A lot of interesting things here and a lot of interesting insights from Sarah Schulman. It’s also interesting to note how while the debate on this issue has been going on Israel for over a decade, and internationally for a few years, a NYT op-ed causes so much uproar. Still, regarding the AP story, I doubt the “conspiracy” theory. So many news outlets were doing stories on this selection of TLV as a gay tourist destination, and so many of them were interested in the “pinkwashing” aspect . As I wrote on the topic a few times in the past, and as one of my pieces was cited in Schulman’s piece, I was contacted by so many news agencies/reporters… So going to the AP story ran in the NYT, while I think there is MUCH to criticize in it, we should recall it was not a NYT piece. It was published in many places (not just the NYT). Moreover, the AP reporter chose to interview me, taking this quote from me:
“Aeyal Gross, a law professor at Tel Aviv University, noted the huge strides made in Israeli gay rights. But he also accused the government of “co-opting” the gay community to deflect attention away from violations against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip,… “If you care about gay rights, then you should also care when the rights of others are abused.”
This in addition to citing to Schulman’s piece itself. Now of course we can say this was done to “pinkwash” the piece itself…” but my hunch (from my contacts with the AP office) is that it was not such a sophisticated conspiracy….. just a story they ran which to a large extent served Tel Aviv’s image, (and of course Israel’s by inaccurate “facts”, such as a description of Tel Aviv as refuge for gay Palestinians from the occupied territories, without addressing the fact that Israel actually refuses to give such refuge) but also included the criticism.