A documentary guide to ‘Brand Israel’ and the art of pinkwashing

israel mini
(Image: prettyqueer)

On Wednesday, November 23, 2011 I published an op-ed in the NY Times, (Israel and ‘Pinkwashing’). This 900 word piece attempted to contextualize Pinkwashing. Here is a more detailed documentary history of Brand Israel, Israel’s campaign to re-brand itself in the minds of the world, as well as the development of pinkwashing as a funded, explicit and deliberate marketing project within Brand Israel.

2005

According to the Jewish Daily Forward, in 2005 The Israeli Foreign Ministry, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Finance Ministry concluded three years of consultation with American marketing executives and launched “Brand Israel,” a campaign to “re-brand” the country’s image to appear “relevant and modern” instead of militaristic and religious.

“Americans don’t see Israel as being like the US,” explained David Sable, CEA and vice president of Wunderman, a division of Young and Rubicam that conducted extensive and costly branding research for Israel at no charge. His conclusion was that while Israel, as a brand, is strong in America, it is “better known than liked, and constrained by lack of relevance.” Sable elaborated, Americans “find Israel to be totally irrelevant to their lives and they are tuning out…particularly 18-34 year old males, the most significant target.” Brand Israel intended to change this by selecting aspects of Israeli society to highlight and bringing Americans directly to them. They started off with a free trip for architectural writers, and then another for food and wine writers. The goal of these “and numerous other efforts” was to convey an image of Israel “as a productive, vibrant and cutting-edge culture.”

In July 2005, The Brand Israel Group (BIG) presented their findings to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

2006

In 2006, they conducted a study of Israelis’ own perceptions.

2007

maxim 0
Collaboration between the Consulate General of Israel
and Maxim Magazine. (Image: Reaching the Public)

In 2007, The Foreign Ministry organized a Brand Israel Conference in Tel Aviv, which marked the official adaptation of the campaign. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, appointed Ido Aharoni to head Israel’s first brand management office and awarded him a 4 million dollar budget, in addition to the already established 3 million in annual spending on Hasbara (Hebrew for “explanation” or propaganda) and 11 million for the Israeli Tourism Ministry in North America.

In 2007 Israel began its wooing of young males by first niche marketing to heterosexual men.  David Saranga, of the Consulate General of Israel initiated a project with Maxim Magazine, a photo shoot entitled “Women of the Israeli Defense Forces” which shows model-like Israeli women who had served in the army, in swimsuits. Saranga said,

“Approaching Maxim allowed us to gear our message to the younger generation, especially males, and towards a demographic that did not see Israel as relevant or identify particularly with Israel.”

Follow up study revealed that Maxim’s readers’ perceptions of Israel had improved as a result of the piece. Saranga was pleased but knew he had a lot of work ahead of him.

“Rebranding a country can take 20 years or more. It involves more than just generating more positive stories about Israel. The process has to be internalized and integrated, too. Israelis must share in and believe in what we promote.”

In 2007, The Electronic Intifada reported that Saatchi and Saatchi was also working for Israel, free of charge. David Saranga told PR Week that the two groups Israel was targeting were “liberals,” and people aged 16 to 30. Gideon Meir of Israel’s Foreign Ministry told Haaretz that he would “rather have a Style section item on Israel than a front page story.”

2008

In 2008 Aharoni’s office hired TNS, a market research firm, to test new brand concepts for Israel in 13 different countries.  They also funded a pilot program called “Israel: Innovation for Life” in Toronto. Aharoni predicted

“The execution of a program that will support the brand identity. This might include initiating press missions to Israel, or missions of community influentials; it could include organizing film festivals, or food and wine festivals featuring Israel-made products.”

This of course resulted in the “Spotlight Tel Aviv” program at the Toronto International Film Festival that caught the attention of John Greyson and Naomi Klein (left, the film Greyson removed from the festival in protest).

In 2008, PACBI published a sample contract that Israeli artists signed with their government when the artist was “invited” to an international event, the kind of “invitation” that every Israeli artists craves and must have in order to establish a broad reputation.

The contract text reveals, interestingly, that this is not an “invitation” at all, but rather that it is the Israeli government that is inviting itself to international events. The artist is paid with a plane ticket, shipping fees, hotel and expenses by his/her own government. The contract does not assume any funding from the “host” country.  In return, the template states:

“The service provider is aware that the purpose of ordering services from him is to promote the policy interests of the state of Israel via culture and art including contributing to creating a positive image for Israel.”

Yet…

“The service provider will not present himself as an agent, emissary and/or representative of the Ministry.”

2009

The challenge facing Brand Israel was huge. In the 2009 EastWest Global Nation Brand Perception Index, Israel was 192 out of 200, behind North Korea, Cuba and Yemen and just before Sudan.

That year the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association announced an October Conference in Tel Aviv with the goal of promoting Israel as a “world gay destination.”  Helem, a Lebanese LGBTQ organization, responded with a call for a Boycott.

“For some time now, Israeli officials and organizations such as the Aguda, who are cooperating closely with IGLTA, have been promoting LGBT tourism to Israel through false representations of visiting Tel Aviv as not taking sides, or as being on the “LGBT” side, as if LGBT lives were the only ones that mattered. It is implied that it’s okay to visit Israel as long as you “believe in peace,” as if what is taking place in Palestine/Israel is merely a conflict between equals, rather than an oppressive power relationship. Consistent with globalization’s tendency to distance the “final product” from the moral implications of the manufacturing process, LGBT tourists are encouraged to forget about politics and just have fun in a so-called gay-friendly city…

Even more importantly, Tel-Aviv’s flashy coffee shops and shopping malls, in contrast with the nearby deprived Palestinian villages and towns, serve as evidence that the Israeli society, just as the Israeli state itself, has built walls, blockades and systems of racist segregations to hide from the Palestinians it oppresses. The intersection of physical and societal separations and barriers have justly earned the term apartheid, referring to an historically parallel racist regime in South Africa against the indigenous Black population of that country. Leisure tourism to apartheid Israel supports this regime. It is not neutral, and it certainly is not a step toward real peace, which can only be based on justice.”

The four-hour symposium took place despite opposition. In their newsletter the Travel Association acknowledged and dismissed the protest. Using Palestinians, from the beginning to whitewash Israeli violations of their rights.

“It has been fascinating to us that Tel Aviv has an Arab community living in peace here with the Jewish community,” said IGLTA President/CEOJohn Tanzella, who spoke about the 1,400-member association. “We are meeting gay business professionals from all religions and backgrounds within the Middle East.”

Protests at the event focused on Israeli occupation of Gaza. “They were using our gathering as a means to make their concerns public with all the radio and TV that came to meet us,” Tanzella said. “We certainly welcome freedom of speech, but it should be noted that our focus is to support LGBT businesses around the world, wherever they might be located.

That same year, the Zionist organization Stand With Us told The Jerusalem Post, that they were undertaking a campaign “to improve Israel’s image through the gay community in Israel.”

The Foreign Ministry told Ynet that they would be sponsoring a Gay Olympics delegation “to help show to the world Israel’s liberal and diverse face.”

2010

The January Conference of the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, The Lauder School of Government Diplomacy and Strategy and the Institute for Policy and Strategy brought together representatives of the Foreign Affairs Minstry, Haifa University, The Prime Minister’s Office, Reut Institute, and private communications companies to discuss: WINNING THE BATTLE OF THE NARRATIVE, reaffirming the need for re-branding.

The Conference had some very interesting findings:

– That many criticisms of Israel will stop when policy towards Palestinians is changed.

– Israel correlates with the terms “daring and independent” but not “fun and creative.

– 50% of people in western countries are disengaged and do not have an opinion on Israel, and can therefore be won over by marketing.

– “Narratives of victimhood and survival adapted by Israel over the years are no longer relevant for its diplomatic efforts and dialogue with the West. Nowadays Israel’s opponents capitalize on using the same narratives to achieve and mobilize support.”

– “People respond well when addressed in a familiar language that uses well-known terms and are susceptible to simple, repetitive, consistent messages.”

– “In order to succeed online, one has to detach one’s self from strictly official messages and to develop an online personality.”

By 2010, the Israeli Globe reported that The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had allocated 100 million Shekel (over $26,260,000) to branding.

“The Globe found that the activity will focus on the internet, especially on social networks.  This is following research performed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which it found that surfers will show sympathy and identity with content that interests them, regardless of the identity of the political affiliation of the publisher.”

Also in 2010, Scott Piro, a gay Jewish Public Relations/Social Media professional, announced in a press release on his letterhead that Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, The Tel Aviv Tourism Board and Israel’s largest LGBT organization, The Agudah, were joining together to launch TEL AVIV GAY VIBE, an online tourism campaign to promote Tel Aviv as a travel destination for European LGBTS.

“Campaign Branding Tel Aviv Gay Destination Underway”
July 21, 2010  Ynetnews.com
By Danny Sadeh

With an investment of NIS 340 million (about $88.1 million), an International marketing campaign is being launched to brand Tel Aviv as an international gay vacation destination. The campaign will be run in England and Germany, two locations with considerable gay and lesbian Communities.

The campaign will include ads on gay community websites and magazines and will display everything the city has to offer by way of gay tourism.

Designated Facebook and Twitter pages will be created to support the effort and promote Tel Aviv as a new gay capital.

A new website has also been built, Gay Tel Aviv. It starts off like with with a sentence encapsulating the very essence of the campaign: “Rising from the golden shores of the Mediterranean, stands one of the most intriguing and exciting  new gay capitals of the world.”

The decision to brand Tel Aviv as an international gay destination was supported by an international study conducted by Outnow, a leading company for Consulting, branding and marketing to the gay community. The company was responsible for branding Berlin as the gay capital of Europe, a move that significantly increased tourism to the city.

Etti Gargir, director of the VisitTLV organization, said that the Tourism Ministry and Tel Aviv Municipality invested NIS 170 million (about $44 million) each in the project.

“The increased discount flight capacity from England and Germany increases the capability of Tel Aviv to compete with other cities in Europe. This is in addition to the Outnow study that found Tel Aviv to be an attractive city to those who like culture, restaurants, nightlife and shopping.

“The study also showed that the city is good for any budget. In other words, there is a range of entertainment and accommodation options at prices that anyone can afford,” said Gargir.

About a month ago, Tel Aviv Municipality submitted an official application to host the International Gay Pride Parade in 2012.

The Tourism Ministry reported that it supports targeted marketing campaigns likely to increase tourism to Israel.

The article was appended with the following comments from readers (verbatim):

  1. Surely nothing to be proud of. Shameful
  2. Haredim!!!!
  3. Gay avek also cute slogan  (Yiddish for go away)
  4. Thanks for warning now I know not
  5. Yes by all means bring hordes of aids
  6. Inviting destruction full speed

Etc.

By 2010, “Pinkwashing” was already in general use by Queer anti-Occupation activists. The phrase was coined in 1985 by Breast Cancer Action to identify companies that claimed to support women with breast cancer while actually profiting from their illness.  In April, 2010 QUIT  (Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism) in the Bay Area, used the phrase “Pinkwashing” as a twist on “Greenwashing” where companies claim to be eco-friendly in order to make profit.  Dunya Alwan attributes the term to Ali Abunimah, editor of Electronic Intifada at a meeting in 2010 saying “We won’t put up with Israel Whitewashing, Greenwashing or Pinkwashing.”

In April 2010, Brand Israel launched Israeli Pride Month in San Francisco. Not a grassroots expression by Israeli queers living in San Francisco, but an event instigated, funded and administered by the Israeli government.  QUIT – an actual queer organization- used “Pinkwashing” in their campaign to counter the cynical use by the Israeli government, through its “Brand Israel” re-marketing project to use the presence of LGBT society in Israel as “proof” of its commitment to human rights.

2011

telavivhot
 

By March 2011, Ynet reported that for the first time, The Israeli stand at the International Tourism Fair in Berlin, encourages gay tourists to visit Tel Aviv.  According to Tel Aviv Council Member Yaniv Weizman, $94 million of Israeli government money was invested in 2010 in promoting gay tourism to Tel Aviv. The money came from the Tel Aviv Municipality and Tourism Ministry.

According to Weizman:

“The gay tourist likes urban vacations, he forms attachments with the community in the cities he visits, enjoys partying and usually returns to places he had a good time in. This is established tourism which draws in young tourism and sets trends which other sectors of the population adopt.”

The Tel Aviv Tourist Association filed a formal request with the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association to host World Pride in 2012.

In July, The Anti-Defamation League hosted StandWithUS’s Yossi Herzog  speaking on gay rights in Israel and gay presence in the Israeli Defense Force.

In August, the Jerusalem Post reported that :

The Foreign Ministry is promoting Gay Israel as part of its campaigns to break apart negative stereotypes many liberal Americans and Europeans have of Israel. The initiative flies in the face of the swelling protests set against Jerusalem’s Gay Pride parade set for November 10. But even as its organizers are receiving anonymous threats of holy war against them, gay activist Michael Hamel is traveling in Europe and North America working on publicizing Gay Israel. A portion of his work, he told the Jerusalem Post by phone as he sat drinking coffee in a California airport, has the support of the Foreign Ministry. “We are working very closely with them,” said Hamel, who heads the AGUDAH, Israel’s LGBT organization…

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Foreign Ministry official told the Jerusalem Post this week that efforts to let European and American liberals know about the gay community in Israel were an important part of its work to highlight this country’s support of human rights and to underscore its diversity in a population that tends to judge Israel harshly, solely on its treatment of Palestinians. Still, it is a topic that is so touchy he did not want his name used. But David Saranga, who works in the New York consulate, was more open about the need to promote Gay Israel as part of showing liberal America that Israel is more than the place where Jesus once walked. The gay culture is an entryway to the liberal culture, he said, because in New York it is that culture that is creating “a buzz.” Israel needs to show this community that it is relevant to them by promoting gay tourism, gay artists and films. Showing young, liberal Americans that Israel also has a gay culture goes a long (way) towards informing them that Israel is a place that respects human rights, as well, said Saranga.

In Sum

Pinkwashing is the cynical use of queer people’s hard-won gains by the Israeli government in an attempt to re-brand themselves as progressive, while continuing to violate international law and the human rights of Palestinians.

1. Is Israel pro-Gay? LGBT people are included in obligatory military service in Israel. To the American eye, this could look “progressive.”  The state supports events like the Tel Aviv LGBT Film Festival. There are enclaves of Tel Aviv where being out in your complete and daily life is possible, and some people are able to do this.  However, overall, Israel is a profoundly homophobic society. The dominance of religious fundamentalists, the sexism and the proximity to family and family oppression makes like very difficult for most people on the LGBT spectrum in Israel.

According to Aeyal Gross, Professor of Law at Tel-Aviv University, “Gay rights have essentially become a public-relations tool” while “conservative and especially religious politicians remain fiercely homophobic.”

2. How Homophobic is Palestine? The Occupied Palestinian Territories are  homophobic, sexist arenas. The goal of Pinkwashing is to justify Israel’s policies of Occupation and Separation by promoting the image of a lone oasis of progress surrounded by violent, homophobic Arabs- thereby denying the existence of a Queer Palestinian movements, or of secular, feminist, intellectual and queer Palestinians. By ignoring the multi-dimensionality of Palestinian society, the Israeli government is trying to claim racial supremacy that in their minds justifies the Occupation.  Yet, nothing justifies the occupation. “While Palestinians in Israel, Jerusalem, and the Occupied Territories of the West Bank and Gaza constitute one community,” says Haneen Maikay, director of alQaws: For Sexual and Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society.  “Our different legal statuses and the different realities of each of these locations – including, for example, restrictions on the freedom of movement of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza – severely constrain our ability to meet as a community.”

Why Queers Are Susceptible to Pink Washing

What makes LGBT people and their allies so susceptible to Homonationalism and Pinkwashing is the emotional legacy of homophobia. The vast majority of Queers have had profound oppression experiences, often in the searing realm of Family, reflected by the lack of legal rights, and reinforced by distorted representations in Arts and Entertainment. The relative civil equality of white gays in The Netherlands and Germany has only been achieved within a generation, and still does not erase the pain of familial and cultural exclusion. As a consequence, many people have come to mistakenly assess how advanced a country is by how it responds to homosexuality. Yet, in a selective democracy like Israel, the inclusion of LGBT Jews in the military, or the relative openness of Tel Aviv are not accurate measures of broad human rights. By deliberately Pinkwashing, the Israeli government ends up exploiting both the Israeli and Palestinian LGBT communities to cynically claim broad personal freedom that the on-going Occupation insistently belies.

A version of this post originally appeared at prettyqueer.com.

About Sarah Schulman

Sarah Schulman is the author of 17 books, most recently THE GENTRIFICATION OF THE MIND : Witness to a Lost Imagination (U of Cal Press), TIES THAT BIND: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences (The New Press) and the novel, THE MERE FUTURE (Arsenal Pulp Press.) She is co-founder, with Jim Hubbard of his film UNITED IN ANGER: A History of ACT UP, and the ACT UP Oral History Project (ww.actuporalhistory.org) Sarah is a Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island.
Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government

{ 117 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. annie says:

    – “In order to succeed online, one has to detach one’s self from strictly official messages and to develop an online personality.”

    By 2010, the Israeli Globe reported that The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had allocated 100 million Shekel (over $26,260,000) to branding.

    i wonder how much of that 26 million went towards developing online personalities.

    With an investment of NIS 340 million (about $88.1 million), an International marketing campaign is being launched to brand Tel Aviv as an international gay vacation destination.

    that’s a lot of money.

    • Mooser says:

      “i wonder how much of that 26 million went towards developing online personalities.”

      I wouldn’t worry. From what I’ve seen of them here at Mondo, I have no doubt the embezzler in the on-line personality department will be exposed soon.

  2. Tristan says:

    Thank you, Sarah Schulman, for a deeply informative yet concisely written article. Excellent work.

    It’s encouraging that the Pro-Palestine movement is gaining a lexicon with which we can dismantle the hasbara. The term ‘pinkwashing’. Hasbarists have been doing it for years, but now we can put a name to it.

  3. irishmoses says:

    There is also evidence of “Brown-Washing” efforts aimed at aligning Israel and American Jews with US Hispanics as fellow victims of oppression/discrimination:

    link to jpost.com

    link to forward.com

    Chutzpah is an understatement. These folks are shameless but also very, very good at what they do. I would like to see a similar history of the development of the Fundamentalist Christian/Israeli/AIPAC alliance (“Christ-Washing”?). I suspect that alliance was also instigated and developed along the same lines.

    These alliances are scary because once the target group has drunk the kool-aid
    they become true believers for the entire program (greater Israel, etc.).

    • Chu says:

      I read the article, and if you substitute German for Jewish, it reads like a nazi movement on the rise. (i.e. And right now, in this overwhelmingly Democratic city, which has never had a Jewish mayor, the four leading Democrats for the post are all Jews or closely Jewish connected.) The writer of the article, Rex Weiner, needs to learn about tact.

      • Ani Ishmael says:

        Do you guys ever get sick of these BS Nazi analogies. It is setting your movement back so far, it is sad you guys don’t understand that, it is sadder yet for the cause you are supposed to be supporting.

        • Mooser says:

          “It is setting your movement back so far…”

          You bet! You can tell that from the alacrity with which people accept the analogy and their willingness to use it.

          But I agree, it’s just awful to use the ol’ Nazi analogy towards anybody except Iranians, or Iraqis, or a couple other guys who held the title of New Hitler for a week or so.

          At any rate, Ish, baby, you just go on telling people what they should think how they should think, and what they should say. Under no circumstances try and find out why they think and talk that way. To do that would be a betrayal to our nation.

        • American says:

          Do you guys ever get sick of these BS Nazi analogies. It is setting your movement back so far, it is sad you guys don’t understand that, it is sadder yet for the cause you are supposed to be supporting”

          We’re just ‘Branding’ Ani….lol.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Do you guys ever get sick of these BS Nazi analogies.”

          If Israelis really don’t want to be compared to Nazis, they should stop acting in ways which remind people of the acts of the Nazis.

        • Avi_G. says:

          Ani Ishmael says:
          November 30, 2011 at 12:58 pm

          Do you guys ever get sick of these BS Nazi analogies. It is setting your movement back so far, it is sad you guys don’t understand that, it is sadder yet for the cause you are supposed to be supporting.

          You’re right. It’s a tough one.

          Burning children with White Phosphorus vs. burning them in gas chambers.

          Shooting children in the head vs. shooting children in the head.

          Raiding homes in the middle of the night and hauling children away to be tortured vs. raiding homes in the middle of the day and hauling children away to be tortured.

          Shooting pregnant women vs. shooting pregnant women.

          Corralling 1.5 million people into a closed area, cutting the power, water and food supplies vs. corralling people into a closed area, depriving them of food and water and imposing curfews.

          You can believe all the propaganda you want. You can live in denial for as long as you wish. But come here and attempt to refute reality. It just makes you look foolish.

        • Sumud says:

          It is setting your movement back so far, it is sad you guys don’t understand that, it is sadder yet for the cause you are supposed to be supporting.

          Thanks but no thanks.

          I have trouble believing you have an ounce of genuine concern about “our movement”, so we’ll have to take any advice you give with a heft grain of salt.

        • Cliff says:

          Thanks ZioBot #whatever.

          ‘We’ (random people you criticize in the comments section), because you know this blog is the anti-Zionist headquarters, really appreciate your sincere advice.

        • iamuglow says:

          The Nazi analogies are the bread and butter of the Israel supporters. Didn’t I just read an article on this site where
          Seth Klarman was saying

          “… When Israel is singled out like no other country….[it recalls the] slow march of Hitler. [There is a] steady march in the world, from college campuses to the U.N. People would love to dismantle the Jewish state…. When Israel is singled out, when Jews are singled out, it’s absolutely terrifying…”

          link to mondoweiss.net

          It makes sense to me that Palestinian supporters would co-opt that….It applies better to them…(victims of ethno/racial supremacists) and it takes it away from the Israel supporters who have been using the analogy to justify anything and everything under the sun.

      • Antidote says:

        re ‘brownwashing’ – I was also thinking of the Nazis, specifically the 1936 ad campaign for the Olympics — which was contracted to Bauhaus graphic artists even though the Nazis had shut down the Bauhaus in 1933 (too many communists) and pretty cool/internationalist/modernist in style

  4. eGuard says:

    IGLYO, the international LGBT youth organisation had planned their annual conference in Tel Aviv for December 2011, cooperating with the local IGY and accepting Israeli government money. Palestinian GLBT organisations asked for a boycott (PQBDS, last June). After some feet dragging, the conference was canceled because of “recent legal changes in Israel” (referring to the disallow-talking-about-BDS law).

    (IGLYO)

    • Mooser says:

      “international LGBT youth organisation”

      Check your local age-of-consent laws before signing up! And get the facts! Don’t expect consistency.

  5. Kathleen says:

    When are they going to get that trying to rebrand apartheid is futile and temporary.

  6. hophmi says:

    This was nonsense when you published it in the NY Times, and it’s nonsense now.

    There is no contradiction between promoting Tel Aviv as gay-friendly and the occupation. One is not meant to replace the other.

    Your argument is the same old story – no one is allows to see anything good about Israel; if Israel promotes itself as gay-friendly, you must remind people how bad Israel is.

    You’re simply an Israel-basher, and you take part in exactly what you condemn by ignoring much more serious homophobia in the Arab world to promote the Palestinian cause.

    You point out that it doesn’t matter whether someone going through a checkpoint is gay or not. I’d point out that it doesn’t matter whether a suicide bomber who takes innocent Israeli lives is gay either.

    Be a human rights activist that respect the human rights of all people.

    • Mooser says:

      “You’re simply an Israel-basher”

      Hophmi, if you haven’t got the proper credentials, I’m sure a quick e-mail to “eee” will get the job done, and Ms. Schulman need trouble you no longer.

    • American says:

      “Be a human rights activist that respect the human rights of all people.:

      O.K……..just as soon as human rights Gay lover Israel loves Arab Gays too.

      • “O.K……..just as soon as human rights Gay lover Israel loves Arab Gays too.” – American

        A great question. Here is what I have found by searching “gay Arabs in Israel”:

        Israel: home to a transformation in Arab gay community
        link to glbtjews.org

        Difficulties of being a Palestinian gay in Israel (a courageous young woman speaks on YouTube):
        link to youtube.com

        A gay Israeli Arab man speaks: Gay Arabs and Jews come together in Tel Aviv
        link to xtra.ca

        Forum discussion by mostly straight people on how religion affects the lives of gay people in Israel:
        link to city-data.com

        There it is; the good with the bad, the opinions of professional writers and ordinary Internet users.

        • American says:

          ruthieofamerica

          Nice try but no cigar.
          I bet you got a lot of F’s on test for not reading the question right.

          I said when”Israel’ treats ARAB gays…..I didn’t say when “Israeli GAY’s” treat “Arab GAY’s”.
          ISRAEL means the country/government of Israel…as seperate from the Gay community in Israel.

        • Yes, American, you said Israel is oppressive to both Palestinian gay people and Palestinian straight people. I disagree. I think Israel respects the human rights of Palestinian gay people more than Palestinians respect their human rights, even though they are all Palestinians.

          In the first link a lesbian from an Arab Israeli village talks about the isolation gay Palestinians feel in their Muslim communities. She was outed, lost her job and went to an Israeli city. There she has the freedom to maintain a support network and website for gay Palestinians in Gaza, Israel and the West Bank. The Israeli government is not oppressing them; according to her they were oppressed in their own Arab homes and villages. A Jewish Israeli guy approached her on a bus (where Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews ride together). She was bothered by his questions about her gender identity.

          The Israeli Arab woman in the next video says gay Palestinians experience discrimination from their Palestinian families, neighbors and co-workers. These gay Palestinians go to the clubs and support groups which exist freely in the democratic Jewish state and that is an important first step for them to create their gay identity. She says Palestinian gay people feel discriminated against in Israel the way straight Palestinians do; but they perceive much less hatred and exclusion from the democratic and Jewish state than they do in the Palestinian community whether it is in Gaza/West Bank or Israel proper.

          Then I gave the link to an article describing a gay Palestinian men’s party held in Tel Aviv by a gay organization operating quietly in the West Bank. A gay Canadian man visiting Israel for Gay Pride [correction: I had said he was an Israeli Arab] met some Jewish gay men at a LGBT picnic. Later the Canadian and some Arab friends went to a party for gay Arabs sponsored by Al-Qaws (Rainbow) for Sexual and Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society. Al-Qaws is based in the West Bank; but they hide their identity for fear of harm by Palestinians. He said a lot of Jewish Israeli gay men were mixing freely at the party, although his friends told him the straight Israeli Arabs are less likely to socialize with Israeli Jews. The Israeli government gets credit for having Pride there, allowing gay people to openly picnic and attend gay clubs.

          In the last link, people discuss why Israel’s identity as a Jewish state doesn’t oppress the rights of gay people. They conclude it is because Israel is both a Jewish and a democratic secular state. They go on to talk about homosexuals in the Middle East; but conclude that Israel is the only country where gay Arabs have any freedom and that many gay Palestinians from Gaza/West Bank much prefer to live in Israel if they can get permanent residence status.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Ruthie, we’re not falling for this shit, it’s pinkwashing. Thank you for a practical demonstration of how Israel’s supporters like to exploit gay rights as a wedge issue, even while they torture, oppress and steal from all Palestinians, gay or straight.

    • Chu says:

      So let’s hear it, are you are in favor of pinkwashing or not?

    • seanmcbride says:

      hophmi,

      Do you realize that every time you angrily attack a non-Israeli because of your passionate attachment to Israel — “you’re simply an Israel-basher” — you are helping to turn them against Israel?

      Do you understand that no one can win embittered arguments over ethnic nationalist politics with those who are not emotional members of the ethnic nationalist movement in dispute?

      All the frenetic and furious efforts by the Israel lobby and by people like you to promote and defend Israel have succeeded in alienating most of the world.

      When is the last time you were nagged, harassed, abused, attacked or hit up for contributions by an Irish nationalist? How do you think that kind of activity would go over? This is a frequent unpleasant occurrence for many Americans and Europeans with regard to Jewish nationalism (that is, Israel and Zionism).

      Israel needs to remove itself as an object of overexcited controversy in American and European politics if it wants to survive. But I strongly doubt that it can do that.

      • Cliff says:

        No Zionist on MW is here to debate.

        Hophmi genuinely HATES non-Jews. So does eee. These people are deeply tribal and will never change.

        You can’t have a discussion with people if you share no common ground OR if your opponent has no integrity and/or shame.

        Simple things like ‘do not steal’ are the most basic concepts of human decency. But they cannot comprehend that. Stealing is acceptable if you are a Zionist and you want a Palestinian’s resources/land/tax money/etc. etc. etc.

        And they do not comment in threads which are about Israeli criminality.

        None of them directly commented or expressed any kind of criticism of Israel in the thread where the French consul’s wife miscarried her child due to Israeli reckless bombardment on Gaza.

        I mean, we’re not even talking about a Palestinian! We’re talking about a Westerner! They don’t care though. You are part of the tribe or you aren’t.

        eee has descended into further stupidity and is defining who IS and ISN’T a JEW!

        Where is the condemnation from hophmi or DBG/yonira or Dick Witty?

        Underneath the veneer of ‘Western-style’ whatever (gay rights, liberalism, albeit phony Zionist liberalism) – these people are far-right, neo-cons. To the RIGHT of the neo-cons actually.

        They look at an American like Rachel Corrie and BECAUSE SHE SUPPORTED THE PALESTINIANS – they insult her death and say it’s her own fault (FOR GETTING RUN OVER BY A DAMN TRACTOR!).

        Don’t ever appeal to their conscience. They have none.

        • hophmi says:

          “Hophmi genuinely HATES non-Jews.”

          Again, where is the goddamn moderator? This is nothing but nonsensical ad hominem.

          “You can’t have a discussion with people if you share no common ground OR if your opponent has no integrity and/or shame.”

          “Underneath the veneer of ‘Western-style’ whatever (gay rights, liberalism, albeit phony Zionist liberalism) – these people are far-right, neo-cons. To the RIGHT of the neo-cons actually.”

          Right, anyone who doesn’t disagree with you is a Nazi. We get it Cliff.

          “Don’t ever appeal to their conscience. They have none.”

          Why don’t you just call us subhuman? I know you want to.
          You’re not one to talk about “having a discussion.” All you do is throw invective at people.

          “Simple things like ‘do not steal’ are the most basic concepts of human decency.”

          Blah, blah, blah. So is “do not murder children” but it hasn’t stopped Palestinian terrorists from doing it.

          “None of them directly commented or expressed any kind of criticism of Israel in the thread where the French consul’s wife miscarried her child due to Israeli reckless bombardment on Gaza.”

          I don’t recall anyone here having much to say when Israeli mothers in Sderot miscarry do to terrorist rocket attacks.

        • Shingo says:

          Again, where is the goddamn moderator? This is nothing but nonsensical ad hominem.

          YOu can’t hate ad hominems that much Hop. You’re comments would never get through the moderator if ad hominems were blocked.

        • Mooser says:

          “Why don’t you just call us subhuman?”

          As far as I can see, Hophmi, you have no grounds for being insulted. Everybody compares your behavior, and Israel’s behavior, to the most elite of humans, the most superior humans.
          Why don’t you tell us who the sub-humans are, and how you classify people as either human or subhuman, so we will have a basis for comparison.

        • Mooser says:

          “Again, where is the goddamn moderator?”

          Hophmi, it is simply not possible for Mondoweiss to provide overlapping teams of ten moderators (Ten? Of course! Do you think they would do it any other way?) , their research assistants, legal department, spiritual advisers, physical trainers with hot-lines to the journalism and ethics departments of world-renowned universities for every single hour of the day and night. They get lunch, and the breaks and PT (personal time) specified in their contract, and Mondoweiss has a very liberal child-care and maternal-paternal leave policy. And sometimes at night they fall asleep for a bit. It can’t be helped.
          Unfortunately, Hophmi, they are all sitting around in the Moderator’s Suite, muttering “Goddam moderators?” “Goddam Moderators? I’ll goddam moderator him….”
          I don’t think you did yourself any favors with that one, Hophmi. I’d apologise if I were you.

        • Cliff says:

          Hophmi,

          I am glad you are finally able to see the parallel between Palestinian terrorism and the occupation, the settlers and the entire Zionist criminal nexus.

          Now, on to specifics:

          Your favorite country (not the one you live in) – kills 10 times as many children and 5 times as many civilians.

          That is in addition to the COUNTLESS horror stories of the occupation. Enough that we can easily say ‘that hasn’t stopped the IDF from sniping Palestinian children’ – and it would be true.

          In fact, it would be true and it happens more often than ‘Palestinian terrorists murdering children’.

          As to the rockets – there is NOTHING to say. We all know the rockets are a war crime. We all know that they are immoral.

          And we do not attach a ‘but’ or otherwise conditional condemnation.

          No one here supports Hamas and providing they do, they sure as hell do not support Hamas like YOU support ZIONISM and ISRAEL.

          There is no parallel between Zionist apologetics and anti-Zionism intellectualism (wherein we say, negotiate with Hamas they are the democratically elected leadership or Hamas policemen were murdered nonetheless, in spite of being members of Hamas during Cast Lead).

          The kinds of arguments from the anti-Zionist consensus is not approving of Hamas or it’s charter or it’s brand of Islamism (which is not the same as the Taliban or Al Qaeda and that is an important distinction). Anti-Zionist arguments are specific and Hamas is usually only in the periphery.

          Phil doesn’t say, ‘Hamas has a right to defend itself’ after it launches a rocket attack.

        • Cliff says:

          Hophmi,

          When are you going to comment on eee’s ‘Who is and isn’t a Jew’ comments?

          I think it’s safe to assume you tacitly approve.

          Instead you’re whining that I said you have no decency (you’re inhuman, not sub-human).

        • Ray984954 says:

          Wow, hophmi, is really out there. Subhuman? That is what the Zionists think of Palestinians. For the record judge for yourself just who is the victim here if the source of the following stats can be believed(which I think they can be): I=Israel, P= Palestinians.
          The stats are from ifamericansknew.org .
          Sept 2000-Oct, 2011
          Children killed: I=125, P=1,471;
          Israelis and Palestinians killed: I=1092, P=6,537;
          Injured: I=10,792, P=59,575;
          US military Aid to Israelis and Palestinians: I=$8.2 million per day, P=$0;
          Demolitions of homes 1967- 2011: I=0, P=24,813;
          Unemployment: I=6.4%, P=West Bank 16.5% and in Gaza 40%;
          Current illegal settlements and outposts: I=273, P=0;
          So, hophmi, do you really think the Israelis led by rightwing Zionists are not to blame for these one sided stats? As for suicide bombers, why don’t you show stats for those times you claim where you seem to think all Palestinians are suicide bombers, if Palestinians are such terrorists, do you not think if there were that many that were, Israel would have not a chance to continue the atrocities.
          Mooser, sorry, I meant to Reply to Homphi.

      • hophmi says:

        ““you’re simply an Israel-basher” — you are helping to turn them against Israel?”

        Sarah Schulman is already against Israel. I’m not worried about turning her.

        “All the frenetic and furious efforts by the Israel lobby and by people like you to promote and defend Israel have succeeded in alienating most of the world.”

        Not really. Israel is still respected where it counts.

        • seanmcbride says:

          hophmi,

          By all means, tell us all about the details concerning “Israel is still respected where it counts.” Where are these places? Be specific. From whom did you acquire your information? Do you think if you bear down hard enough through sheer will power that you might hypnotize yourself into believing that this is true?

          Do you really think that European and American leaders, especially at the highest levels of the national security community, “respect” Israel or rather consider it to be a huge headache that is totally out of control and dragging the world into a great catastrophe?

          Has any of your browbeating on behalf of Israel ever managed to convert a single non-Israeli or non-Jew to your point of view? Or have you simply annoyed them to the point of triggering their sustained animosity? Do you really not get the politics and social dynamics of militant ethnic nationalism? It’s pretty much a losing game from the start, guaranteed to piss off just about everyone.

          There is NO good reason for Jews to be bogged down in ethnic nationalist politics at all — it is becoming increasingly obvious that they have wasted their time and energy on it to their detriment. Just let it go.

        • Mooser says:

          “Israel is still respected where it counts.”
          You tell ‘em Hoppy! Only “sub-humans” disrespect Israel!

        • Mooser says:

          “Or have you simply annoyed them to the point of triggering their sustained animosity.”

          And why not? Once you know someone harbors “sustained animosity” you can pretty well ignore what they say, huh?
          And if that sustained animosity can be transfered to Jews in general, that’s just one step closer to having those Jews forced into Israel.
          For Zionists, sustained animosity is a win-win.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Mooser,

          You wrote:

          “Once you know someone harbors “sustained animosity” you can
          pretty well ignore what they say, huh? And if that sustained animosity can be transfered to Jews in general, that’s just one step closer to having those Jews forced into Israel. For Zionists, sustained animosity is a win-win.”

          I think this is precisely the game that is being played. These people (pro-Israel militants) get high as a kite on apocalyptic ethnic conflict — it’s their drug of choice. They lust after what they most complain about.

          How does one deal with people whose psychology is so twisted? Obviously argument and debate, and appeals to reason and rational self-interest, will get one nowhere. The best one can hope to achieve is to marginalize them or get them out out of one’s life entirely. They have no interest in living in an amicable and sane way with other human beings.

        • Mooser says:

          “They have no interest in living in an amicable and sane way with other human beings.”

          That is exactly why I am afraid of Zionists and Zionism. Oh, they may not do to me quite what they will do to an Arab, because I’m Jewish, but since I am a poor, uneducated, unconnected and not very good-looking, or very bright, or observant Jew, it’d be about one step up from that. Maybe Hophmi or eee could tell me why, if I decided to transfer my assets (between the marbles and the box-tops, not mention books of matches from all forty-nine states, it’s a tidy little sum!) and move to Israel I would be treated any better than an “Arab”? To a Zionist, I am just raw material, or cannon fodder. Just something to boss around and bully.
          If any Zionist/Israeli wants to tell me different, I’d love to hear about it.

        • Mooser says:

          If you must know, I got the computer while panhandling at an expressway exit. Guy motioned me over to his car, and asked me if I wanted his old one. There’s a stiff computer-disposal fee here.

        • Mooser says:

          “Sarah Schulman is already against Israel.”

          You are lying again Hophmi. Where does Ms. Schulman say she is “against Israel”?

      • RoHa says:

        “When is the last time you were nagged, harassed, abused, attacked or hit up for contributions by an Irish nationalist?”

        A bit OT, but the last time it happened to me was in a pub in London in the early 1970s. A guy with a tin came round collecting contributions for the IRA. As I understand it, at that time the IRA was illegal in Ireland but not in Britain.

    • Cliff says:

      Hophmi stop calling Palestinians, Nazis. Stop propping up the Mufti as if he was influential and popular among Palestinians and as if he was elected by popular consensus.

      Stop lying through your teeth. Then maybe your indignation will have some truth to it.

      You’re just a Zionist and people bash Israel because it DOESN’T respect human rights and is a racist, colonial-settler State.

      • hophmi says:

        “Hophmi stop calling Palestinians, Nazis.”

        And where did I do that in this thread (or any other)? Stop spinning your broken record.

        “Stop propping up the Mufti as if he was influential and popular among Palestinians and as if he was elected by popular consensus. ”

        What the hell are you talking about?? Did you forget to take your medicine this morning?

        • Mooser says:

          I’m telling you people, if you keep on telling Hophmi his work is no good, and he’s not delivering value for money, it’s gonna get ugly! For $26 mil. people expect results.

        • eGuard says:

          Hophmi: And where did I do that in this thread (or any other)?

          Then when did you stop calling Palestinians Nazis?

    • Ray984954 says:

      “The gay tourist likes urban vacations, he forms attachments with the community in the cities he visits, enjoys partying and usually returns to places he had a good time in. This is established tourism which draws in young tourism and sets trends which other sectors of the population adopt.”
      Sure, enjoy yourself while in the same country, 1.6 million people in occupied areas are being oppressed and treated as second class citizens, while Zionist Israelis are continuing to violate international law and the human rights of Palestinians.

      ‘According to Aeyal Gross, Professor of Law at Tel-Aviv University, “Gay rights have essentially become a public-relations tool” while “conservative and especially religious politicians remain fiercely homophobic.”’
      Speaks for itself.
      “Foreign Ministry official told the Jerusalem Post this week that efforts to let European and American liberals know about the gay community in Israel were an important part of its work to highlight this country’s support of human rights and to underscore its diversity in a population that tends to judge Israel harshly, solely on its treatment of Palestinians.”
      Oh, I get it, it’s like a rotten ham sandwich, good only in spots. Well, me too, I’m for human rights except when I’m not. And when I’m not it is related to the very people whose percentage of the land went from about 90% to 45%, with them having no say whatsoever about the matter and giving the Jews 55% where they actually only had 5.8% based on their population numbers previously. And let’s not forget violence was used by Zionists to forcibly expel 800,000 people in six months, take the land the Zionists coveted, from the indigenous peoples in Palestine. I can see why Israel would want to change how they appear to the world as they run out of good arguments for the Israeli Jewish state, while continued oppression of Palestinians goes on. I love pigs, but this is putting lipstick on a pig, he/she is still a pig afterwards.
      Marketing/advertising need to get a real job, they are engaged in an activity that is akin to selling snake oil. Remember the Pet Rock? People actually bought a damn stone, due to the hype over ownership of a rock.

      “Overall, Israel is a profoundly homophobic society. The dominance of religious fundamentalists, the sexism and the proximity to family and family oppression makes life very difficult for most people on the LGBT spectrum in Israel.”

      So, let’s pretend we, the Israeli society, as a group, are pro gays, maybe someone will buy it if we say it often enough, loudly enough, and over and over again ad nauseum. Yes, let’s fool people into believing a slanted lie, for if we were truly for human rights we would not be engaging in apartheid against the Bedouins, the Arabs, and Palestinians.
      What Israel should be spending time and money on are real things like the human rights of their fellow countrymen, the Palestinians, and stop treating them as “those damn Arabs.”
      As it is, gay folk have historically been desirous of acceptance as human beings not just sexual beings who prefer the same sex. One very successful tactic in the LGBT movement is to show gay folks are not abstracts, or outsiders, but as the real people they are that you know and love, they are in fact someone you know as your friend, your brother, your uncle, or sister, your father or mother, and in that light, it showed how gay folk are a part of the rest of humanity, not an aberration and the debilitated, the downtrodden, those who have historically been villified by society for hundreds of years, the LGBT human beings who are like all humans deserving of our love and trust.
      Whereas LGBTs are deserving of respect and love, for who they are as people, the Israelis OTOH are trying to have it both ways, to be seen as a loving civilized group whom respects others and at the same time they want to harass and villify the Palestinians, and to continue their ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

      hophmi, Really? For Israel to say that it wants to project a cetain image that is not actually true, but they want it to paint them as more reasonable than they actually are, as far as human rights go by manipulating that image to appear gay friendly and pretend they are for human rights on the one hand and on the other they want no part of it,yes there is a contradiction there. Being Pro gay and anti-Palestinian does not mean you are for human rights. It means you are for human rights except when you’re not. It is like a rotten ham sandwich as I have referenced elsewhere, good only in spots, well, there you have Israel, good only in spots. They love their families but does that make them good if they mistreat Palestinians? And you see no contradiction in that? I’m stymied.
      hophmi, I am for a two state solution, in which Israel returns much of the land they confiscated lately through settlers stealing from Palestinians outright and the 1948 ethnic cleansing carried out against the Palestinians, yet Israel is making it impossible for there to be a 2 state solution as long as they keep forcibly taking the land of the Palestinians and building on it, the settlers are just sticking to the original plan began in 1948, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinme. If someone is so egregious in their actions to others, it does take away from the overall picture of them. It is like Herman Cain saying “just look at all those I didn’t sexually harass, it could have been worse,” it only serves to take attention away from the bad deeds. I mean there are some who are dog people and some are cat people, but me, I am an animal lover of both dogs and cats. So, is a person who is one or the other all bad, no, but it makes little sense to love dogs and hate cats. which some people do.
      homphi, you want Israel to get a free pass to hurt some while promoting others all for an image to show the world as the truth of what happened in 1948 comes out. The truth cannot stay hidden forever. Israel is running out of arguments to justify their brutality to Palestine. Security was a dog whistle at one time, but even that doesn’t work anymore, and with the help of the US Israel has become the 7th largest military in the world, where do you suppose the Palestinians fit? Do they evemn have a military?

    • RoHa says:

      “You’re simply an Israel-basher”

      You say that as if it were a bad thing.

      • Mooser says:

        “You say that as if it were a bad thing.”

        I have been warning them, over and over and over again about exactly this phenomenon, but they will not listen. I’ve come to the conclusion that Zionists are completely unable to tell the difference between moral credibility and mendacious victimology.

    • Charon says:

      …you take part in exactly what you condemn by ignoring much more serious homophobia in the Arab world to promote the Palestinian cause

      If a cop pulls you over for speeding, not having made up their mind on whether to write you a ticket or not, and you use the excuse that the person in front of you was speeding faster…. You’re going to get a ticket. Just as you delegitimized whatever point you were trying to make when you pulled it out of your bag of tricks. “But… but why are you blaming us when Arabs are worse at it!” Excuses are childishness. You must not have read the article. You certainly didn’t learn anything. Maybe our senses don’t work the same way.

      Israel isn’t promoting themselves as gay-friendly, they are exploiting gays for propaganda. Just like they do with ‘terror’ victims to generate sympathy. Weak. Totally weak. Be more like Socrates in Plato’s Apology and don’t use tricks that play on emotions, don’t bring sons into the court for sympathy. Don’t shed crocodile tears. Grow up. Oh and I like how you threw in a suicide bomber reference. To be fair, it isn’t a hophmi thing. It’s an Israel thing. It’s a Zionist thing. Their PR policy is generate sympathy through the shedding of crocodile tears.

      PS, your last sentence: Be a human rights activist that respect the human rights of all people…. all is asking for too much because some people don’t deserve it. Some people don’t deserve mercy. The slaver doesn’t respect the rights of his slave. Why should the slaver’s ‘rights’ be respected?

    • lyn117 says:

      If there were truth in their advertising, I suppose the zios would advertise the IDF as a paradise for sadists.

  7. seafoid says:

    Great analysis

    “Rebranding a country can take 20 years or more. It involves more than just generating more positive stories about Israel. The process has to be internalized and integrated, too. ”

    White phosphorous can wipe out 20 years of rebranding. Israel’s brand recovered from the low of 1982 and the massacre of Sabra and Shatila thanks to the Oslo process. Lieberman is destroying the brand again with sterling help from Bibi, Barak and Zippy. Israel is like one of those American cakes that comes in a fancy box and is advertised on TV. No flavour. No taste. The packaging is the product.

    • Ani Ishmael says:

      Thinking along those lines seafoid, I would say the Palestinian brand (suicide bombing campaigns) and the Arab brand as a whole (9/11, Islamic terrorism) will need much more than 20 years of rebranding to be 1/10 of what brand Israel is now.

      • MarkF says:

        You might be tight Ani Ishmael. Let’s see, how long did it take for our brand to be rehabbed when Samson, the first suicide “bomber” and took out his enemies?

        Or how about how David cut off Goliath’s head and handed it over to the king? He became king from defeating and beheading someone.

        Don’t we still idolize these biblical heros? I know my Hebrew teacher thought enough of them to teach us those tales of “bravery”. Guess we really haven’t rehabbed at all, eh?

      • Cliff says:

        Suicide bombing began in 1994 and has ended for several years.

        Israel was stealing land, killing indiscriminately and subjecting Palestinians to daily abuse LONG BEFORE suicide bombing.

        Get over yourself. This conflict has never been about Islamism and never will be.

        The Arab brand as a whole? There are like a billion Muslims. Indonesia has the most Muslims. There are Chinese Muslims. Terrorism is a microscopic aspect of Islam.

        The terrorism in the Arab world is religious but it’s also a response to the dictatorships inflicted on the Arabs and supported by the West and Israel. If Israelis were subjected to the harsh Iraq sanctions, then every single Jew (Zionist or not) would be claiming that the US was trying to carry out another Holocaust. Half a million Iraqi children died during the sanctions era.

        The Arabs have suffered from their own people and from the brutal and disgusting policies and actions of the West and Israel.

        Israel, a country that supported racist South Africa. One of it’s closest friends.

        Etc etc etc

        Israel doesn’t have a poor image due to obsessive media coverage. It has a bad image because it’s a racist, apartheid colonial-settler State.

        Who gives a damn about gay rights in Israel if it is fundamentally immoral.

        Immoral to it’s core being because BEING Israel means supplanting the indigenous population with Jewish immigrants. Taking land from another people and subjugating them.

        Who CARES about your accomplishments?

        • hophmi says:

          “Suicide bombing began in 1994 and has ended for several years.”

          Not for lack of trying.

          “Terrorism is a microscopic aspect of Islam.”

          It’s not any part of Islam. There are definitely more Muslim suicide bombers than any other religion, however, and in the case of Israel, most Middle Eastern Arabs do not see suicide bombing as terrorism.

          “The Arabs have suffered from their own people and from the brutal and disgusting policies and actions of the West and Israel. ”

          Not as much as they have suffered from the brutal policies of their own leaders.

          “Israel, a country that supported racist South Africa.”

          Palestinian leaders supported the Nazis. Your point?

        • Shingo says:

          Not for lack of trying.

          No, it’s due to Hamas having declared an end to them in 2006.

          There are definitely more Muslim suicide bombers than any other religion, however, and in the case of Israel, most Middle Eastern Arabs do not see suicide bombing as terrorism.

          True, they see is as a means of fighting a war. They’d happily hang up their suicide vests if they had F16′s.

          Not as much as they have suffered from the brutal policies of their own leaders.

          Based on what yard stick?

          Palestinian leaders supported the Nazis. Your point?

          Correction. One Palestinians leader, who never had any legitimacy among the Palestinians and was appointe dby the British, supported the Nazis. He was exiled in 1937 and never returned. The point is that apartheid is alive and well in Israel today and has been for half a century.

        • Cliff says:

          Not as much as they have suffered from the brutal policies of their own leaders.

          One doesn’t excuse the other. I know it’s difficult for a sociopath to grasp. Seek psychiatric help.

          Palestinian leaders supported the Nazis. Your point?

          Israeli leaders supported Nazis. Zionists dealt with Nazis. Zionists admired and sought to emulate the Nazis.

          Oh and Vorster was a Nazi sympathizer. That didn’t stop Israeli leaders from smiling for the camera though!

        • Ray984954 says:

          Cliff, I just want to add that about those 500,000 children dying because of US sanctions, Madeline Albright, said it was worth it. Sadly, and I am ashamed to say this, but if I had been within arms reach of her saying that, I would have gutted her like a fish, I was so angry. What sort of human being thinks innocent children dying for political reasons is a good thing. It was better in the days of the OT when animals were sacrificed routinely, but these were human children. I take that back even killing innocent animals as an act to appease an invisible entity’s sensibilities or to gain their favor, is wrong, too.
          When I heard her say that and I’m sorry, call me a wimp, or whatever, I don’t care, but I sobbed uncontrollably at the utter loss of the Iraqi children’s lives and the loss of the peoples of today’s humanity. Sorry for the reference to Hitler, but at his behest, townsfolk all over Europe under the Nazism influence, regular folk became the Politsia, and they helped carry out the massacres of the Jewish people, that, too, was a time when some humans, too many, had lost their humanity. Watching Spielberg’s Days of Remembrance series about survivor’s of the Holocaust, kids at the time, I learned that of the six million Jews who were killed, 1.5 million were children. I saw the images of the ditches dug to dispose of the dead bodies, and with them filled with dead naked bodies and with dead mothers in those ditches still clutching their dead babies both having been shot dead, and dumped into the pit. I, also had the same reaction to these films as I did the Iraqi children, and I know crying does nothing, but it was just too much to know of such acts, and feel nothing. When I learned there were 33 massacres in 1948, of Palestinian women, men and children carried out by the Zionists, militant Jews, in order to take their land, again I had the same reaction, I cried for them and wondered how can this be? Jews who suffered so much at other’s hands, yet here they were doing the same to the Palestinians, not in a moment of uncontrolled passion over some offense, but as a response that was cold, calculated, and delibrate, and they continue the ethnic cleansing to this day.
          I can only say, I just don’t get it, how the Israelis, Jews who suffered so much can allow Zionists, to set the rules for their State. I feel it is my duty as a human being to expose the big lies of, and crimes of the Zionists Israelis. I am not anti-Israel, or Pro-Palestine as much as I am for people making their own way and for stopping the aggression of one group causing the suffering of another, and so, I am for protecting the downtrodden, and it seems in this case to be the Palestinians, not the Israelis.

      • Shingo says:

        Thinking along those lines seafoid, I would say the Palestinian brand (suicide bombing campaigns) and the Arab brand as a whole (9/11, Islamic terrorism) will need much more than 20 years of rebranding to be 1/10 of what brand Israel is now.

        Seeing as Israel’s brand is down alongside North Korea and Iran, I’d say not.

    • hophmi says:

      Israel’s standing in the world is a function of obsessive media coverage. There are more journalists per square inch there than anywhere else. So all people on TV in the West is conflict and in the Arab world, of course, all they see are the brethren getting killed.

      The occupation is not an adequate explanation for why Israel is ranked with Sudan and below North Korea. North Korea starves its people. Sudan massacres hundreds of thousands. It’s a function of a press that is overly obsessed with the Holy Land. And most of the impressions people have about Israel and Israelis (again, most Americans think most Israelis are religious fanatics) are wrong.

      Promoting a face of Israel that is not based in conflict and fighting is not pinkwashing. It’s advertising. Anyone interested in learning about the occupation has a myriad of sources to choose from to learn about it. Sarah Schulman must think gay people are really stupid if she thinks that they will not be able to process both information about the Palestinians and a Tel Aviv ad campaign.

      • Sumud says:

        Sarah Schulman must think gay people are really stupid if she thinks that they will not be able to process both information about the Palestinians and a Tel Aviv ad campaign.

        As a member of that community I can confirm that there are a whole bunch of gay people that are really stupid. Believe it or not, sex sells in the gay community also…

        Funny thing is, the most attractive men in Israel’s pinkwashing campaigns look more arab than eastern European (ie ‘Israeli’).

        • hophmi says:

          How is looking eastern European “Israeli?”

        • ToivoS says:

          Sumud writes: Funny thing is, the most attractive men in Israel’s pinkwashing campaigns look more arab than eastern European

          This something that I noticed some time ago. Palestinian youth, males and females, are so much more handsome than Israelis. If there was ever a truly integrated society in Israel, probably over half of all Jewish marriages would be with Arabs. This is one of the real existential threats of which Israel should be worried.

        • Sumud says:

          How is looking eastern European “Israeli?”

          Gee hophmi, is your knowledge of history that deficient…?

          “In 1914 Palestine had a population of 657,000 Muslim Arabs, 81,000 Christian Arabs, and 59,000 Jews.”

          source: link to en.wikipedia.org

          First Aliyah (1882-1903):
          “Between 1882 and 1903, approximately 35,000 Jews immigrated to the south-western area of Syria, then a province of the Ottoman Empire. The majority, belonging to the Hovevei Zion and Bilu movements, came from the Russian Empire with a smaller number arriving from Yemen. ”

          Second Aliyah (1903-1914):
          “Between 1904 and 1914, 40,000 Jews immigrated mainly from Russia to south-western Syria following pogroms and outbreaks of anti-semitism in that country.

          Third Aliyah (1919-1923):
          Between 1919 and 1923, 40,000 Jews, mainly from the Russian Empire arrived in the wake of World War I, the British conquest of Palestine; the establishment of the Mandate, and the Balfour Declaration.

          Fourth Aliyah (1929-1949):
          “Between 1924 and 1929, 82,000 Jews arrived, many as a result of anti-semitism in Poland and Hungary

          Fifth Aliyah (1929-1939):
          “The Fifth Aliyah was again driven mostly from Eastern Europe as well as professionals, doctors, lawyers and professors, from Germany.”

          Aliyah Bet: Illegal immigration (1933–1948):
          “The British government limited Jewish immigration to Palestine with quotas, and following the rise of Nazism to power in Germany, illegal immigration to Palestine commenced.

          Following the war, Berihah (“flight”), an organization of former partisans and ghetto fighters was primarily responsible for smuggling Jews from Poland and Eastern Europe

          Early statehood (1948–1950):
          “After Aliyah Bet, the process of numbering or naming individual aliyot ceased, but immigration did not. A major wave of immigration of over half a million Jews went to Israel between 1948 and 1950, many fleeing renewed persecution in Eastern Europe, and increasingly hostile Arab countries.

          source: link to en.wikipedia.org

          At last, we start to see jewish immigration occurring from somewhere other than Eastern Europe, which occurred primarily over the 20 year period 1948 – ramping up following covert Israeli terrorist attacks on the Iraqi jewish community etc.

          Otherwise it’s all from Eastern Europe and to a lesser degree Germany and other adjacent countries to the west. Zionism is an Eastern European phenomenon. Israel is an Eastern European phenomenon.

          I think looking forward a good few decades after Israel implodes and the Arab Spring bears fruit, many arab jews who immigrated to Israel will return to the homelands of their parents and grandparents, and turn away from militant zionism.

          My point about the sex that Israel is selling is that, at least when it comes to gay Israeli men, they look more arab or mediterranean than Eastern European.

          There’s a tremendous potential that pinkwashing will backfire; instead of promoting the standard hasbara about civilised Israel in a sea of savages, it will just create curiosity about travelling to adjacent countries.

          And what do you know, it’s already happening:

          http://www.amazon.com/Travels-Muslim-World-Michael-Luongo/dp/1560233400

          Really, Israel is just trying to displace Beirut as the cosmopolitan and hedonistic party capital of the region. They aren’t the only ones: in the Persian Gulf Dubai has a similar idea.

        • Sumud says:

          If there was ever a truly integrated society in Israel, probably over half of all Jewish marriages would be with Arabs. This is one of the real existential threats of which Israel should be worried.

          I wouldn’t like to put a figure on potential marriages TovioS but I agree with the sentiment.

          Israelis need to discard the ghetto mentality they have brought with them from Eastern Europe. And that includes the need to have and reliance on friends in high places, such as the US. On that front, zionism has been an abject failure.

          Israel needs to stand on it’s own two feet, and fully bear the consequences of it’s behaviour. When it does that, then the idea of the “tough jew” (in reality an angry scared ghetto jew with a gun) can be put to rest and there will be peace in the region.

          Thinking about it, that will require a change of mindset, and a lot of forgiveness, on the part of Palestinians too. Perhaps whatever single state comes into existence needs a new name, neither Israel or Palestine, or Palestine/Israel or Israel/Palestine, but something entirely neutral and inclusive like “Holy Land”. If that were the case both Palestinians and Israelis would be losing something in the short term, but in the long term they also become part of a single multi-religious multi-ethnic identity living together in one geographic region. It would help to put a very painful past to rest.

        • Mooser says:

          “probably over half of all Jewish marriages would be with Arabs.”

          I don’t know about anyone else, but when my genes get ragged or have holes in them, I patch them, or get a new pair.

        • Mooser says:

          “Thinking about it…/… painful past to rest.”

          What a wonderful vision of the future.

      • Mooser says:

        “Sarah Schulman must think gay people are really stupid if she thinks that they will not be able to process both information about the Palestinians and a Tel Aviv ad campaign.”

        Hophmi, I completely agree. I’m sure “gay people” will have no problem seeing through Israel’s pinkwashing, even without Ms. Schulman’s cogent analysis.

      • Cliff says:

        Sara Shulman’s article about pinkwashing is precisely in the realm of advertising.

        It’s because Israel has a PR machine to fix it’s horrible image that they pinkwash.

        When I was an undergrad, some Israeli Bedouin came to my school. It was such a farce.

        The guy is part of the hasbara circuit though. You parade these aspects of Israel for the SOLE PURPOSE of distracting people from the fundamental identifier of ‘Zionist’ identity.

        Israel has not declared it’s final borders. It is still colonizing. Until it stops and there is a just peace, who GIVES A SHIT about your ballet? or your orchestra? or computer chips? Blah blah blah

        And that’s WORLD opinion. It’s not surprising Western countries don’t mind – because we have been f#*$ing with the third-world forever. It’s part of our identifier to feed off of the third-world. To have these wars in the ME (OIL).

      • Shingo says:

        Israel’s standing in the world is a function of obsessive media coverage. There are more journalists per square inch there than anywhere else.

        Apart from being an absurdly stood argument,it’s also false. If the number of journalists was a liability, then North Korea would be a lot more popular.

        Apart from that, rebranding requires lots of publicity,so all those hour is should be an asset.

        • hophmi says:

          “Apart from being an absurdly stood argument,it’s also false. If the number of journalists was a liability, then North Korea would be a lot more popular.”

          It’s not absurd at all. Israel is an open society, journalists need stories, and conflict sells. So Israel, a democratic country in a world where many countries have much worse human rights records, gets a totally disproportionate amount of coverage, and that coverage is usually negative.

          The point is not that less journalists make a country’s image better. The point is that many journalists with a certain agenda in mind (reporting conflict) can give a country an undeserved bad image. The Palestinian-Israel conflict is not the only conflict in the world. But it is the most widely covered. For that reason, Israel has the same profile as North Korea, a brutal dictatorship where millions have died from starvation and Sudan, another brtual country where hundreds of thousands have died in ethnic violence and genocides.

        • john h says:

          Israel has the same profile as North Korea, a brutal dictatorship where millions have died from starvation and Sudan, another brtual country where hundreds of thousands have died in ethnic violence and genocides.

          That is the image because it is based on fact, not on the number or bias of journalists; their agenda is not reporting violence but reporting whatever is being played out where they are.

          Yes, conflict sells, but only because it exists.

          In Israel’s case it is of special interest for several reasons, the first one being that Israel is, as you say, a democracy. Its policies and actions do actually reflect the will of the people, in contrast to North Korea and similar regimes. Israel thus singles itself out for unusual attention.

        • eljay says:

          “Israel: We may not be as good as the best but, hey, at least we’re not as bad as the worst!” (TM)

        • Ray984954 says:

          Is it even possible for Israel to be a Democracy AND a Jewish state? Jews is an ethnic designation isn’t it? Then, why are Palestinians not allowed to share in that same Democracy? There are buses Arabs are not allowed on, is that the Israeli Democracy at work, or a Jewish preferred state at work? Israel is not a Democracy, it is an apartheid state.

        • MarkF says:

          It’s because all the other conflicts aren’t sucking 3 billion a year out of our coffers at the expense of saidAmerican tax payers, and the money is used to harm others.

        • MRW says:

          Correct, MarkF. But the sums are actually higher than $3 billion a year. With direct and indirect funding, it’s north of $10 billion per annum now. I’ve heard it’s $40 billion yearly when tax donations are taken into account, because those tax-free donations are money that leaves this country.

          (How else are you going to subsidize 500,000 settlers? Do the math.)

        • eljay says:

          >> So Israel, a democratic country in a world where many countries have much worse human rights records …

          “Israel: We may not be as good as the best but, hey, at least we’re not as bad as the worst!” (TM)

          As for “democratic country”, most people don’t associate democracy with a state:
          - that is overtly religion-supremacist; and
          - remains engaged in a 60+ years, ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder, which is has the power to halt immediately and completely, but which it chooses not to.

      • seafoid says:

        Hophmi

        “The occupation is not an adequate explanation for why Israel is ranked with Sudan and below North Korea”

        You are supposed to spin Israel . Isn’t that why they pay you? Not deliver the unvarnished truth. You just shot yourself in the foot .
        When Israel signed the Oslo Accords it didn’t need no hasbara. And it was ranked way higher than Sudan.

      • Mooser says:

        hophmi says:
        November 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm

        Hophmi, that was the most, well, pathetic bit of commenting you’ve ever done. I think you hit a new low. Your complete inability to communicate in any other context except shared bigotry sticks out all over that one. Oh, and a whole lot more, mostly craveness.
        Yup, that one was a doozy.

        • Ray984954 says:

          Yea, Israel is not bad, just look at all the others who are worse. Cain’s women he sexaully harassed, well, hell, just look at all those he didn’t harass is his argument, and so is hophmi’s.

      • Sumud says:

        The occupation is not an adequate explanation for why Israel is ranked with Sudan and below North Korea. North Korea starves its people. Sudan massacres hundreds of thousands. It’s a function of a press that is overly obsessed with the Holy Land.

        And why are they “obsessed” with it?

        • Israel is the country in defiance of more Security Council resolutions than any other country in the world.
        • Israel is responsible for creating and perpetuating the largest refugee population in the world.
        • Israel is undertaking the longest military occupation in the world.
        • More and more, people understand the links between Israel and 9/11, and the wider phenomenon of islamic terrorism; as well as a backlash against direct US policy in the region (the destruction of Iraq, multiple war fronts, sponsoring of dictatorship), they know that one of the motivating factor of the 9/11 terrorists was US enabling of Israel’s disgusting behaviour.

        In short, everyone outside America is pissed off with Israel and wants the situation resolved. They know the hasbara is a load of BS. Polling suggests even Americans want their government to change policy and approach the situation as an honest broker, favouring neither party.

    • Kathleen says:

      50 some years of total access to branding and rebranding Israel with no questions, no facts via US MSM outlets created quite the myth. Those walls started falling over the last 10 years. Really excelerated over the last five or so. No way to put the genie back in the bottle.

      But as Phil has pointed out with NBC and MSNBC going along with the excelerated effort to rebrand Israel they are just delaying the inevitable.

    • Chu says:

      the packaging…

      If I were gay, I would definitely be relaxing in Ibiza, and not Tel-Aviv.

      Israel can promote the gay scene, but it will not translate to IDF soldiers.
      They should focus on gun-enthusiast Christian Zionists. Sell the West Bank
      as kind of a Wild West. ~yeah, I don’t think it would work either. Israel couldn’t
      accept another racial group in their midst.

  8. Mooser says:

    “shows model-like Israeli”

    With ankles and “pedal extremities” like that you get to be Miss Israel? Do they have any standards over there?

  9. Les says:

    The US media has no need for instructions from Israel to promote the notion that real Israelis are as white as American white people.

  10. It would be terrific if other Middle Eastern countries would try to make themselves look good by actually awarding human rights to gay people.

    Whatever you may say Israel has done, you have to acknowledge they really do give people the right to live openly as they wish. There are no Israeli laws which allow gay people to be dragged off the street and tortured; it would be a crime.

    A gay man in Gaza can be imprisoned for up to ten years.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “It would be terrific if other Middle Eastern countries would try to make themselves look good by actually awarding human rights to gay people.”

      And it would be terrific if Israel would try to make itself look good by actually awarding human rights to the Palestinians it insists on keeping stateless, occupied, oppressed and blockaded.

      “Whatever you may say Israel has done, you have to acknowledge they really do give people the right to live openly as they wish.”

      Yes, and the Israelis are abominable when it comes to the Palestinians, especially those living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. One step forward, two back.

      “There are no Israeli laws which allow gay people to be dragged off the street and tortured; it would be a crime.”

      LMAO. There are no Israeli laws which allow the government to drag Palestinians off the street and torture them, but they do it anyway.

      “A gay man in Gaza can be imprisoned for up to ten years.”

      And that is a travesty. And if that gay man was born in 1967, he is in his forty-fourth year of his punishment for being a non-Jew in the land coveted by the Zionists.

    • Mooser says:

      “A gay man in Gaza can be imprisoned for up to ten years.”

      Holy God, sometimes I wish Phil would adopt the old JSF standard for his comment section: No liars, time-wasters, or bigots.
      And two-out-of-three ain’t bad, Ruthie.

    • iamuglow says:

      “they really do give people the right to live openly as they wish.”

      Palestenians are people too.

      link to nytimes.com

    • Cliff says:

      Liars like ruthie (new hasbarat) should indeed be banned.

      Then again, just last week jonah mashed together like 5 Zionist memes in one paragraph.

      ‘israel left Gaza and got rockets’
      ‘only democracy’
      ‘Hamas charter’

      All intellectually shallow, emotional blackmail, typical Zionist point-scoring nonsense.

      Get it through your heads, it doesn’t work here.

      • tokyobk says:

        why do you consider the Hamas Charter a “Zionist Meme”?

        Did Zionists write the Charter to make Hamas look bad?

        • Cliff says:

          tokyobk,

          Seriously? That is what you think I’m saying?

          No, it’s the usage of the Charter as the crux for some kind of meaningful argument against the Palestinian cause.

          As if the Charter is symbolic of the Palestinian struggle and it’s moral character.

          It isn’t. Like every other Zionist meme, these ‘facts of the conflict’ are superficial truths.

          Hamas’s Charter is anti-Jewish? So what. In action, Israel recently killed 300 Palestinian children. It’s this hysteria over words and the lack of hysteria over physical suffering – CONSTANT.

          If Hamas didn’t have that in their Charter, they would still have been carrying out terrorist acts. They would still be viewed as terrorists.

          However, the POINT of this aspect of the Charter as a staple of hasbara rhetorical point-scoring is emotional blackmail and identity politics.

          No one is going to care (mainstream) about anti-Arab racism and Islamophobia which is casual in Israel versus how they will care about the Hamas Charter.

          And, predictably you could not ‘get’ that. After the nearly 50 years of occupation, colonialism, wars and apartheid – you are more concerned with the Hamas Charter.

          Yes, shocking that any Palestinian would turn out antisemitic, right?

          We’re only human after all. If you had to deal with abusive settlers, protected by their own private abusive army everyday and had no recourse (unless you turned to terrorism, Catch-22!) – how would you feel about Jewishness?

          Especially when this entity claims to represent all Jews.

          Especially when this entity’s supporters try to speak for all Jews (eee), or try to define WHO and WHO ISN’T a Jew (again, the clown, eee).

          Do you blind yourself to the articles here? Do you not see Jewish politicians, intellectuals, etc. all making blatantly antisemitic comments? Or is it not antisemitic if it’s Zionist? Do you not see the daily casual criminality and unfairness of the occupation?

          Nope! Only that Hamas charter! Antisemitism! Ahem, the NEW antisemitism!

          We have nothing else to discuss, since we clearly have no common ground on basic human decency. You’re more concerned about words. I’m more concerned about large-scale physical consequences for peoples WORDS (Zionism). Because, for as antisemitic as that Charter is – Hamas still does not kill as many children or civilians or steal land or resources, etc. etc. etc.

          Oh, and I don’t think Hamas murdered Norman Finkelstein or the members of Code Pink when they visited Gaza. Or maybe you think they were Hamas replicants?

        • tokyobk says:

          I think you are saying exactly what you are saying: that the Hamas charter doesn’t really mean what it says and even if it did it doesn’t really matter.

          Just wonder how it is a Zionist meme to say the Hamas charter as it stands is repugnant on the same grounds of human decency you claim is your turf alone.

        • Cliff says:

          I think you are saying exactly what you are saying: that the Hamas charter doesn’t really mean what it says and even if it did it doesn’t really matter.

          Then quote me where I denied the meaning. My comment is literally above you and you’re lying.

          Just wonder how it is a Zionist meme to say the Hamas charter as it stands is repugnant on the same grounds of human decency you claim is your turf alone.

          Um, looks like you have severe reading comprehension problems.

          I said that while the Charter is antisemitic it is propped up as more important than the physical realities of the conflict – like the occupation, the colonialism, etc.

          It is a Zionist meme in how it is utilized in arguments – in that it’s a superficial truth that is intellectually dishonest. It is used as emotional blackmail vis a vis identity politics.

          I don’t get the fascination with this charter when Israel is killing 300 Palestinian children in 2-3 weeks. Or when Israel plans to ethnically cleanse 30,000 Bedouins from their homes and land. ETC ETC

    • Shingo says:

       There are no Israeli laws which allow gay people to be dragged off the street and tortured; it would be a crime.

      You’re right Ruthie. Israel doesn’t do that just to gay Arabs, they’ll do it to any Arab, gay or otherwise.

      A gay man in Gaza can be imprisoned for up to ten years.

      There are men in Israeli prisons who’ve been there a lot longer than that.

      • Mooser says:

        “A gay man in Gaza can be imprisoned for up to ten years.”

        I’m just so sure that ruthie’s failure to link us to stories of gay Gazan men who have been sentenced to ten years in prison for being gay by Palestinian Gazan authorities was just an oversight. She will be back with a full plethora of links. She’s filling her plethora as we speak.

    • seafoid says:

      Israel is less discriminating, Ruthie. Everyone is imprisoned in Gaza.Gay or straight. By Israel.

      • So why don’t the ‘imprisoned Gazans’ escape through Egypt?

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Because Israel controls the Rafah checkpoint right along with Egypt. We’re familiar with EUBAM and what it stipulates, don’t try to pass that off as only Egypt’s doing. And even if Rafah was just Egypt’s doing — explain to me why you’re going to KILL Gazans who are in Gazan waters, let alone if anyone in international waters entering or leaving Gaza.

        • No. Israel doesn’t control Rafah checkpoint.
          Pursuant to EUBAM, Rafah was controlled by Egypt, monitored by Europeans with Israeli video monitoring. The Europeans bugged out of their responsability years ago.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          The pretense that Israel’s presence at Rafah is entirely passive and they get no say at all is a joke.

          And you still haven’t addressed why Israel is occupying Gaza and preventing access via international waters. Egypt mostly control Gaza’s border with itself, but Israel controls Gaza’s border with Lebanon, Greece, Italy, Tunisia, Spain, Morocco, etc.

        • Ani Ishmael says:

          There is no EUBAM in Gaza anymore.

        • Chaos refuses to ‘man up’ and admit that Israel hasn’t had complete control over Gaza’s borders in many years.
          The fact that Egypt does have exclusive control over her border with Gaza doesn’t fit in with Chaos’s , ‘Israel as occupier/oppressor’ narrative.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          You brigands literally KILL people in international waters. Answer for that.

    • American says:

      A gay man in Gaza can be imprisoned for up to ten years”…ruthie

      Hummm….imprison a man for being gay in Gaza vr imprison a man for being Palestine in Palestine.
      Another hummm…..imprison a man for being gay in Gaza vr. not imprisoning a IDF captain for putting 20 bullets into a 13 year old Palestine girl after she already been wounded.

      Hands down….imprisoning a gay man is much worse than shredding a 13 yr old Palestine girl with bullets…to Israelis anyway.

    • RoHa says:

      “Homosexuality has been decriminalized in the West Bank since the 1950s, when anti-sodomy laws imposed under British colonial influence were removed from the Jordanian penal code, which Palestinians follow.”

      link to mondoweiss.net

    • Chaos4700 says:

      A gay man in Gaza effectively has a life sentence right now, he’s in Israel’s biggest prison camp.

    • Ray984954 says:

      Amazing cognitive dissonance here. Are you kidding?What if the gay person is Palestinian?They would not be able to live openly as they wish. And if a settler thought it was in his best interest to grab what belonged to the Palestinian, and wanted to demolish the school the gay Palestinian was teaching at, so be it, Israel would probably pay for it. Right, there are no laws which allow him/her to be dragged off the street and tortured, it isn’t a crime Israel’s IDF does it all the time. Think before you post why don’t you?
      At the Foreign Policy website, Gareth Evans wrote an article, “End of the Argument” about how the world treats ethnic cleansing and how it is a crime, even giving examples, but oddly enough never mentioned the Palestine’s 1948 ethnic cleansing, that continues to this day, and there is even an R2P, responsibility to protect meme. Evans is like you, you see what you want and disregard the rest.

  11. RE: “That same year [2009], the Zionist organization Stand With Us told The Jerusalem Post, that they were undertaking a campaign ‘to improve Israel’s image through the gay community in Israel’.” ~ Schulman

    ALSO IN THAT SAME YEAR, 2009 (from Wikipedia):

    (excerpts) The 2009 Tel Aviv gay centre shooting resulted in the deaths of two people and injuries to at least fifteen others at the Tel Aviv branch of the Israeli GLBT Association…
    As of October 2011, the crime remains unsolved
    …On the evening of August 1 [2009] at around 23:00, an unknown person with firearms entered the “Aguda” building in Tel Aviv, and opened fire on the crowd attending an Israeli Gay Youth (IGY) event, and immediately escaped thereafter. Two people were killed, and fifteen were wounded. The police had launched a search campaign to find the shooter, and in addition immediately closed most of the entertainment places for the gay community that operated during the same time of the shooting event, for fear of additional shooting.
    The gunman entered the building where a weekly event was being held (in the basement), shot in several directions and then fled on foot.[2][5][6] The building was frequented by gay teenagers who engage in social activities and listen to music.[6][11] The centre was small with one terrace; thus preventing anyone from escaping.[6] They instead hid under a bed and tables as shots were fired.[6][11] Israeli television said the crime scene was a “bloodbath”.[7]…
    …The shooter was masked, dressed in black and used a pistol to carry out his attack.[2][5][8][11][12] It is not believed his motive was related to nationalist terror but the exact motive is currently unclear.[2] The city’s gay community stated the killer had a homophobic motive while police have cautioned people that the attack may not have been a hate crime and that the motive remains unknown…

    SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

  12. RoHa says:

    ‘Americans “find Israel to be totally irrelevant to their lives and they are tuning out…particularly 18-34 year old males, the most significant target.” ‘

    Most of us are saddened by the general American ignorance of the world. We think Americans should know more. But I don’t see why Paraguay, or Botswana, would be particularly “relevant” to the life of the average American. And the same goes for Israel.

  13. Charon says:

    I started to wonder if encouraging Jews in diaspora to make ‘aliyah’ to Israel by any means (including the exploitation of gay people) has little to do with the demographic thing and everything to do with… well something sinister. As much as I loath the revisionist Zionist terrorists, perhaps they noticed the real agenda back in the day and is why they were willing to ally with Nazis and also working to emigrate Jews to Palestine where other countries shuttered their borders. Perhaps this is also why the UN never got their Jerusalem sovereignty. What I’m saying is it’s obvious Zionism has destroyed Judaism. But what if Jewish people are being setup? What if the end game really is another holocaust? I’m serious. As are the Christian Zionists who are encouraging it for that same purpose more or less.

    • NickJOCW says:

      Charon, that is a very interesting perception, it touches something that has nagged me for years but I don’t think it as simple as the motivation you put forward; while that aspiration may be true of some Christian fundamentalist thinking it is not enough to explain Israel’s blind, almost mystical, acquiescence to what often appear to others to be doomed courses of action. You imply the possibility of a conspiracy to destroy the Jewish people but the opposite could also be true; a conspiracy to destroy all others than the Jewish people. The provocation of the US and its acolytes to embark on acts of mutual destruction with the Arab world could well be a step in that direction. There simply has to be some ulterior purpose to the current escalation of anti-Iranian activity. Perhaps that is it?

      Back on topic, I seem to recall that one of Netanyahu’s solutions to the Israeli housing problem was dormitory accommodation for students. Why didn’t they think of dormitory accommodation for gay tourists?

  14. NickJOCW says:

    Ignoring diverse sexuality is liberal, promoting it is not.

  15. Do you think that the song “The reckoning song” by Asaf Avidan is part of the campaign, do you have any hints on the fact that the artist could be a part of the campaign?