Palestinian and Israeli LGBTQs are being cynically used by the Israeli government and Israeli propaganda in order to “pinkwash” Israel’s international public image. Israeli government, through the ministry of Tourism, makes use of the relative tolerance towards Jewish LGBTQs (especially in Tel Aviv), as a way of diverting attention from the many Israeli war crimes performed in Gaza, the occupied Palestinian territories, and inside Israel itself. Thus, on the backs of the Jewish and Palestinian LGBTQ communities, Israeli propaganda can market a false image of Israel as a “liberal” “progressive” “gay haven”, while demonising Arabic Middle Eastern Cultures and presenting them as inherently LGBT-phobic—an Islamophobic notion whose goal is to further justify Israeli war crimes in Gaza and the occupied territories as well as against Palestinian citizens of Israel.
But Israel’s propagandists continue to try to make pinkwashing work for them, though they’re apparently the only ones who don’t notice the stench it emits.
Photo of two Israeli soldiers holding hands staged by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit transformed into an internet meme image by hasbara blogger Elder of Ziyon.
Pinkwashing involves efforts to portray Israel as a country that espouses ostensibly Western liberal or progressive democratic values such as feminism, gay rights and multiculturalism. The hope is that target audiences will identify with Israel and thus discount concerns about Israel’s human rights abuses against Palestinians.
Or as I put it on another occasion, pinkwashing is an attempt to change the subject: ‘don’t look at Gaza where we’re besieging 1.6 million people, look over here where we’re having a gay pride parade!’
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