in US historical past.

The web shortly caught on to Rosenberg’s feedback. While many voiced help, hate in opposition to Rosenberg, an LGBTQ+ lady, additionally exploded on social media. Some was from the anticipated sources, like conservative discuss present host Megyn Kelly, who stated she “was a man pretending to be a woman” who could also be “pretending to be a rabbi too.” Kelly emphasised that Rosenberg has a beard (5-10 percent of cisgender girls within the United State naturally develop beards). 

“I’m so proud to be a queer and visibly gender non conforming femme woman who could take that action,” Rosenberg says about her look and her confrontation with Biden. “Let all, especially SWANA and Jewish bearded femmes see ourselves in power and unafraid.” (SWANA refers to Southwest Asia and North Africa, the area generally known as the Middle East.)

Such transphobic, nasty feedback usually are not shocking from Kelly. But she wasn’t the one one: Stella Inger, a Jewish information anchor from the One America News Network, tweeted a video of Rosenberg’s feedback, calling her a “biological man.” Local Brooklyn politician Yaakov Kaplan, spotlight headshots of Rosenberg to query her legitimacy as a lady, Jew, and Rabbi. In a unique incident, a feud unfolded on-line between two queer, Jewish content material creators. One of them, Michael Valdes, helps Israel, and made a halloween costume meme of Matt Bernstein, who he described as a “Self-hating Jew” and “Queer for Palestine” with a “lack knowledge of Jewish history” and “desires to be wanted by the ‘wokes’.”

This vocal transphobia from supporters of Israel is telling, contemplating how so many defend the nation as a bastion of security for LGBTQ+ folks within the Middle East. On October twenty ninth, Israel’s official Twitter account posted: “Looking forward to seeing Hamas raise the rainbow flag across Gaza.” After the October 7 assaults, David Kilmnick, founder of the LGBT Network, questioned why extra LGBTQ+ folks hadn’t come out in help of Israel contemplating it’s the “only country [that] protects LGBT people from discrimination and violence.” Mark Segal, a Jewish LGBTQ+ activist and journalist who participated in Stonewall, wrote an op-ed “Hamas hates you as well,” directed on the Pro-Palestine queer neighborhood. 

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