Over the past few days, I’ve asked Joel Magalnick, editor of Seattle’s JTNews, the community Jewish newspaper, to publish a news story correcting numerous errors in its coverage of the recent Seattle pinkwashing controversy. This involved the cancellation of an Israeli reception by the Seattle City LGBT Commission at the behest of gay peace activists. After he refused to run a story, I asked Magalnick to publish an op-ed to correct the errors. By the way, the Seattle Times published a similarly shoddy news story about the incident and did publish an op-ed by Stefanie Fox, a Jewish Voice for Peace leader who helped organize the protest. Apparently, what Seattle’s leading daily newspaper found appropriate and fair is beneath the JTNews. Magalnick not only refused to publish an op-ed, he wouldn’t even accept it for submission.
I then informed him I’d pay for publication of the op-ed as an ad. After reading my proposed text, he’s refusing even to publish an ad I’m offering to pay for myself unless I make revisions he’s demanding. That’s censorship plain and simple. What’s especially laughable about this is that he’s insisting that my own ad adhere to journalistic standards his own reporter didn’t maintain when the original story was published. If that story had been fair I wouldn’t even have had to do this.
Magalnick’s demanded revisions and his challenges to the accuracy of my claims have enabled me to do further research and not only prove in ironclad fashion what I’ve charged, but strengthened the piece by allowing me to add further evidence. Here’s the latest draft of the planned op-ed/ad.
I expect the ad to run in this coming week’s issue (unless the community leadership finds further reason to stall and censor) and am still soliciting donations to cover the $1,380 cost. So far, I’ve raised over $200 thanks to your generosity. If you want to combat pinkwashing in the NW and throughout the U.S., please help in this effort. Click on the Paypal button in the sidebar and give as generously as you can.
The meaning of “pinkwashing” and the intent of anti-pinkwashers need to be stated and restated. See also “divide and conquer”.
Anti-pinkwashers whom I have heard speak describe “pinkwashing” as expensive, organized, politically-motivated praise for Israel couched as praise for Israel’s alleged slightly greater tolerance for LGBT folks than is to be found in occupied Palestine or in Arab countries.
They see it, reasonably, as an attempt by paid Israeli propaganda (PR, “hasbara”) agents to promote friendliness for Israel, and, importantly, to deflect pro-human rights and pro-Palestinian activism, among the American LGBT community and others.
Being averse to renouncing their own broad human-rights concerns, LGBT anti-pinkwashers are basically saying, “NOT IN MY NAME” to any apparent pro-LGBT efforts to praise Israel for its (small) LGBT advances while ignoring its (LARGE) human rights crimes against Palestinians. This is no different from what non-LGBT Jews and others do under the banner of “NOT IN MY NAME” who oppose Israel’s too-long and otherwise illegally conducted and anti-human rights occupations, and America’s over-the-top support for it.
LGBT folks, like anyone else, are, of course, entitled to seek narrow benefits for themselves and to submit cheerfully to the often duplicitous blandishments of the pinkwashers. SEE Richard’s proposed ad.
But they may also, as we all may, seek and work to advance broad human-rights benefits for all people.
Richard — I like the ad statement very much and your supporters, I’m sure, all thank you for taking this on. I do think that the support for the mission by the Israeli government is a key here and that maybe not enough is made of that. Would the US send LGBT representatives abroad to say what a good place America is to be gay? It’s ridiculous. If LBGT leaders in Israel want to promote Israel, let them do it on their own without political groups and the Israel government in tow. So — the support of Israel is what politicizes the matter and IT should go away before such a visit is entertained as a gay issue on its own merits.
The second emphasis is that Israel isn’t such a grand place for gays in any case. And how gays fare in Arab countries is irrelevant to the purpose of the visit, obviously.
The treatment of gays in Arab countries should not even arise in a properly couched forum.
Bob Mann says
What does this comment mean?
Can you elaborate on what you are saying here?
If the presentation by the Israeli LGBT contigent in Seattle is that Israel is a comfortable place for LGBT, what does this have to do with other countries?