(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel is a "beacon of LGBT emancipation" in a "dark corner" of the world, US gay porn producer and director Michael Lucas said on Saturday in an opinion piece published on the UK's Pink News website.
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The famous porn producer criticized British gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell for protesting the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Lesbian Youth and Student Organizationan's decision to hold its general assembly in Tel Aviv.
In the article, Lucas wrote, "Tatchell bestrides the world like an ancient colonialist, telling other countries and people how they ought to behave. He goes to Moscow and protests the government for forbidding Gay Pride. And then he doesn’t go to Israel, which just held yet another of the world’s most vibrant and festive Gay Pride celebrations, but protests if people want to hold a meeting there. Logic and consistency aren’t his strong suit."
Attacking Tatchell's argument that holding the conference in Israel may shut out delegations from Arab countries, Lucas said, "the General Assembly is a meeting of representatives of IGLYO’s member organisations and there is not a single member from the Arab world – and only one from a Muslim country, Pakistan. (Short exercise in independent thinking: Why might that be?) I have it on good authority that the Israeli government will bend over backwards to facilitate the attendance of of any member who wants to attend."
The porn producer, who was born in Russia to Jewish parents, also
criticized Tatchell's analogy between Israel and apartheid South Africa.
"Anybody who compares the situation of Arab citizens of Israel to SA
apartheid – or, even more stupidly, the situation in the occupied
territories to the systematic exploitation of the majority by a small
white elite – is simply whitewashing the horrors of apartheid," he said.
Lucas concluded by praising Israel for creating "a uniquely nurturing environment for its LGBT community."
"The achievements of Israel’s LGBT community have nothing to do with 'pinkwashing'. Israel was pink long before this term entered the
vocabulary. The full emancipation of its LGBT community is a major
achievement of Israeli civil society," he said. "Israel is a beacon of
LGBT emancipation in an area that’s a very dark corner for our gay and
lesbian brothers and sisters."