A Response To The “Pinkwashing” Campaigners

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If you are gay and oppose Israel, go ahead and read this.

pinkwashing leafletThe “No Pinkwashing” campaign essentially wants us to disregard Israel’s human rights record when examining its human rights record. None of it matters anyway because Israel is an “apartheid state” and anything good or democratic in Israel is simply a rouse (quite an elaborate one at that).
So let me deal with the human rights record of Israel, particularly in the area the Pinkwash campaigners focus on: the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

As far back as 1963, Israel declared that it would not apply any of the homophobic laws on its books (many of them in existence due to the British mandate of Palestine). This was four years prior to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Britain. In 1992, LGBT people were protected from discrimination in the workplace – also before this happened in Britain. In 1994, same-sex partners were given the same benefits as straight couples in the private sector, and three years later in the public sector. Soon afterwards, the Israeli military rescinded any discrimination against gay people, and in 2002 the age of consent was equalised at 16. Lesbian couples were given the right to adopt each other’s children (conceived through artificial insemination) in 2005. There are openly gay judges, members of Parliament (the Knesset), and many LGBT public personalities and celebrities. Dana International, a transgendered woman, represented Israel in the Eurovision contest in 1998, and won. In 2012, Tel Aviv was voted (in an online poll) as the world’s number one destination for gay travellers.

Contrast all of this with the Palestinian territories and their leadership so beloved of the hard left. In the Gaza Strip, ruled with an iron fist by Hamas, not only are women subject to appalling treatment but homosexuality can result in death. In 2011, Hamas cofounder Mahmoud Zahar said, “You in the West do not live like human beings. You do not even live like animals. You accept homosexuality. And now you criticize us?” Attacks are frequent in the Gaza Strip and gays live in fear; so much so that LGBT Palestinians commonly flee to Israel.

The Pinkwashing campaigners also claim that Israel’s neighbours are frequently “demonised” with regard to human rights. But “demonisation” suggests untruth. Just as the truth cannot be libellous, nor can it constitute demonisation. It can however be ignored when it is politically convenient to do so, which is of course what is happening here. The apparent “demonisation” of Jordan for example suggests that the Freedom of the Press report of 2011 that ranked that country 120th out of 178 was a fraud. Its worrying record on gay and women’s rights is also somehow manufactured. The arrest and torture of homosexuals in Egypt is also “demonisation”; ditto the prison sentences for homosexuality in Syria.

In nearby Saudi Arabia, women are property and homosexuality carries the death penalty. So where exactly is the praise for these countries’ human rights records supposed to come from? The fact is that it is the truth which demonises them, but the truth is rather troublesome and so must be denied.

Read the whole thing.

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A lawyer by education, David Lange - founder and managing editor of Israellycool - found his calling in advocating for Israel and the Jewish people. He is available for public speaking engagements.