ADL, LGBT Group Slam CUNY for Sponsorship of Anti-Israel ‘Pinkwashing’ Conference

June 13, 2012 11:24 am 5 comments

Street in Tel Aviv prepared for gay pride week and the city's gay pride parade. Photo: www.sizedoesntmatter.com.

The Anti-Defamation League and a Jewish LGBT group have blasted a conference being planned by the The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at City University of New York that intends to accuse Israel of using their strong record on gay rights to detract from the “oppression of Palestinians.”

“This conference is not an academic exercise designed to promote and encourage different points of view on LGBT issues; it is simply a venue to criticize Israel for the most absurd reasons,” Abraham Foxman, the national director of the ADL told The Algemeiner. ”The academic community should find the conference abhorrent, because it disregards the key aspects faced by the LGBT community which is global repression in many other countries.”

“The conference smacks of an effort to discredit Israel,” Foxman said.

The “Homonationalism and Pinkwashing” conference, scheduled for April of 2013, will examine what its planners claim is a concerted effort by Israel to market its positive relationship with the gay community to detract from the “oppression of Palestinians”.

The Graduate Center at CUNY defended its hosting of the conference saying it is supportive of providing a platform for students to discuss issues from different perspectives.

“As a diverse and intellectually robust institution, the Graduate Center embraces the academic tradition of providing a forum for discussion across the spectrum of ideas and points of view,” Jane Trombley, Executive Director for Communications at CUNY’s Graduate Center said in an email to The Algemeiner. “With the proposed conference sponsored by The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) still 8-9 months out, it is too early to comment on any specifics concerning the event.”

Foxman called CUNY’s co-sponsorship “inappropriate and abhorrent”. “We will reach out and try to convince them not to sponsor the conference,” he said.

Gay, lesbian, and transgender rights in Israel have been championed by the LGBT community for years now, including Tel Aviv being named the “Best Gay City of 2011″ in an American Airlines competition that polled LGBT tourists on their favorite destinations.

Jayson Littman, who leads the organization HE’BRO – a promoter of gay Jewish events throughout New York City -, says a group of LGBT academics who traveled to the Palestinian territories and a New York Times op-ed from late 2011 are the driving forces behind the conference.

“The main reason why everything is happening now is because there was a group of academics who went to the Palestinian territories in January, and those 15 queer academics have toured around the country since then, promoting the idea of Palestinian suffrage,” Littman told The Algemeiner. “That, and the New York Times article from last year.”

Littman is referring to an op-ed written by Sara Schulman, who will reportedly be taking part in CLAGS’ conference, in which she writes that the progress made by gay rights activism is being co-opted by Western European governments, as well as Israel.

“After generations of sacrifice and organization, gay people in parts of the world have won protection from discrimination and relationship recognition. But these changes have given rise to a nefarious phenomenon: the co-opting of white gay people by anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim political forces in Western Europe and Israel,” she wrote in November of 2011.

“I went to a forum of these American academics,” Littman told The Algemeiner, “and one of them told the crowd they were instructed ‘not to come out as gay’ to their Palestinian hosts because they wouldn’t be okay with it. This is where the real pinkwashing is happening.”

Last week, CUNY Trustee Jeffrey Wiesenfeld called the conference “disgusting” in an interview with The Algemeiner.

CLAGS has not returned numerous requests for comment made by The Algemeiner.

5 Comments

  • The rainbow was the first covenant *Genesis 9:13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. (Noah was building the Bible, with stories as an ark *Genesis 6:16). Notice, the ark of God was taken, *1st Samuel 4:22. Man broke the first covenant with God! (Ezekiel 17:19). *Hebrews 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. (The new covenant is Hebrews 8:10) The new covenant is (Jeremiah 31:33) *Reading Hebrews 8:9 & Jeremiah 31:32 is the new convenant for the Jews of the Bible! Remember, the heart of man is wicked (Ezekiel 11:17)

  • Jill Schaeffer

    The whole point – if it still is not clear – is to discredit Israel’s concern for human rights – regardless. Polarization is the name of the game, and The United States and Israel are anti-human rights. But good folks, like Assad, certainly are for human rights, if not for LGBT type persons who I guess are not human so don’t qualify. Palestinians don’t like LGBT people, sorry, creatures, either.

    Anyway, the Conference is insane as well as disgusting.

  • bs”d

    It is interesting that the LGBT group uses the rainbow as their symbol. Actually the Flood occurred because the populations on earth at that time, were having unnatural relationships where different species were mating unnaturally. G-d found it necessary to destroy the world.

    The rainbow is G-d’s promise that even when the world is undeserving as they were in the time of the deluge he will not bring another Mabul. The rainbow was G-d’s sign. The rainbow is therefore a sad reminder to us to shape up. It should not be used as a symbol of pride of relationships that bear no fruit.

  • THE CONFERENCE IS NOW 10 MONTHS IN THE FUTURE AND I’M SURE IT IS AT LEAST MORE THAN A YEAR IN THE PLANNING. WHO KNOWS WHAT THE FUTURE WILL BRING THAT WILL KNOCK THEIR AGENDA OFF COURSE OR MOOT.

    SOME PEOPLE MAY CLAIM COMPLAINING ABOUT THIS NOW IS CENSORSHIP, BUT, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR GROUPS TO HIDE WHO AND WHAT THEY ARE TO THEIR GUESTS. THIS IS NOT BEING HOSPITABLE AND NOT CENSORSHIP.

    I WONDER IF THEIR CHARTER ALLOWS FOR THIS TYPE OF FUNCTION.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Blogs Book Reviews The Origins of Palestinian Refugee Relief Efforts (REVIEW)

    The Origins of Palestinian Refugee Relief Efforts (REVIEW)

    Romirowsky and Joffe’s book Religion, Politics and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief is an important volume for those interested in truly understanding the origins of the Palestinian refugee issue. Utilizing a treasure trove of newly released documents, the authors link UNRWA’s (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine) origins to the Quakers/American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). For those readers who thought they knew most of the Middle East story, Romirowsky and Joffe’s version provides another twist. The authors meticulously [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports Israeli Soccer Team Faces Prospect of International Ban

    Israeli Soccer Team Faces Prospect of International Ban

    The Israel National soccer team could be facing a World Cup ban, and other soccer sanctions, unless it alleviates travel restrictions and increases field access for Palestinian players and coaches. The head of the Palestinian Football Association is pushing for international soccer’s governing body, the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), to issue a ban on Israel competing internationally, claiming Israel’s restrictive travel for Palestinians is equivalent to a form of oppression. “It’s not only the athletes,” Jibril Rajoub explains. [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews Jewish Author of ‘Eat to Live’ Dishes on Health Care, Nutrition, Disease Prevention

    Jewish Author of ‘Eat to Live’ Dishes on Health Care, Nutrition, Disease Prevention

    JNS.org – While the national debate on “Obamacare” rages on past the recent March 31 sign-up deadline, bestselling Jewish author Dr. Joel Fuhrman says the “current disease care model of what we call ‘health care’ cannot possibly be sustained.” “There is simply not enough money available to support a system in which the lion’s share of expenditures is devoted to acute care, with virtually nothing being spent on preventive medicine, i.e. health care,” Fuhrman says in an interview. “To make [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    JNS.org – “This is how I want to be—without fear. Independent. I want to be like a bird. I want to spread my wings.” So reads part of the description beneath one of the 30 paintings on display until the end of May at the ZOA House in Tel Aviv. The collection represents the first-ever art exhibit of its kind: an exhibit created entirely by Israelis in treatment for eating disorders. Dubbed “Tears of Color,” based on one of the [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    JNS.org – Rachel Ament noticed that she and her friends often shared humorous anecdotes that were typically variations on a theme: overprotective, worrying Jewish moms who smothered them with love. That included Ament’s own mother. “My mom is probably every Jewish stereotype scrunched into one,” the Washington, DC, resident tells JNS.org. “At the root of all these stereotypical, worrying, overprotective moms, is love.” A social media writer for Capital One, as well as a freelance writer, Ament decided about three years [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Commentary ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    Kosher Lust, by Shmuley Boteach (Gefen Publishing House, 2014). You really do want to find something positive to say about Shmuley Boteach. He is a phenomenon; very bright, an articulate bundle of energy and self-promotion. Anyone who has the chutzpah to describe himself as “America’s Rabbi” deserves ten out of ten for effort. I believe that along with most Chabad alumni, official and unofficial, he does a lot of good and is a sort of national treasure. In this world [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Hollywood’s Revisiting of Passover’s Exodus Story a Part of Throwback ‘Year of the Bible’

    Hollywood’s Revisiting of Passover’s Exodus Story a Part of Throwback ‘Year of the Bible’

    JNS.org – In a throwback to the golden age of cinema, Hollywood has declared 2014 the “Year of the Bible.” From Ridley Scott’s Exodus starring Christian Bale as Moses, to Russell Crowe playing Noah, Hollywood is gambling on new innovations in technology and star power to revisit some of the most popular stories ever told. “It’s definitely a throwback to the 1950s and early ’60s,” Dr. Stephen J. Whitfield, an American Studies professor at Brandeis University, told JNS.org. Starting with The [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    Eddie Carmel, dubbed “The Jewish Giant” by American photographer Diane Arbus, is the centerpiece of a new exhibit opening April 11 at The Jewish Museum in New York. Arbus met Carmel, who was billed “The World’s Tallest Man,” at Hubert’s Dime Museum and Flea Circus in 1959 but waited until 1970 to photograph him at his parents’ home in the Bronx, according to the museum. The son of immigrants from Tel Aviv, Carmel posed for Arbus with his head bowed to [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.