A Palestinian artist who painted an LGBT rainbow on a security wall in the West Bank has angered many within the area, where homosexuality is illegal.
Khaled Jarrar– who, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is now legal in all 50 states, drew the LGBT rainbow on the wall to draw attention to the Israeli “occupation”– was disappointed that his own people decided to abruptly paint over his art on a security barrier.
The security walls, which divide the West Bank and Israeli territory, were erected following the first and second intifada – when Palestinian terrorists launched wide-scale attacks against Israel’s Jewish population.
The painting “ignited angry responses and [Palestinian] activists whitewashed the gflad on Monday night, just a few hours after it was painted,” the Associated Press reports.
Jarrar told the AP that the whitewashing “reflects the absence of tolerance and freedoms in the Palestinian society.”
“People don’t accept different thinking in our society,” he added.
Muhammad al-Amleh, a lawyer, disagreed that Jarrar should have the right to free speech, telling the AP, “It would be shameful to have the flag of gays in our refugee camp.”
Another man named Muhammad, who participated in erasing the painting, said, “We cannot promote gay rights” in the Palestinian-controlled West Bank.
Israel, which sits on the other side of the fence, has a flourishing LGBT community. Earlier in June, over 100,000 people attended the annual gay pride parade in Tel Aviv.