Or who is Pinkwashing the Projected Projectiled Pinkwashers
By Melanie Nathan, 03/17/2012
There has been a recent spate of targeted attacks on Israeli LGBT community and leadership visits in the USA. The attempts to squash the meetings of all and any Israeli LGBT visitors, regardless of purpose and commonality has been helmed by a group of academics who all just happened to visit the West Bank as part of a pro-Palestian tour earlier this year. Now why would a group of LGBTI academics be hell bent on silencing LGBTI voices who came here to speak about common LGBTI equality in general?
What is apparent from these attacks is the ‘pinkwashing’ accusations by the academics against Israel are in reality a noteworthy projection, with fingers pointing right back at themselves. That the ‘pinkwashing’ is actually coming from the anti-Israel forces themselves, reinforced by one sided tirades to undermine Israel, using the notion of pinkwashing to elevate the Hamas driven politics of a handful of Palestinians who purport to represent LGBT interests in the West Bank.
Katherine Franke, the Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor, Director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, Columbia Law School, wrote a post on Huffington Post where she outlined how she tried to cause the cancellation of a dialogue between Jody Huckaby, Executive Director of PFLAG who hosted Avnat Avissar from Aguda, Israel’s national LGBT organization at a meeting held Feb. 22, at PFLAG’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Franke sent a letter to Huckaby declaring that PFLAG should not meet with Avissar, citing the so called “pinkwashing” notion attributed to Israel. The notion is that the LGBT community of Israel is being used by the Israeli government to make Israel look good!
This exact same pressure to end dialogue was brought to bear this week by another law academic, Dean Spade, an associate law professor from Seattle University law school, this time in an attempt to persuade the Seattle LGBT Commission, to cancel already established meetings for dialogue with a coalition group of Israeli LGBT equality leaders, called AILO.
Whereas Franke was unsuccessful in her mission to silence the Israeli visitor ‘s meeting with PFLAG, which appropriately refused to cancel via a diplomatic response, Spade was successful in his mission to silence the Israeli group when the Seattle Commission caved in and cancelled its meeting, citing its validation of the notion of “pinkwashing.”
Both academics used virtually identical letters to try and call off the respective meetings and both academics happened to have undertaken trips to West Bank earlier this year, according to Franke ” to better understand the reality of occupation on the ground,” and according to Spade “we were invited by several LGBT Palestinian organizations to come witness the violences (note: his English not mine!) of the occupation and meet with Palestinians and Israelis who are working to stop this violence and oppose the use of pinkwashing to obscure it.”
What is admitted in these letters is the trip was designed for the academics in a mission to present only the Palestinian side of the Israel-Palestine conflict and that the trip to West Bank was sponsored by Palestinian groups who brought the academics to Palenstine to ironically, as it would now seem, and it is my assertion, to “PINKWASH” the Palestinian cause – to try and further the Pro-Palestinian version of the conflict by indoctrinating US academics, so that they would come back to the USA to use LGBT Israeli group equality visits to promote the pro-Palestinian cause.
What has become apparent is that the Palestinians are using our Academics in Pinkwashing fashion to deliver their message by accusing the Israeli government of pinkwashing. How ironic!
This is what Franke says in her letter to PFLAG -:
“In our delegation’s conversations with gay, lesbian, trans and queer activists in the West Bank, they expressed great frustration that that their lives and well-being were being used by some voices within Israeli to drum up support for Israeli policy and to demonize Palestinian society. In fact, they are well organized and are doing incredible work through two principal organizations: al Qaws (www.alqaws.org) and Aswat (www.aswatgroup.org). Both of these organizations provide support services, including a telephone help line, to LGBT people in the region.”
Lest I distract myself, last I heard if you are gay in Palestine your own father, brother and uncle want to murder you! But well I guess that did not cross the mind of our esteemed academic when visiting the West Bank! Talk about pinkwashing!
While PFLAg in D.C. did not fall for the ploy, the Seattle Commissioners did!
The appropriate response to Franke’s Letter by Jody Huckaby, PGLAG’s Executive Director read as follows:-
Dear Ms. Franke:
Thank you for contacting me about the meeting today at our offices.
We reviewed the issues that you raised and discussed them at length internally because we took very seriously the concerns you raised. We decided that we should live the value of our mission statement to provide opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and [act] to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity. As the original family voice on LGBT issues in this country, we know that our model of support, education, and advocacy of, for, and by LGBT people, family members, friends, and allies has been replicated in Israel and many other countries in part because of this philosophy of engaging in dialogue. At PFLAG, we take very seriously our nonpolitical nature and believe that we must cross party lines, borders, faiths, and any other gaps that divide us to unite in a common vision of LGBT equality.
I wanted to make you aware that we did not receive any financial sponsorship for this event. The gathering was intended only for the purposes of engaging in a dialogue around LGBT issues. We would welcome the opportunity to work with you on identifying representatives from Palestinian organizations for a similar dialogue.
Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to schedule time to talk. I can be reached here via email or at the contact information provided below.
IN stark Contrast this is how the Seattle LGBT Commission responded to Spade’s similar letter calling for boycotts of the Israelis via cancellation:-
Please, first note that “The mission of the Seattle LGBT Commission, under the Seattle Office of Civil Rights, is to effectively address and present the concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens of Seattle, and to recommend legislation, policy, programs, and budget items to the Mayor, City Council, and all City Departments;”
And so with mission of the Commission is completely ignored in its two responses
Seattle LGBT Commission Response to concerns raised about AILO (Alliance of Israeli LGBT Educational Organizations) as voiced by Dean Spade Dear whom it may concern,The Seattle LGBT Commission values the comments of Dean Spade, who recently brought to our attention the concerns of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict and agenda of pink washing to cover up said crimes and corruption of the Israeli government. While we believe his concerns are valid, the purpose of the meeting with Israeli LGBT groups is to engage in a dialogue about their successes and progress of LGBTQ people’s rights in Israel and Seattle. While this dialogue is centered on efforts for LGBT equality we acknowledge that there is national and local concern about pink washing campaigns, occupation, and apartheid. Dean Spade’s concerns encompass a much larger issue that the commission is interested in exploring at a later date.
We invite Dean Spade to attend our monthly LGBT commission meeting to share his perspective during the public comments section of our meeting agenda, this Thursday, March 15th from 6:30-8:30pm at Seattle City Hall (600 Fourth Avenue, Boards and Commission Conference Room L-280). Our monthly meetings, and the event on Friday, March 16th from 4:30-6:30pm at City Hall (Room 370) with Israeli LGBT groups are open to the public.
The Seattle LGBT Commission is hereby canceling the event scheduled for Friday, March 16, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at City Hall.
At this time, the members of the LGBT Commission feel we are not thoroughly prepared to facilitate an event surrounding such complex topics.
We have great respect for those who have shared their comments with us this week on all sides of the issue and are open to ways in which we can support community members in continuing this dialogue while involving all diverse perspectives involved.
The Seattle LGBT commission cancelled the meeting with AILO, the Israeli group, because they were sucked into the notion of pinkwashing by Israel; all the while not realizing that they had fallen prey to the bidding of the pro-Palestinian – Hamas forces at work here, via imported indoctrination of a group of our esteemed academics, on tour, delivered gracefully into their Seattle laps by a respected local academic and queer activist, who himself has been drenched in the very pink paint he purports to abhor!
At least two other events not discussed here were cancelled due to the protests of the academics. If anyone has information share it here or privately:- (Nathan@privatecourts.com)
Please note that all my writing and advocacy work is unpaid and I am not able to pay for research! I appreciate the help of my readers and supporters!
Pinkdrenched Pro-Palestinian Academics doing he bidding of Hamas in the name of Boycotts against LGBT Israelis are :-
|Katherine Franke||Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law and Director, Center for Gender & Sexuality Law, Columbia University; Board Member Center for Constitutional Rights|
|Barbara Hammer||Filmmaker, Faculty at European Graduate School|
|Tom Léger||Editor, PrettyQueer.com|
|Darnell L. Moore||writer and activist|
|Vani Natarajan||Humanities and Area Studies Librarian, Barnard College|
|Pauline Park||Chair, New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA)|
|Jasbir K. Puar||Rutgers University, Board Member Audre Lorde Project, author of Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times|
|Roya Rastegar||Independent artist and scholar|
|Dean Spade||Assistant Professor, Seattle University School of Law and Collective Member, Sylvia Rivera Law Project|
|Kendall Thomas||Nash Professor of Law, Columbia University|
|Lisa Weiner-Mahfuz||intersections/intersecciones consulting|
|Juliet Widoff, MD||Callen-Lorde Community Health Center|