Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90
Hamas terrorist in Gaza.

Last November, when the group “Queers 4 Palestine” started demonstrating in London and North American cities in support the Hamas and PA terrorists, British pundit Brendan O’Neill wrote in The Telegraph (‘Queers for Palestine’ must have a death wish): “For all their zaniness, surely not even purple-haired, post-gender activists would take to the streets, Pride flag in hand, to champion a country that would jail them, if they’re lucky, and bump them off if they’re not.”

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“But it’s not a joke,” O’Neill continued. “These people are real. This is where wokeness has taken us – to a situation where the young of the West are throwing their lot in with a regime that would throw them from a top floor given half a chance.”

On Wednesday, Haaretz published a lengthy report titled, “Documents from Gaza reveal details of the execution of a Hamas commander because he was gay.” The report is based on a recent IDF discovery of located the Ishtiwi file in a tunnel, during an operation in Khan Younis. Mahmoud Ishtiwi, a senior Hamas official, was executed in February 2016, after being accused of being gay.

“I endured torture that no one has endured in Palestine, not at the hands of the Palestinian Authority, nor the hands of the Jews – but at the hands of the internal security of Hamas,” Ishtiwi wrote. Hamas kept his execution a secret for years until the IDF exposed it.

Ishtiwi, who was 33 when the investigation against him was opened in 2015, was the commander of Hamas’s Zeitoon Battalion, but his rank was equivalent to an IDF brigadier general. He was married to two women, and the scion of an aristocratic family with close ties to the Hamas leadership. Nevertheless, Hamas’s internal security received information that he was having intimate relations with a neighbor and collaborated with Israel.

It should be noted that being gay raised a red flag with Hamas’s internal security because a common practice of the Shin Bet has been to threaten to expose homosexual detainees unless they agreed to provide information to Israel.

In his interrogations, Ishtiwi confirmed that he collaborated with Israel, but his case file includes a note that his confession was extracted using torture. Ishtiwi’s interrogators also accused him of corruption and embezzlement of Hamas funds for his leisure, but Ishtiwi insisted that every penny was spent for the cause, boasting that tunnels he constructed resisted the IDF attacks during the 2014 Gaza war.

The documents discovered by the IDF show that during his interrogations over collaboration with Israel, Ishtiwi was brought before Yahya Sinwar, who told him a Sharia court would execute him, but if he confessed to being a collaborator with Israel, Sinwar himself would guarantee his safety. In the end, Sinwar broke his promise, and Ishtiwi was executed even after being acquitted of the charges of collaborating with Israel.

A secret classified document from December 2019, deals with monitoring “un-Islamic” activity among Hamas activists, including drug use, illicit relations with girls, pedophilia, and stealing. The document showed that members who strayed morally would be easily turned by the Israelis who would threaten to expose them. But the most severe measures were taken against homosexuals, who were automatically labeled as collaborators with Israel, an offense punishable by death.

A transcript of Ishtiwi’s meeting with his family members quotes him as saying he had undergone 1,200 hours of torture that included being whipped some 500 lashes for four hours until there was blood in his urine, being hanged by his arms and pushed pendulum-fashion for 20 to 24 hours. He wrote in a journal: “I was beaten, tied up, stripped of my skin, humiliated, spat on, they put a bag over my head, and all this when they didn’t have even the slightest bit of evidence against me.”

On December 3, 2023, an organizer of Queers 4 Palestine – Winnipeg announced: “These acts of repression are attempts to smother truth, to scare us into silence, to force us all into retreat, to pressure us into scaling back our calls for a just peace in Palestine. That is why now, more than ever, we as a movement must act as one. Acting as one means charging forward.”

Brendan O’Neill noted that “if these virtue-signallers were to get their way, and the only thing that existed between ‘the river and the sea’ was Palestine, Palestinian homosexuals would suffer unimaginably. The removal of Israel and the emboldening of Hamas would make life intolerable, unlivable in fact, for gay Palestinians. With friends like this, who needs homophobic oppressors?

“This is what happens when advertising one’s virtue takes precedence over thinking carefully about other people’s needs; when the narcissistic needs of spoiled Westerners are accorded more importance than the rights of faraway peoples. All that matters in the self-regarding moral universe of ‘Queers for Palestine’ is the warm glow experienced by those who march behind that deranged banner. Actual Palestinians – gay, straight, whatever – are little more than bit-part players in the self-promoting morality plays of well-off Westerners keen to advertise their decency to the world.”

Alas, I suspect that few Queers 4 Palestine spoiled Westerners read The Jewish Press regularly.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.