Gays Under the Occupation



The police officer shoved the Palestinian into the patrol car. “This time,” he said, “we are going to take care of you; I will personally make sure that you are sent back to where you came from.”

For Fuad Moussa, a 27-year-old gay man who grew up in Ramallah, these words amounted to a death sentence.

Fuad is in imminent danger due to two “crimes”: in Palestine he is persecuted due to his sexual orientation, and in Israel he is persecuted because he chose to live in Jerusalem with his Jewish partner, Ezra, even though he does not have a permit to be in Israel.

The two men met eight years ago, and for the past four have been sharing an apartment in a middleclass Jerusalem neighborhood; they work together in Ezra’s plumbing business. Their life was uneventful until the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000, when tens of thousands of Palestinian laborers had their entry permits into Israel revoked. Overnight Fuad’s life turned into a nightmare.

The Israeli police began profiling Palestinians, and on numerous occasions they caught Fuad, detained him and even deported him to the occupied territories.

Even though Fuad cannot stay in Israel according to Israeli law, going back to live in Ramallah is no longer an option; some of his fundamentalist Muslim relatives have stated in unequivocal terms that if he were to return they would kill him. This is their way of coping with the idea that their cousin is a homosexual.

The police, who are well aware of these lethal ramifications, have, nonetheless, refused to change their course of action.

With Ezra’s help, Fuad has managed to survive. Each time he was caught and deported across the border, Ezra would drive to the territories and smuggle him back the same night in the trunk of his car, which attracts little suspicion at checkpoints due to its Israeli license plates.

All this has changed in the past month. For some reason the police have decided to hunt the fugitive down and to put an end to the cat and mouse chase.

Knowing where Ezra and Fuad live, they detained the latter six times in a period of two weeks. Finally, during the last arrest, the police brought him to court at night, and, in a swift legal procedure, a judge ruled that he either be imprisoned or be deported immediately and permanently to Ramallah.

As a result of an appeal that was submitted by Ezra the following morning, the court put Fuad under house arrest for an indeterminate period. While he is confined to their one bedroom apartment, for the time being he is not in danger.

Fuad is surely not the only Palestinian who has a death sentence hanging over his head due to his sexual orientation; there are other young people who constantly have to hide, living in the shadows for fear of being deported from Israel back to the occupied territories.

Fuad Moussa’s life, however, can be saved with some public pressure. With one quick signature, the Israeli Interior Minister Avraham Poraz, a self-proclaimed liberal, can grant Fuad a Jerusalem residency card, which would allow him to legally remain in the city. Israel’s President Moshe Katzav can also ensure that such a card be issued.

Will Fuad spend the rest of his life in the shadows for fear of death, or will the Israeli authorities allow him to live with his partner Ezra? Your letter may help determine this question.

Write immediately — mentioning Fuad Moussa id 851611707 — to:

Interior Minister Avraham Poraz email: sar@moin.gov.il, pniot@moin.gov.il, pniot@moin.gov.il (send to all three)

or fax +972-2-5666376

President Moshe Katzav email: president@president.gov.il, public@president.gov.il (send to both)

fax +972-2-5671314

Please make sure to send copies to: fuadmoussa@hotmail.com by bccing the emails.

NEVE GORDON teaches politics and human rights at Ben-Gurion University and can be reached at ngordon@bgumail.bgu.ac.il


Neve Gordon is the co-author (with Nicola Perugini) of the newly released The Human Right to Dominate.

November 26, 2015
Joseph Grosso
The Enduring Tragedy: Guatemala’s Bloody Farce
Ashley Nicole McCray – Lawrence Ware
Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Imperial Myths: the Enduring Lie of the US’s Origin
Ralph Nader
The Joys of Solitude: a Thanksgiving!

Joseph G. Ramsey
Something to be Thankful For: Struggles, Seeds…and Surprises
Dan Glazebrook
Turkey Shoot: the Rage of the Impotent in Syria
Andrew Stewart
The Odious President Wilson
Colin Todhunter
Corporate Parasites And Economic Plunder: We Need A Genuine Green Revolution
Rajesh Makwana
Ten Billion Reasons to Demand System Change
Joyce Nelson
Turkey Moved the Border!
Richard Baum
Hillary Clinton’s Meager Proposal to Help Holders of Student Debt
November 25, 2015
Jeff Taylor
Bob Dylan and Christian Zionism
Dana E. Abizaid
Provoking Russia
Oliver Tickell
Syria’s Cauldron of Fire: a Downed Russian Jet and the Battle of Two Pipelines
Patrick Cockburn
Trigger Happy: Will Turkey’s Downing of Russian Jet Backfire on NATO?
Robert Fisk
The Soothsayers of Eternal War
Russell Mokhiber
The Coming Boycott of Nike
Ted Rall
Like Father Like Son: George W. Bush Was Bad, His Father May Have Been Worse
Matt Peppe
Bad Policy, Bad Ethics: U.S. Military Bases Abroad
Martha Rosenberg
Pfizer Too Big (and Slippery) to Fail
Yorgos Mitralias
Bernie Sanders, Mr. Voutsis and the Truth Commission on Greek Public Debt
Jorge Vilches
Too Big for Fed: Have Central Banks Lost Control?
Sam Husseini
Why Trump is Wrong About Waterboarding — It’s Probably Not What You Think
Binoy Kampmark
The Perils of Certainty: Obama and the Assad Regime
Roger Annis
State of Emergency in Crimea
Soud Sharabani
ISIS in Lebanon: An Interview with Andre Vltchek
Thomas Knapp
NATO: This Deal is a Turkey
November 24, 2015
Dave Lindorff
An Invisible US Hand Leading to War? Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet was an Act of Madness
Mike Whitney
Turkey Downs Russian Fighter to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire
Walter Clemens
Who Created This Monster?
Patrick Graham
Bombing ISIS Will Not Work
Lida Maxwell
Who Gets to Demand Safety?
Eric Draitser
Refugees as Weapons in a Propaganda War
David Rosen
Trump’s Enemies List: a Trial Balloon for More Repression?
Eric Mann
Playing Politics While the Planet Sizzles
Chris Gilbert
“Why Socialism?” Revisited: Reflections Inspired by Einstein’s Article
Charles Davis
NSA Spies on Venezuela’s Oil Company
Michael Barker
Democracy vs. Political Policing
Barry Lando
Shocked by Trump? Churchill Wanted to “Collar Them All”
Cal Winslow
When Workers Fight: the National Union of Healthcare Workers Wins Battle with Kaiser
Norman Pollack
Where Does It End?: Left Political Correctness
David Macaray
Companies Continue to Profit by Playing Dumb
Binoy Kampmark
Animals in Conflict: Diesel, Dobrynya and Sentimental Security
Dave Welsh
Defiant Haiti: “We Won’t Let You Steal These Elections!”
November 23, 2015
Vijay Prashad
The Doctrine of 9/11 Anti-Immigration