Unfortunately, anti-Israel propaganda is ever evolving within the campus environment. The newest charge against Israel is made of pure ridiculousness. This charge is called pinkwashing. “In April, the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) at the City University of New York hosted a conference on “Homonationalism and Pinkwashing.” This is yet another example of academia’s attempt to gather bits of what they believe to be fact and string them together to formally defame Israel and promote BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movements.
According to Tablet Magazine, “Homonationalism,” according to a description on the conference website, is the apparently noxious new phenomenon that “occurs when sub-sectors of specific gay communities achieve legal parity with heterosexuals and then embrace racial and religious supremacy ideologies”—including being proud of Israel’s record of respecting and upholding the rights of gay citizens and visitors. “Pinkwashing,” meanwhile, describes a “deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians’ human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life.” The term pinkwashing was first used by Jasbir Puar, a women’s studies professor at Rutgers University; however, Sarah Schulman made the term a recognizable term.
Pinkwashing is ridiculous and, quite frankly, a falsehood. The fact is that Israel is the only country in the Middle East with an annual gay pride parade. It’s also the only viable democracy in the Middle East, which means that homosexuals are not persecuted in any way based on their sexual orientation. The pinkwashing accusers believe that these arguments are used to cover up alleged human rights abuses in Palestinian territories. However, if pro-gay falsies were enough to cover up acts of violence, the Arabic countries would have picked up this tactic.
Additionally, gay rights in Israel are not meant to be simply rights for homosexuals. These rights not only represent equality amongst all Israelis, but also their ability to change laws. Gay rights represent equality and freedom of expression combined. Gays and lesbians in Israel fought and struggled for their rights. If people in any of the countries around Israel were to even say that they were gay, they would open themselves to violent attacks. Those who accuse Israel of pinkwashing blatantly ignore the homophobia in Palestinian territories. The truth is that pinkwashing is not only not backed up by fact, but is not a viable strategy for Israel. One can still make a case for Israel without talking about gay rights.
Contributed by CAMERA Intern Rachel Wolf
Rachel Wolf has had two posts in our blog, Spoon Feeding and Misguided Anti SodaStream Protestors at American University, picked up by the Algemeiner. She is a rising sophomore at American University and currently starting a CAMERA Campus Activist Project group on her own campus.