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Pink Anti-Semitism Is No Different from Brown Anti-Semitism

February 26, 2013 1:34 pm 20 comments

Gay pride parade in Tel Aviv. Photo: wiki commons.

The core characteristic of anti-Semitism is the assertion that everything the Jews do is wrong, and everything that is wrong is done by the Jews.  For the anti-Semite every rich Jew is exploitive, every poor Jew a burden on society.  For the anti-Semite, both capitalism and communism are Jewish plots.  For the anti-Semite, Jews are both too docile, allowing themselves to be led to the slaughter like sheep, and too militant, having won too many wars against the Arabs.   For the anti-Semite, Jews are too liberal and too conservative, too artsy and too bourgeois, too stingy and too charitable, too insular and too cosmopolitan, too moralistic and too conniving.

To the anti-Semite, every depression, war, social problem, plague must have been the fault of the Jews.  Whenever the Jews appear to be doing something good – giving charity, helping the less fortunate, curing the sick—there must be a malevolent motive, a hidden agenda, a conspiratorial explanation beneath the surface of the benevolent act.

Now the very twisted illogic that has characterized classic anti-Semitism is being directed at the Jewish state, which for the anti-Semite has become “the Jew” among nations.   When Israel sent help to Tsunami and hurricane victims, the Jewish state was accused of merely trying to garner positive publicity calculated to offset its mistreatment of Palestinians.  When Israeli medical teams save the lives of Palestinian children, they must be up to no good.  When it was disclosed that the Israeli Army has the lowest rate of rape against enemy civilians, radical anti-Zionists argued that this was because Israeli soldiers were so racist that they did not find Palestinian women attractive enough to rape!  Nothing the Jew or the Jew among nations does can be praised, because its purpose is always to “manipulate,” to “conceal,” to “divert attention away from” or to “distort” the evil that inheres in all Jewish actions and inactions.

That is the bigoted thesis of a new anti-Israel campaign being conducted by some radical gay activists who absurdly claim that Israel is engaging in “pinkwashing.”  This burlesque of an argument first surfaced in a New York Times op-ed that claimed that Israel’s positive approach to gay rights is “a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violation of Palestinians human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life.”  In other words, the Jew among nations is now being accused of feigning concern over the rights of gay people in order to whitewash—or in this case pinkwash—its lack of concern for Palestinian people.

How this pinkwashing is supposed to work, we aren’t told.  Is the media supposed to be so obsessed with Israel’s positive policies toward gays that it will no longer cover the Palestinian issue?  If so, that certainly hasn’t worked.  Are gays around the world supposed to feel so indebted to Israel that they will no longer criticize the Jewish nation?  That surely hasn’t worked, as evidenced by increasingly rabid anti-Israel advocacy by several gay organizations.

Well, to the unthinking anti-Semite, it doesn’t matter how the Jewish manipulation works.  The anti-Semite just knows that there must be something sinister at work if Jews do anything positive.  The same is now true for the unthinking anti-Israel bigot.

In Israel, openly gay soldiers have long served in the military and in high positions in both government and the private sector.  Gay pride parades are frequent.  Israel is, without a doubt, the most gay friendly country in the Middle East and among the most supportive of gay rights anywhere in the world.  This, despite efforts by some fundamentalist Jews, Muslims and Christians to ban gay pride parades and legal equality for gays.  In contrast to Israel are the West Bank and Gaza, where gays are murdered, tortured and forced to seek asylum—often in Israel.  In every Arab and Muslim country, homosexual acts among consenting adults are criminal, often punishable by death.  But all this doesn’t matter to the “growing global gay movement” against Israel, which according to The New York Times op ed, regards these positive steps as nothing more than a cover for malevolent Israeli actions.

The pinkwash bigots would apparently prefer to see Israel treat gays the way Israel’s enemies do, because they hate Israel more than they care about gay rights.  Nor do these pink anti-Semites speak for the majority of gay people, who appreciate Israel’s positive steps with regard to gay rights, even if they don’t agree with all of Israel’s policies.  Decent gay people who have themselves been subjected to stereotyping, recognize bigotry when they see it, even—perhaps especially—among other gay people.  That’s why so many prominent gay leaders and public officials have denounced this “pinkwashing” nonsense.

Now this pinkwashing campaign is coming to the City University of New York.  A pinkwashing conference is being sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Studies Center at The Graduate Center on April 10-11, 2013.  It will be yet another hate fest against Israel, but this time it will cross the line into classic anti-Semitic tropes.  Don’t be fooled by its benign pink hue, or its academic pretext.  At its core, the newly-fashioned charge of pinkwashing is little different from the old-fashioned charges leveled by brown-shirted anti-Semites—namely, that neither the Jews nor the Jewish state ever does good things without bad motives.  And this time, the hate conference is being cosponsored by the Philosophy and Psychology Departments and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York—as well as by the Center for The Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University.

Shame on anyone who exploits his or her sexual orientation to promote anti-Semitic bigotry.  And shame on anyone who sponsors those who practice pink anti-Semitism.


  • Israel is the most hated country on earth. We should be grateful to Alan Dershowitz for trying to expose the irrationality of Israel haters.
    Here is a review I wrote of Sarah Schulman’s book:

  • Mihai-Robert Soran-Schwartz

    I have never experienced Dershowitz doing a RIGHT thing. For me he is a new version of a guy, lawyer, too, called Kesztner. One of the horrible members of our people.

  • dooshe waldo

    I will gladly sign off on Alan’s “Thesis”. Once again as always, Alan has laboured to save me from not. However, and maybe albeit a drift,remove the notion of sexuality gay or lesbian organic politic.I still believe stringently it is wrong to refer to one as “Jew Hater” or “Nazi” who dare’s to criticze the Israeli social politic. And also what is referred to as hate “cloaked” the notion that matters could and should have been managed differently in 1948. A lack of vision at this time in history has cost Israel perpetual life threating realm. Thank You Alan, I will see you in class.

  • A brilliant, accurate and (critically) timely column. Thank you, Alan Dershowitz

  • Malcolm Citron

    I can’t help wondering why we never(?) confront these Jew haters on a one on one basis. Why do we accept the term, “Jew Hater”, without showing any backbone?
    Tell us why you hate Jews. When did this attitude start? How did your parents feel about this? Have you ever been harmed in any way by a Jew? Do you have any Jewish friends? Do you know any Jews? Are they bad people? Could you try to see things from a Jewish standpoint? Could you fall in love with a Jew? Do you hate me? Is it what you perceive as oppression of Palestinians that triggers your hate? Could it be that what you “hate” is Israel’s government and not really Jews at all?
    Sometimes I think we Jews have allowed the world to accept “Jew Hater” as a cliche, acceptable everywhere.

    • Jews have done many very “good” things, throughout history as secularists view “good”, and there are many very “evil” things Jews have done. However, I’m not a secularist. I believe the Bible, Tanakh and Brit Hadasha, as the Word of God and know that His covenant with Abraham is the controlling authority in the world and has been since it was cut. It is an unconditional covenant, so no matter how vain the imaginings of the Jews and the ferocity of raging Gentiles, the LORD will bring both to an end before they can destroy the world and mankind. That is clearly and unequivocally taught in both testaments. We are irrevocably moving in that direction and the pain will continue to be horrific until He personally intervenes to save mankind and establish the Remnant of Israel in their “beautiful Land”.

      Shabbat Shalom,


  • This has absolutely nothing to do with the Palestinians. If gays care a whit about these Arabs it is only because there is this type of perversion amongst them as well. This is about hating G-d and hating the torah. the abominable homosesxuals do not want any impedement in their opposition to Hasehm and his commandments so they have dreamed up this ‘burlesque’ of an argument as Dershowitz so well puts it. If I were the prime Minister of Israel I would interview every non-Jew to see what his sexual orientation was and I would refuse entry into Israel of every suspected queer. The Holy Land is beseiged by enough problems and does not need these hellish infectious infestations.

    • Homosexuality is not a perversion, I resent it being called that by a fellow Jew,Israel should take pride in how it treats minorities and teach others how gay rights should be.

    • Homosexuality is not a perversion, I resent it being called that by a fellow Jew,Israel should take pride in how it treats minorities and teach others how gay rights should be.
      It is not pinkwashing it is right.

  • Let the Gay Pride anti Israel,Anti Semites ask their Gay Rights Parade be transferred from Tel Aviv to Gaza City or any other Muslim country. They should get a good response. Yea Right!!!!!

  • Well said. If I was a pagan, I think I would worship Dershowitz! His arguments are always so well presented

  • The worst type of anti-Semitism is Jewish anti-Semitism. Here is a particularly nasty example :

    Save the Schlesinger Twins now!

  • Arthur Greenberg

    The only way to deal with Jew haters is to hit, kick or loudly shout at them. Let them know that we Jews will not passively accept acts or words of hostility.

  • Of course, there’s not a gay peep about Muslim anti-gay attitudes, which most of the time culminate in executions. Remember when Amahdinijad spoke in New York and stated that Iran doesn’t have any homosexuals? Except for some laughs at the time, was there anything more heard of this stupid man’s stupid remark? Of course not.

  • Back in 2005, Andrei S. Markovits, writing in the relatively progressive magazine Dissent, said, “A new European (and American) commonality for all lefts—a new litmus test of progressive politics—seems to have developed: anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism (though not anti-Semitism, at least not yet).” Pinkwash bigots show how right Markovits was. They must pass the litmus test by being anti-Israel, despite Israel’s remarkable history of pioneering in gay rights.

  • Fredric M. London

    It just goes to prove, again, that Jew hatred will trump any other motive, certainly any positive motive. No matter how ill treated a group may be, no matter how vicious the prejudice, it all takes a back seat to Jew hatred. This all encompassing, never ending hatred knows no limits.

    All Jews must do what we can to strengthen Israel. We will never get justice anywhere else.

  • I can’t express adequately my admiration and gratitude to Alan Dershowitz, this clear brave voice in the wilderness. When this latest in the neverending waves of Jewhate has passed, there will be few heroes to remember. His name will be first on that short honorable list.

  • you’re right richard sherman.
    NYT and Felix Frankfurter (juge at the supreme court ans close friend of Roosevelt) have done a real bad job during the holocaust.

  • richard sherman

    The antisemetism of the NY Times has been obvious since the 1940s when it buried the Holocaust. “Pinkwashing” is another manifestation of left wing antisemetism. It allows left wing sociopaths to get in bed with Muslims who venerate Muhammad a sociopath who decapitated 900 unarmed Jews at Quarayza..

    • The New York Times was founded by the Jewish Sulzberger family. Evidently, they so desperately wanted to be accepted by the Gentile community that they became Episcopalians. Evidently, they still so desperately need to be accepted as WASPS that they bend over backwards to demonstrate antipathy for things Jewish and Israel. We can take some comfort in watching the slow sinking of the Times into irrelevancy and bankruptcy.

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