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January 5, 2012 9:07 pm
1

‘Pinkwashing?’ – Forget About Israel

avatar by Vanessa Bressler

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The New York Times building in New York. Photo: Haxorjoe.

How does one translate “pinkwashing?”  After I read a New York Times Op-Ed on November 22nd 2011, I understand it as something between using advances in gay rights as a smokescreen, a marketing tool and taking the gay community for a ride, and that it is one of Israel’s latest sins. Because granting rights to homosexuals is part of “a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians’ human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life. Because Israel is marketing itself as a place for gays and lesbians to vacation and because LGBT people ‘mistakenly judge how advanced a country is by how it responds to homosexuality.'”

What was the reaction to the piece from Israel defenders? defense with a little offense. Defense? Israel is a country where LGBT people have rights (among them: common-law marriage, right to adopt, recognition of foreign same-sex marriages) and are protected against discrimination. For good measure, let’s add that this applies to all LGBT people, regardless of religion. Offense?  You can’t be gay anywhere else in the Middle East; Israel is the only democracy in the region; blah, blah, blah.

Forget about Israel! Who cares?  Read the Op-Ed again.  I did – but I replaced Israel with “What-ever-land“ and references to LGBT people with “women.“ The piece did not only scare me – it also peeved and insulted me and made me feel more like a minority than I usually do (which is not at all). The Op-Ed informed me that I am a thief, an oppressor and a tool – all in one package.

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Shame on me for having rights when other women don’t: for having rights when other minorities don’t. Should it not be, “Shame on the places that brutally rob women of their rights?” No, I ought to be ashamed that I vote, work and am not sold or mutilated. I should apologize to all you mothers out there who fight for your daughters’ rights to an education, all you women who stand up and risk it all, including your lives. But I also feel compelled to warn you that should you ever prevail, you will be an “oppressor.”  You’re a thief for having rights others don’t have and an oppressor because not all have those rights. You’ll be persecuting not only other women but other minorities, as well.

Seriously, none of those rights are the results of societal response to change, facing old demons, or the usual evolving. No, positive developments are part of some Machiavellian plot, a smoke screen, and I, the weak minority, am too clueless to see through it – or may be willing to participate because of my victim mentality. Whichever way you look at it, I am being used. I have no identity but that of my minority. And as such I should side with other minorities – I should have no thoughts of my own, no likes or dislikes. So let’s add a “nothing” to the list – I am a thief, an oppressor, a tool, and a nothing.

Now, while this Op-Ed was a result of a compulsion to bash Israel, the response it seems to have engendered is an equally pathological need to defend Israel. Can’t we just say that it was irrational, (even crazy) to any sane person, and a slap in the face to anyone who has ever fought for human rights?

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  • Jerry Hersch

    Vanessa as you fight for human rights -fight too for a secular America.
    For the past two..maybe four years the Republican Party’s candidates have been vying as to which of them is the more ‘Christain’ and thus more deserving of election.
    Remeber the “Straus” affair in Texas http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/12/09/christian-conservative-replace-jewish-speaker-texan-pols-say/

    There are 6 1/2 – 8 million Jews in American they too are as deserving of respect as the Israeli Jews.
    I feel that the GOP has thrown me “under the bus” but Jews accept this from the GOP because of what they fell is support for Israel–Lip Service suppport.
    I live in rural Georgia ..I have farmed and ranched I know the rhetoric outside the Shetl/ghettos of the Northeast,South Florida and a the few dozen metro area suburbias..The Deep South and the midwest are my stomping grounds -the same area that is the heartland of the GOP vote..probably the same folks through whose areas Jews were afraid to traverse..and not these Jews put their security and Israels in the hands of these folks.
    Believe me the love–or non-love for Jews has not changed in the past decades just the David Duke-ing(more politically correct) rhetoric.Away from Jewish populated areas the anti-Semitism is still thriving and almost all its entirety ensconced in the Republican Party.
    Have you spoken out against the “Christian proving” of American candidates ???

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