Ghadeer, from Aswat, spoke about how Israeli LGBT groups had failed to take up the issue of Palestine, so that forming Aswat became necessary. She stressed that the main issue for Aswat’s members was their oppression as Palestinians, not as LGBT people.
She spoke movingly about the severe oppression of Palestinians living inside Israel in the last few months. As she explained, they have faced what the highest levels of exclusion and violence they have ever experienced. People have lost their jobs for making comments on social media. They have had no expression of sympathy from Israelis. There has been unprecedented police brutality on demos. Many people have been arrested violently and held for between 30 and 50 days. Marchers were outnumbered by armed police who used tear gas and rubber bullets. Protesters were sprayed with diluted sewage mixed with pepper spray.