Saturday, October 8, 2016

Laurie Josephs' Letter to the Editor of the Miscellany News responding to Prof. Joshua Schreier's "Pinkwashing" Charge against Israel

This letter in response to Prof. Joshua Schreier's "Talk Back" event and his opinion piece in the Miscellany News of Sept. 28, was published on Oct. 5.

Letter to the Editor


Although unwilling to directly debate Bret Stephens regarding Stephens’ purported “pinkwashing,” Professor Schreier offered his thoughts in a closed session “talk back” two days later and in his recent opinion piece in the Miscellany News (09.28.16: “Bret Stephens’ ‘Pinkwashing’ Ignores Israeli State Violence.”).  For those of you who find it difficult to follow Prof. Schreier’s tortured logic, here is his message in distilled form:

“Dear LGBTQ Community:  Although those of you living in the Arab Middle East and many other Muslim-dominant countries are at constant risk of imprisonment, torture and death (including by such choice means as being tossed off roofs or hanged from cranes), not to worry.  I am doing my best to convince students and future leaders of the world that it is racist even to mention such things.  Indeed, I am pushing them to focus instead on demonizing and vilifying the one nation in the Middle East where you can live openly and be true to yourselves, Israel.  And I do this because of all the horrible things that Israel does to Palestinians – you know, the big bad security fence (that almost eliminated the suicide bombings that plagued Israel in the Second Intifada) and the usurping of Palestinian water (never mind that due largely to Israeli efforts, the Palestinian water supply in the West Bank has become much more abundant and technologically advanced than it was prior to 1967).  And of course, there is that “low-octane genocide” accusation that I have been known to fling – notwithstanding that the Palestinian population continues to grow exponentially.  Nope, not to worry.  After all, who knows, someday the Arab and Muslim-dominant nations might change their homophobic ways and, if not, I am sure you don’t mind being sacrificed for the greater good of eliminating the world’s only Jewish state.”
It would indeed be funny were it not so terribly sad that at Vassar, Professor Schreier is the only faculty member teaching courses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.