home news topics photos press opinion donate contact



GLN permalink 11-8-2012

"Pinkwashing" is the Israeli regime's cynical use of gay rights to distract from and normalize Israeli occupation, settler colonialism, and apartheid.

Even before the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, terror was used to drive Palestinians from their land. An ever expanding entity, Israel has annexed Palestinian land thru war and settlement construction. A physical wall has been constructed to separate Palestinians from Israel, and Israel has been increasingly condemned as an "apartheid state," similar to the white minority that despotically ruled an overwhelmingly black South Africa.

Trying to burnish its tarnished image world-wide, and working with US marketing executives, the Israeli regime launched a public relations project in 2005 called "Brand Israel." The campaign sought to depict Israel as "relevant and modern." In 2011 it was expanded to harness Israeli gays into the project. The $90M promotion, supported by the Tel Aviv Tourism Board and consulates of the Israeli government overseas, depicted gay couples frolicking on beaches and having a good time at bars. It also financed Israeli films depicting LGBTs in a favorable light to be shown at gay film festivals in the US.

The growing global gay movement against the Israeli occupation has a label for these tactics: "pinkwashing," which is the deliberate strategy of concealing on-going violations of Palestinians' human rights behind an image of so-called "modernity" involving show-casing Israeli warm "acceptance" of gay life.

Meanwhile, beneath this phony, cosmetic surface, Israeli conservative and religious leaders remain fiercely homophobic, as evidenced by the blocking of a gay parade in Jerusalem several years ago by Orthodox rabbis joined by anti-gay Christian and Muslim leaders. The gains that have been realized by Israeli LGBTs are due to organizing on the ground by the gay community and its non-gay allies, not by an allegedly benevolent government that cynically attempts to marry "support" of Israeli gay life to its viciously anti-Palestinian policies.

For more information about how to get involved in boycotting Israeli products and cultural events, please go to the following sites.

Chicago Divests

Jewish Voice for Peace Chicago

Students for Justice in Palestine Chicago

Pinkwatching Israel

Gay Liberation Network


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.