As Jewish leaders working for LGBTQ equality and racial justice in Jewish life, our emotions run deep this month: June marks two historical moments of liberation. Fifty years ago, LGBTQ people resisted a violent police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, sparking the start of the modern LGBT rights movement and signaling to the world that trans women, drag queens, gay men, lesbians, and other queer people demanded dignity, equal rights, and freedom.
More than 100 years before that transformative night at a New York City bar, the course of history changed forever in the American South. On June 19, 1865, a Union Army general arrived in Texas and shared the news that the Civil War had ended, and that enslaved African Americans were now free.
Known by many as “Juneteenth”, this day is considered the most historic celebration of the end of slavery in the United States.
DRAG queens are to read fairytales to schoolchildren to raise LGBT awareness.
Normalizing it for YOUR kids. LGBT awareness is the law!
As we reflect on the power of these historical moments, we are troubled by how the struggles for LGBTQ rights and Black liberation are often viewed as separate, unrelated movements. And yet, these two histories — and our ongoing work for LGBTQ equality and racial justice today — are deeply intertwined and profoundly interdependent.
People of color are at the heart of Stonewall. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, both trans women of color, led the fight at the Stonewall Inn. And yet, they are often omitted from the story of Stonewall and excluded from the traditional canons of Black and Latinx American history.
As Jewish colleagues of different racial and cultural backgrounds, we understand the power of our own histories and the shared responsibility we have to work for justice, especially in challenging, painful, or violent times. The stories we tell of our past inform possibilities for a better present and future.
So, as leaders committed to LGBTQ equality and racial justice, we ask our Jewish communities: What would it look like to integrate these commitments and ensure that we value them equally? What would it take for synagogues, day schools, summer camps, and other Jewish institutions to invest wholeheartedly in both racial justice and LGBTQ equality?
US-Israeli support for overthrowing Maduro is part of a broader regional agenda targeting Palestinian solidarity.
While various important factors and elements have fueled the dire situation in Venezuela today, Israeli meddling in Latin American affairs is one that is rarely mentioned.
After the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, his successor, Nicolas Maduro, soon faced the challenges of a capsizing economy, hyperinflation, and shortages of medicine and food fueled by low oil prices, despite the country’s massive reserves.
Protests against the worsening socioeconomic situation have led to polarisation and a political stalemate. There are pro- and anti-government camps, with no alternative third option or any hopes for an internal reconciliation.
But the US-Israeli support for overthrowing Maduro is part of a larger agenda to cement an anti-Palestinian campaign in Latin America at the expense of the Venezuelan people.
Although most Latin American countries supported the UN Partition Plan of 1947, which officially established the state of Israel and led to the Nakba, the region has been broadly friendly to Palestinians, hosting the largest Palestinian presence outside of the Arab world.
Solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination was at its height during the Chavez years up until today, with the leadership making outspoken criticism of Israel’s flagrant violations of international law. Venezuela severed diplomatic ties with Israel in 2009 over its military campaign in Gaza.
The recent UN Palestinian statehood vote, along with Palestine’s broader bid for statehood, has strong support in Latin America, including in Venezuela
The Bolivian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) was founded by Venezuela and Cuba during the Chavez era.
Under the Trump administration, there has been a slow and steady shift to impose anti-Palestinian policies, such as cutting US aid to the UNRWA refugee agency and to the Palestinian Authority, along with introducing the “deal of the century”, which eviscerates any hopes for Palestinian national aspirations.
Synagogue of Satan
The Trump administration has empowered the extreme political right, spreading the neo-conservative ideology of Christian Zionism criminals throughout Latin America.
The UN vote to condemn the US embassy relocation to Jerusalem was rejected by Guatemala, Honduras and Brazil all with criminal leaders, amid regional moves to strengthen “security” ties with Israel.
Countries including Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay and Ecuador have all recognized Guaido.
The presidents of Argentina, Ecuador, and Venezuela denounced Paraguay’s Lugo’s impeachment as a coup d’etat. In 2009 Honduras was a victim of a coup d’état. The people of Chili are definitely pro-Palestine and have many Palestinian citizens from the Palestine Nakba.
Once a Nazi haven: President of Argentina Mauricio Macri and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Buenos Aires, 2017
It is extremely telling that the Trump administration selected Elliott Abrams as the new US envoy to Venezuela, reinforcing the notion that the US and Israel see this situation as a perfect opportunity to overthrow Maduro and install a pro-Israel regime in the country.
Elliott Abrams testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington on 9 February 2011 (AFP)
Abrams was also implicated in massive human rights abuses perpetrated by pro-US regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala, and the Nicaraguan Contra rebels in the 1980s, which led to tens of thousands of deaths.
Abrams was later pardoned by the Bush administration and named deputy national security adviser to promote former President George HW Bush’s strategy of “adopting democracy abroad”, which included his role in a failed coup attempt against Chavez.
The direction in which Venezuela is heading does not look promising for the region, especially in relation to Palestinian solidarity, given the Zionist-related meddling, both historical and contemporary.
The successful takeover of Venezuela by pro-US forces will mean the cementing of anti-Palestinian politics through an interventionist policy that erases and “cleanses” Palestine from the region.
The hope lies with the people of Venezuela, civil society and grassroots movements in Latin America. Only time will tell whether they can halt this Israeli-backed project to end Palestinian solidarity on the continent.
Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the evangelical lobbying group spearheaded by Texas preacher John Hagee, has surpassed AIPAC as the largest pro-Israel organization in the U.S.
And so Christian Zionists—those who believe that only a strong Jewish state will bring the son of the Christian god back to the holy city, to mete out justice—have moved to the center of U.S. Middle East policy.
Their coming-out party was May 14, at the dedication of the newly relocated U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. “Let the name of the Lord be glorified today,” the Rev. Hagee proclaimed in his benediction, facing the assembled strange bedfellows of right-wing rabbis, U.S. senators and congressmen, settlement bankroller Sheldon Adelson, Israeli Likudniks and fellow Christian Zionists.
“For the defender of Israel today, tomorrow and forever, is here. Can we all shout hallelujah?”