Saving Gaza with a Queer intifada
Saving the world with slam poetry
This article is taken from the December-January 2024 issue of The Critic. To get the full magazine why not subscribe? Right now we’re offering five issues for just £10.
People often ask me how best to solve the crisis in the Middle East. Perhaps this is because I have close personal experience of different cultures, having spent part of my gap year on one of my father’s private islands in the Seychelles. (Also, when I was a child we had a Vietnamese au pair; I can’t remember its name.)
The answer to the Middle East conflict is simple: intersectional slam poetry. I recently announced that I will soon be touring Gaza, Iran and Saudi Arabia — mostly vegan cafes and community centres — in order to perform my poems and spread the message of diversity, equity and inclusion.
I will be accompanied by my friends from the “Queers for Palestine” collective, who will doubtless receive a warm welcome. Unlike Britain, there has never been a single arrest for homophobic hate crime in the whole recorded history of Palestine. Gay people in Arab nations are out and proud and are known to happily shout it from the rooftops.
Some critics of the pro-Palestine movement have accused us of supporting terrorism, but this is simply a misunderstanding. When the Chicago chapter of Black Lives Matter tweeted “I stand with Palestine” along with an image of a paraglider, this wasn’t a reference to Hamas. It was simply because they were being sponsored by a firm that specialises in outdoor activities and adventure sports. How else would BLM be able to afford all those mansions in California as a base for their important social justice work?
And when protesters in London were calling for “jihad”, this was also widely misinterpreted. As the Met Police pointed out, “jihad” has multiple meanings. So while it can mean a holy war, in most cases it’s more like a yoga retreat. In fact, I went for a really nice jihad at my local spa last week. I treated myself to an intifada, which is a kind of facial massage with lavender and tea tree oils.
And before anyone accuses me of being antisemitic, I should point out that I am a huge fan of Barbra Streisand and low-carb bagels. I also have a chinchilla called Fagin.
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