Pro-LGBTQ Arab firm wins Israeli support against boycott

Dozens of Israeli diplomats around the world purchased 600 hundred pounds of tahini to support the company Al-Arz against a boycott led by conservative anti-LGBTQ+ Muslims.

Al-Arz tahini

Julia Zaher, the Arab-Israeli philanthropist and company CEO, became a target of conservative Muslim clerics after she gave a significant donation to the Israeli LGBTQ group Aguda for an Arabic-language hotline for LGBTQ youth.

A boycott quickly went viral with shopkeepers posting videos in which they denounced LGBTQ rights and destroyed boxes of tahini.

Local gay activist Khader Abu Saif said the backlash to the protest shows that more people are coming to accept Arab LGBT people:

“It shows you that we are experiencing some change and starting to gain some power. People have begun to understand that in every extended Arab family in the country there is at least one person who is LGBT.”

Awareness and acceptance of LGBTQ+ Arabs is “an explosive issue in Arab society in general and Muslim society in particular,”  Equal Eyes noted.

(From Hebrew-language Walla via UNAIDS’ Equal Eyes news briefs)


Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Location of Tunisia (Map courtesy of Human Rights Watch)

On appeal, Tunisian court imposes 1-year prison term for gay sex

Barbados tells bosses it’s OK to fire trans workers without cause