A number of you will remember my post about the battle I had with the local Jewish community leadership and media about the Israeli LGBT delegation sent here to Seattle on a pinkwashing mission. My effort to have the local Jewish newspaper, the JTNews, either publish a fair news article or an op-ed contribution was rebuffed vigorously by the editor, Joel Magalnick. The publisher, Peter Horvitz and other community leaders to whom I appealed had no interest in correcting numerous errors in their coverage.
At that point I appealed to you, my readers, for an ad to be published in that paper which would lay out the facts and issues as they should’ve been in the original coverage. You contributed generously.
I decided to take a slightly different tack. I published an op-ed in the Seattle Times which laid out my constructive vision of what a future Seattle LGBT presentation should look like. I wrote an expanded essay on this issue that covered not only the local issues in Seattle, but added a pinkwashing incident at a gay rights symposium in Philadelphia that featured Israel’s Ambassador Michael Oren as a keynote speaker.
I also approached Tikkun Magazine about publishing a joint statement by Rabbi Rebecca Alpert and Columbia University law Professor Katherine Franke explaining why they rejected an invitation to speak at the symposium in protest of Israel’s campaign. The editors graciously published the statement.
Now Tikkun has just published my essay at their website under the title, U.S. Gay Rights Activists: Stop Pinkwashing Palestinian Suffering. I hope you’ll read it and promote it in social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. It’s an issue of growing importance as the Israeli government seeks ever newer ways of promoting its brand and white-washing its human rights record.
To all those of you who contributed toward the ad, I now plan to place one to promote both the Tikkun article and an op-ed I wrote which the Seattle Times published on a similar subject. I urge you to contribute to defray the costs if you haven’t already done so.
Bob Mann says
Congratulations on getting published there!
You have done quite a lot to draw attention to this idea of pinkwashing.
It seems to be continuing to pick up steam, thanks, in no small part, to your efforts.
Hopefully a day will come soon where civil rights for gays around the world will be so ordinary that no country will be able to use the issue for public relations purposes.
RE: Tikkun has just published my essay at their website under the title, U.S. Gay Rights Activists: Stop Pinkwashing Palestinian Suffering. ~ R.S.
MY COMMENT: An excellent, well-written article!
Richard Silverstein says
Thank you, my friend!
Pink Washing is just a small part of it.
Israel’s have the audacity to tout the fact that since 1967, the life expectancy among the Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza went from 48 years to 72 (compared with an average of 68 years for all the countries of the Middle East and North Africa), and Israeli medical programs reduced the infant-mortality rate of the Palestinians, from 60 per 1,000 live births in 1967, to 15 per 1,000 in 2000 (in Iraq the rate was 64, in Egypt 40, in Jordan 23, in Syria 22)
In addition, have the nerve to brag that, under their systematic program of inoculation, childhood diseases like polio, whooping cough, tetanus, and measles were eradicated in the West Bank and Gaza.
Shame on Israel!
Richard Silverstein says
Wow, Israel did all those things for the Palestinians?? How generous & magnanimous! I had no idea that Israel directly provided medical care, supervision & training to Palestinian doctors. So you’re lying claim is that Israel is personally responsible for advances in Palestinian medicine? Can you provide even a shred of evidence to support this nonsense.
Hasbarists AROIS (hachutza for Hebrew speakers among us)!