July 06, 2015

"Shunned": A film about Palestinian gays and lesbians in Israel

Ezra LevantRebel Commander

The Rebel is proud to present the world online premiere of Shunned, a documentary by Igal Hecht about Palestinian gays and lesbians seeking refuge in Israel.

See, in North America, we argue over whether or not bakeries should be compelled to bake gay wedding cakes. In much of the Muslim world, the gay rights issues are different: they debate whether to hang gays, as they do in Iran; or throw them off the tops of buildings, as they do in the new Islamic State.

Shunned shows western liberal audiences — who often condemn Israel, for trumped up "human rights offenses” — that when it comes to basic civil rights, Israel is miles ahead of any other country in the region.

Soon we'll be airing other documentaries about Israel, like Not In My Name (a critique of anti-Israel leftist Jews) and Hilltops (about Jewish settlements in the West Bank.)

The Rebel has also commissioned the production of two new original films:

The Arab Reality (about Arab and Muslim Zionists) and Women of the IDF.

PLUS: The Rebel is planning to hire a full-time mobile journalist in Israel, who will also travel to Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey.

We're crowdfunding all these great projects.

Can we count on your support to help counter all the anti-Israel messages out there?

To learn more and DONATE, CLICK HERE to visit our ISRAEL PROJECTS: Crowdfunding page.

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commented 2015-07-08 10:13:21 -0400
I’m a bit confused by your query, TC. You seem to be saying that apart from the folks who express their loathing of gays, their believe that homosexuality is a divinely prohibited abomination and that gays are conspiring to corrupt our youth, our country and our Very Civilization, you’re not seeing any anti gay sentiments expressed here. Forgive me, but isn’t that a bit like saying that if you ignore everyone who doesn’t like people of races other than their own, there’s no racism problem?
commented 2015-07-07 16:49:42 -0400
Terry, I admit I don’t read the more vitriolic posts here by some of our more colourful posters, but I have yet to see any anti-gay comments, here or before on SNN. I have seen a couple of, I’ll say well meaning religious types who are sadly misinformed about the nature of sexuality and homosexuality but nothing threatening or negative except in their ignorance. I haven’t seen anyone calling for gays to be thrown off rooftops, or making it illegal again, or any kind of restrictions or censure of gays in any way. Even in the stories about gay porn at school, even linking such things to Wynne. Quite the opposite, usually. Who’s saying these things?
commented 2015-07-07 10:31:25 -0400
“I am supposed to care you thought the production was low brow? "
You’re not “supposed to care about” about anything. I didn’t think the production was “low brow” – I though it was poorly scripted and produced.
“The point is, Israel is vilified and lied about. Gays are indeed accepted in Israel.”
I wasn’t aware that was in dispute. Despite some backlash in the Hasidim community, similar to some of the anti-gay sentiments of some extreme right wingers here, Israel is vastly more progressive on LGBT issues than its neighbours.
commented 2015-07-07 10:11:07 -0400
So, we have “proof positive” that the gay community has it pretty good here, as compared to other nations. On the flip side, we have the Muslim lobbyists demanding Sharia law, and the “rights groups” ostensibly supporting them. With all these “rights” being demanded, what is GLAAD et al going to do when Sharia demands the same treatment of them as this film documents? Whose rights trumps whose?
commented 2015-07-07 10:10:30 -0400
You’d think it was up for a production award at the Cannes Film Festival! lol. But Terry, what is your opinion on the subject matter? I am supposed to care you thought the production was low brow?

The point is, Israel is vilified and lied about. Gays are indeed accepted in Israel. In the Muslim world they get thrown off a roof or dragged by a rope behind a motorcycle. Hamas lies about Israel ,cheats and are the murdering war criminals.

Good post Linda Cayer, I agree, and I stand with Israel as well.
commented 2015-07-07 06:57:11 -0400
That’s the problem with touting a film on the basis of its ideological stance rather than its journalistic or artistic merits. A certain excellent repertoire cinema here in Ottawa devotes a weekend every year to “environmental documentaries”, which are inevitably beautiful, argumentative, poorly researched, and highly politicized. On the Conservative side, I have no idea whether Fred Litwin’s right wing film fest still runs, but I stopped going after the second year – not because I disagreed with the films (although in most cases I did), but largely because the films, and the arguments they were presenting, were so dreadfully made. Good intentions and a political message do not a good film make.
Token C., on this film and the CBC – yeah, I concede they have run some bad docs. But even the bad ones (i.e., some of the weirder Hot Docs series) are usually structurally or stylistically interesting, Not always, for sure: but I don’t think a glum, dry sermonette like this one would pass muster.
commented 2015-07-07 06:45:52 -0400
Rick: Yes, I’m aware the film was acquired by the Rebel, not produced by them. What made you think otherwise?
commented 2015-07-07 01:05:53 -0400
I must confess, I watched half of the film and found it to be tediously boring, so I quit watching. I get it. Arab and Muslim gays and lesbians aren’t discriminated against in Israel the way they are in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. That’s a good thing. You could have just told me that and I would have said “That’s a good thing”. Following them around with a camera as they go about their daily lives isn’t my idea of a fun evening.
commented 2015-07-07 00:46:43 -0400
Israel is a miracle. A hand full of people with a dream of a safe refuge they could call their own created an oasis of democracy in a hostIle world and reaped a living from the land.
I have always admired the Israelis and I stand by them now.
commented 2015-07-06 23:45:36 -0400
I agree with Terry (GASP!) in his technical descriptions, but not the final verdict. I say it would fit right in at CBC. I’ve seen many documentaries from there that have the same criticisms of it as he has of this one. Mundane at best.
commented 2015-07-06 23:29:18 -0400
Are there no tall buildings in Israel ? Just kidding. You have a lot of very harsh critics. I found the whole documentary to be excellent. For me—- it showed the homo side which I am in the process of accepting and also the Jewish side and also the Arab side. I find it to be amazing that the Arab homos go to Israel to be ‘free’ but they still feel imprisoned. What a crazy mindset. Do Arabs that come to Canada still feel imprisoned by our Freedom? How can you win with logic like that? I guess they like to pick and choose the ’freedoms ’ before they feel victimized and incarcerated. I did not know that Israel was that Free. I really didn’t. For me , this was a total learning experience as all my info comes from the Media and some rather dubious Bloggers. My thanks will be in the mail.
commented 2015-07-06 23:25:44 -0400
“Actually, it wouldn’t have made the cut at CBC – earnest and technically competent, but visually dead, no rhythm, no pacing, and no passion. Like a grad student’s thesis project – the one they go back and re-shoot when they finally get their chops down.” Peter. I think you may have given Terry credit too soon. I don’t think he read the credits at the end. TheRebel did not produce this film. They have only obtained it.
commented 2015-07-06 23:21:40 -0400
Okay, now that is the critical Terry we all know and love! I must be back in the proper universe now. Whew!
commented 2015-07-06 23:21:32 -0400
Joan. The “sarcasm” you refer to was directed at those who come on this site and take demeaning shots at “Conservatives”. It was not directed at the Conservative Party. I tend to think, based on some of the comments coming from the other Federal Parties, that Conservatives can be very forthcoming in their viewpoints. This favours PM Harper’s support of Israel of which I think shows fortitude and courage in a sea of negativity. I am well aware of sexual orientation as it pertains to all parties. Thanks for your question though.
commented 2015-07-06 23:04:02 -0400
" The whole thing was very … CBC-ish." Actually, it wouldn’t have made the cut at CBC – earnest and technically competent, but visually dead, no rhythm, no pacing, and no passion. Like a grad student’s thesis project – the one they go back and re-shoot when they finally get their chops down.
commented 2015-07-06 22:32:15 -0400
Bored the heck out of me. The lives of Israeli gays sounds a whole lot of like the lives of gay people pretty much everywhere else. It was interesting to see the other side, in the West Bank et al but that also was pretty much what I suspected. The whole thing was very … CBC-ish. Sorry if that offends anyone, but it’s my opinion.
commented 2015-07-06 22:30:07 -0400
“Liz May’s head is going to explode.”

That might be fun to watch!
commented 2015-07-06 22:28:50 -0400
I enjoyed the film, Ezra. Thanks for making space for true human rights. Thanks for supporting the human right of gay people in a democracy to not be “shunned”.
commented 2015-07-06 22:24:54 -0400
Rick, I’m not sure I “get” your sarcasm. Why wouldn’t PM Harper’s Canada support this sort of film?

Check this out, if you doubt there have always been lots of homosexuals in the Conservative Party: http://www.lgbtory.ca
commented 2015-07-06 22:18:11 -0400
Liz May’s head is going to explode.
commented 2015-07-06 22:13:52 -0400
I know, this is an alternate universe. One where Terry is not a troll! I must have touched a quantum mirror somewhere.
commented 2015-07-06 21:56:50 -0400
A positive comment from Terry Rudden about TheRebel? This cannot be! I must have misread that comment!
commented 2015-07-06 21:49:47 -0400
It’s encouraging to see so much support at the Rebel for a sympathetic documentary on LGBT issues. I look forward to seeing this new, enlightened stance reflected in the next discussion of LGBT issues in Canada on this site.
commented 2015-07-06 21:41:18 -0400
Verdict: A well made slice of life style documentary introducing aspects of Arab tribal and Muslim mores with deep rooted conflicting views towards the sexual realities found in today’s world.
commented 2015-07-06 21:17:37 -0400
Thank You TheRebel for that. Enlightening! The hypocrisy of the Socialist Media is astounding given they would ignore things like this and instead disparage Israel at every opportunity. Note to our resident lefty trolls. This film received help from Canada when (gasp!) Stephen Harper’s Conservatives were in power!
commented 2015-07-06 21:11:14 -0400
With all due respect Mr. Levant, I seldom watch films, even “serious documentaries.” I looked after my husband who was blind and very deaf for 9 years and we spent our time listening to music, or my reading to him or just talking about all sorts of topics, but we did not watch movies, and now I simply can’t watch them. I feel sorry for homosexuals and lesbians who are mistreated in any country. The situation in the Middle East is that the only safe place for these people is in Israel. Fine, that’s is all I feel I have to know. I do not want to hear about barbaric acts against people. It leaves me feeling ill. I do hope that viewers with a different history will offer you support. (On another topic, but related to the item on Rebel about the 24-year old Belgian woman facing extermination, the June 22, 2015 issue of the New Yorker has a long article about the situation in Belgium with regard to euthanasia.) I appreciate your efforts with respect to Israel, as well as the many other issues you bring to our attention.
commented 2015-07-06 20:13:56 -0400
So – the homosexual islamics run to Israel for protection when their own people will kill them if they stay.

Interesting – I wonder why mainstream media does not publish that little factoid?

Having lived in Israel for a long time I can tell you it is far different there than the media likes to portray.