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...

  • Featured Music US & Canada EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    Matisyahu got candid in an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner on Monday about his religious and musical journey – after shedding his Chassidic skin, yarmulke, long beard and all – from the start of his career in 2005 when he became a reggae superstar with hits King Without a Crown and Jerusalem. The singer-songwriter embarks on his Festival of Light tour this month, an annual Hanukkah event that stops in Montreal, New York, and other cities before ending in San Juan, [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Personalities ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    JNS.org – It was an era of steel strings, guitar heroes, and storytellers—high on heroin, rebellious. Outlaw country music, the hallmark of Nashville’s powerful and angry music scene of the 1970s, was the brew of greats such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt. But there is another, little-known music hero of that era: Daniel Antopolsky. A Jewish lad from Augusta, Ga.—the son of immigrants who settled in the south and ran a hardware store on Main Street—the [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi replaced Israeli star Gal Gadot as the female lead in the new Ben-Hur remake, Hollywood.com reported on Tuesday. The Homeland actress will play Esther, a slave that Ben-Hur sets free and falls in love with. Gadot quit the movie when it became clear that filming conflicted with her schedule for the Man of Steel sequel. The Israeli actress plays Wonder Woman in the superhero film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Actor Jack Huston takes on the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →
  • Analysis Arts and Culture Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    JNS.org – One of the most controversial operas in recent memory, “The Death of Klinghoffer,” debuted Oct. 20 at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The Met has scheduled seven more performances through November. The first staging did not occur without protest, as about 400 demonstrators—including Jewish communal and nationally recognized leaders—came to Lincoln Center to denounce the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel opera. “Klinghoffer,” the creation of composer John Adams and librettist Alice Goodman, premiered in 1991—with few additional stagings. The opera is based [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot is in negotiations to take on the female lead role in the remake of the 1959 classic Ben-Hur, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If the deal is finalized Gadot will play Esther, a slave and Ben-Hur’s love interest. Actor Jack Huston will star as the Jewish prince who is betrayed into slavery by his childhood friend Messala, played by Toby Kebbell. Ben-Hur fights for his freedom and vengeance with the help of Morgan Freeman’s character, who trains Ben-Hur how to win at chariot-racing. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    JNS.org – Baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie are the American dream. So why do two young men who have built their lives in Israel have a GoFundMe crowd-funding webpage with the urgent message that they need $3,000 to travel to the U.S. to watch the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles square off for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) American League championship? Brothers Naftali and Yoni Schwartz, 27 and 25, respectively, are Kansas City natives. Even though they made aliyah with their [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.