Queen’s University’s gender studies department, which issued a statement of solidarity with Palestine that denounced Israel as a “settler colonial state,” is staying mum on Palestine’s brutal treatment of LGBTQ people. 

The department has ignored several requests from True North asking if they condemn Palestine’s treatment of LGBTQ people, and if they support Israel serving as a safe haven for the LGBTQ in the Middle East.

In a statement published on Queen’s website in late October, the Gender Studies department attempted to contextualize the events in Israel, noting “this escalation of violence does not stand in or by itself. Neither should it be interpreted outside of ongoing settler colonialism, occupation and dehumanization.”

“We condemn all forms of violence starting with the fast violence that costs human lives in Israel as well as Palestine.  And we condemn the slow violence of living under conditions of occupation in an ‘open air prison’ and being denied basic human rights.” 

The department went on to defend what has been referred to in commentary culture as “Queers for Palestine,” condemning the west for “erasing” their existence.

“We condemn the erasure of trans and queer Palestinians as integral to their communities, along with the many ways powerful politicians and the media refer to all Palestinians as terrorists or dehumanize them through forms of animalization.”

They, however, offered no comment on Palestine’s treatment of trans and queer people. 

The department added that “we who live on Turtle Island want to take seriously our responsibility as residents of another settler colonial state which has perpetrated and continues to perpetuate unfathomable violence against Indigenous peoples.”

“All settler colonialism is interconnected.”

“It thus becomes even more urgent to engage in practices of multi-directional solidarity, as already bravely used by Black, Indigenous, People of Color and Jewish people, especially trans and queer folks, to challenge these deadly and murderous dynamics and to imagine and practice life-affirming alternatives for all.”

According to human rights watchdogs, Palestine is one of the worst places in the world to be LGBTQ.

LGBTQ database website Equaldex, which measures the current status of LGBTQ rights, laws, and freedoms as well as public attitudes towards LGBTQ people, ranks Palestine 190 out of 197 countries. 

According to polling, 95% of Palestinians oppose homosexuality, and 93% say society should not accept homosexuals. 

Homosexuality is also a criminal offense in Gaza, and in the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority police have banned activities by a LGBTQ rights groups.

There are multiple examples of homosexuals being killed in Palestine, including Gay Palestinian Ahmad Abu Marhia, who was beheaded in the West Bank last year, as well as reports of men being beaten and tortured by Hamas in Gaza.

In a sermon last year at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Palestinian Islamic Scholar Mohammed Saleem Ali said, “Our Muslim Palestinian people will not accept a single homosexual openly declaring his abomination.”

“Our people will not allow there to be institutions that promote this abomination, on the blessed, and pure land of Palestine. They will not allow any omission or change to the laws of the sharia, nor will they accept curricula that go against the laws of Islam.”

Queen’s gender studies department support for Palestine has received criticism from Jewish members of the LGBT community.

“It is beyond me as a Jewish lesbian that the woke in university gender studies and other useless departments can support a part of the world where women are subjugated and trans and queer people, if found out, would be sent to their deaths,” True North’s Sue-Ann Levy said.

She called the situation a form of “split brain syndrome” — whereby progressives twist themselves into pretzels to justify Jew hatred. 

“They convince themselves it’s all about fighting a so-called occupation by Israel that doesn’t exist and that the Palestinians are oppressed — while conveniently ignoring that these people hate them for who they are.”