Screen-Shot-2013-02-11-at-2.13.49-PMUnited States: Boston University Students for Israel have hosted filmmaker Michael Lucas to talk about gay men in the Promised Land.

It also screened his documentary March 24 entitled Undressing Israel: Gay Men In The Promised Land, reports dailyfreepress.com.

About 20 students came to the College of Arts and Sciences to view the film, which portrayed increasing acceptance and prevalence of gay life in Tel Aviv.

Attendees were able to ask Lucas about the documentary in a question and answer session after its conclusion.

“I’ve been going to Israel for such a long time,” Lucas said. “It’s a very open society toward gay people.”

BUSI President Danny Hochberg, a School of Management sophomore, said the film provided insight into a largely unknown facet of Israeli culture.

“I think that this event helped show how a country that a lot of BU students don’t really know about has made a great gay community in Israel,” he said.

Lucas said it was important to portray Israel in a positive light, which is BUSI’s primary goal.

“The only thing that you see on the news is about Israel and its Arab neighbors, and about the conflict between Israelis and Arabs,” Lucas said. “I wanted to bring gay tourists to Israel.”

BUSI member Raphael Fils, a College of General Studies sophomore, scheduled Lucas’ visit to BU after learning he was also screening his film at Northeastern University.

“It was a side of Israel people don’t normally hear about,” Fils said. “I thought it was the perfect opportunity to show a lot of people how their misconceptions of Israel are not really true. It’s a gay-friendly place, and it’s really progressive.”

Lucas’ film claimed that over the past decade, the amount of openly gay couples in Israel has increased by about 80 percent. The film focused not only on improving political conditions for homosexuals in Israel, but also the rapid development of openly gay culture in the country.

Several journalists and other critics of Israeli have often claimed that the country is guilty of “pinkwashing,” a term used to describe Israel’s alleged advertisement of gay-friendliness to distract international attention from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Fils said he did not feel Lucas’ film, criticized for “pinkwashing,” was guilty of doing so.

“It’s OK to criticize Israel, because Israel’s not a perfect country, as other countries are not perfect,” he said.

Israel is one of the more progressive states in the world regarding the rights of gays and lesbians and the most pro gay in West Asia where same sex relations are harshly criminalized and often incur the death sentence.

Source: dailyfreepress.com

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