Professors claim pointing out how Hamas brutalizes LGBTQ people is ‘homophobic violence’

Describing Hamas’ brutalization of LGBTQ Palestinians needs to be labeled “homophobic violence,” university professors suggested at an event last month.

Associate Professor Maya Mikdashi took part in a discussion at the school titled “Palestine is a Feminist and Queer Anti-Imperialist Abolition Struggle” with University of Illinois professor Nadine Naber on March 20. During the event, Mikdashi pushed back on the complaint that Palestinians and Hamas mistreat LGBTQ citizens, claiming that the assertion itself is a form of bigotry.

“So I’ve been at protests where I’m then told, ‘Don’t you know what Hamas would do to you, if you were in Palestine.’ And we have to start naming this, actually, as homophobic,” Mikdashi said, as Naber vocally agreed. “You cannot rehearse violence to queer people and be like, ‘don’t you know … A, B, you would be…’ in really excruciating detail. I think we have to actually shift it.”

“It’s violence,” an audience member said.

“It’s homophobic. It’s violent,” Mikdashi agreed. 

“Homophobic violence,” Naber affirmed.

“And we have to move it from thinking only in terms of pinkwashing to actually understanding pinkwashing as a form of homophobia,” Mikdashi said. 

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An activist holding a “Queers for Palestine” sign. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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The Anti-Defamation League describes pinkwashing in this context as “used by anti-Israel activists to characterize positive aspects or characteristics of Israeli society – like the promotion of LGBTQ+ rights … as a premeditated Israeli strategy to deflect attention from what they argue is Israel’s persecution of the Palestinians.”

Naber also alleged that the concept was based on a “racist assumption” that Arab culture is “hyper-misogynist” and rooted in “backwards or savage concepts.” She later insisted that Israel is guilty of sexual assault based on its colonialist founding.

“[I]ndeed the practices of rape and sexual assault that have been well-documented during the founding of Israel and continued today are not an exception or a secondary impact of colonial violence but are part of the settler colonial White supremacist logics and practices of Israel that conflate colonized women with the land and nature and assume that therefore to dominate the land necessitates dominating Palestinian women’s bodies and their reproductive capacities from 1948 until today,” Naber said.

She further added that there needs to be more organization of queer and trans people who are dealing with Zionism.

A picture of the Rutgers University welcome sign

Fox News Digital reached out to Rutgers University for a comment.  (Rutgers University)

“We’re going to need our organizing to center queer and trans people not only because they are especially vulnerable to colonial violence and the racism and the doxxing, but they also embody exceptionally nuanced wisdom about Zionism because they are living it in all its complexity,” Naber said.

Fox News Digital reached out to Rutgers University, Mikdashi and Naber for a comment.

Mikdashi and Naber’s comments follow months of people mocking and criticizing the concept of “Queers for Palestine” while its proponents ignore the ongoing persecution and execution of LGBTQ people in Palestinian society.

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Hamas sexual assault

A February report from the Association of Rape Crisis Centers of Israel confirmed Hamas raped and sexually assaulted people during its attack. (Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images)

While their comments frequently attacked Israel as guilty of normalizing sexual assaults and rape against Palestinian women, the professors did not acknowledge a February report from the Association of Rape Crisis Centers of Israel (ARCCI) that reiterated that Hamas committed “sadistic practices” and violent rape against several people during the initial Oct. 7 attack.

“From the testimonies and information provided, it emerges that the sexual assaults committed in the Oct. 7 attack and thereafter were carried out systematically and deliberately,” the report concluded.

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