Boycotts, boycotts everywhere (and not a Geoffrey amongst them). Let's start with this question. In how many countries in the Middle East could you hold a Gay Pride event? Well, I won't stick my neck out by trying to venture a precise answer, but one can at least say that the number is greater than zero, though it may not be much greater than zero. You can do so in Israel. Not that there aren't any difficulties about that. There are people round and about who are hostile:
In rare cooperation, the ultra Orthodox Jewish and Muslim communities in the holy city had tried to prevent the parade, scheduled for June 30, saying it would infringe on their religious sensitivities... Both Orthodox Judaism and Islam regard homosexual practice as an abomination.But in any event, the world being a place in which, as Primo Levi once put it, everything happens, we now have this, that there's a group in Israel 'being specifically targeted by another boycott campaign', and that group is gays and lesbians - for the Jerusalem Pride event scheduled for August 2006. As it says here:
[P]eople who are eager to defend Palestinian rights should... think clearly before they associate themselves with this boycott campaign. Those who want to boycott the event will find themselves in the company of the religious extremists of all faiths, the settlers and the Hamas.... if this isn't too complex a thought for those inhabiting a simple world.
And then there's this boycott:
Anglicans yesterday voted to urge their member churches to consider disinvesting from companies involved in Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands. The Anglican consultative council voted unanimously for the measure... Among those voting for [it] was Dr Rowan Williams, the current Archbishop of Canterbury...Well, I won't rehearse all the arguments about boycotts which were spelled out on this blog in connection with the recent AUT business, but here's one little piece of symbolic reflection I'd like to share with the Anglican consultative council and the Archbishop of Canterbury. After the responsibility borne by Christianity for two millennia of anti-Jewish hatred and persecution - a factor, one might think, in what befell the Jews of Europe in the twentieth century - a boycott decision prompted just by the misdemeanours of the Jewish state could be said to be prejudicial, to put it no more severely. Or have I missed out on the fact of the Anglican churches already being on the cases of China, Sudan, Zimbabwe... you get the picture?
The vote was prompted by the Anglican Justice and Peace Network, and is being seen as largely symbolic.