Monday, October 10, 2016

One Vassar Student's Perspective on "Pinkwashing"

Readers might also be interested in this student letter to the editor of the Miscellany News, which was apparently also in response to Prof. Joshua Schreier's op-ed ("Bret Stephens’ ‘pinkwashing’ ignores Israeli state violence" 9/28/16):

Claims of ‘pinkwashing’ rely on toxic, antisemitic tropes

By JESSER HOROWITZ on October 5, 2016

Israel is the only safe place for homosexuals in the Middle East. In Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, homosexual­ity is punishable by death. In Gaza, homosexu­ality is illegal. In the West Bank, homosexual­ity is legal, but being outed would be a death sentence (Washington Post, “The State of Gay Rights Around the World”, 06.14.2016).

Israeli attitudes toward homosexuality are far less than perfect. Like every country, it has its fair share of bigots. However, Israel, unlike most countries in the world, recognizes same-sex marriages performed outside the country, wel­comes LGBTQ+ people to serve in the military and allows same-sex couples to adopt children jointly. Tel Aviv is even considered one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world.

What if I told you that by giving you that se­ries of objectively truthful information, I played my part in a global Zionist conspiracy to distract the world media from Israel’s human rights vio­lations against the Palestinian people by co-opt­ing the cause of LGBTQ+ rights?

You’d probably say that I’m an idiot, an an­tisemite and that I should go back to 4chan. That’s because you are at least a semi-rational person. However, that is the philosophical basis of pinkwashing, an idea that has gained popu­larity among supporters of the BDS movement, anti-Zionists and other fervent critics of Israel.

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Read the full letter here.