Pink-washed: Gay rights and the Mideast conflict

Published: July 2, 2011

A mysterious video painting the organizers of the latest Gaza flotilla as anti-gay was exposed as a hoax last week, in the latest instance of what pro-Palestinian activists call "pinkwashing."

The term refers to efforts by the Israeli government and its allies to highlight the rights afforded to the gay community in Israel — and the plight of gays in Arab countries and the Palestinian territories — to distract from or justify the continued occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza.

Some background on the current flap: The goal of the flotilla organizers is to protest the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza by sailing to the impoverished Palestinian territory. (A similar effort last year ended with Israeli commandos killing several civilians on board one of the ships.)

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