It could not be clearer that nothing is apolitical where Israel is concerned. That’s why the idea that holding Eurovision in Israel is “just a bit of fun”, is so misguided.
In fact, we can say from personal experience that pinkwashing has deeply harmful impacts, not least on Palestinian queers. The narrative that Israel welcomes LGBT+ self-expression while in the rest of the Middle East queers face relentless persecution, constructs a false opposition.
It is not merely propaganda which makes Zionism more appealing to queer groups, sometimes even eliciting direct support for Israel’s apartheid regime. It is also a form of violence against Palestinian queers, rendering all of the progressive forces inside Palestine invisible, including erasing the queer Palestinian movement’s achievements.
This narrative encourages LGBT+ Palestinians to believe that their families, society and friends will always reject them and there is no hope of challenging homophobia – something which also exists in Israel, despite efforts to hide it.
Above all, Israel’s pinkwashing is a cynical attempt to normalise its entrenched apartheid regime which discriminates against, dispossesses and subordinates all Palestinians, queers and non-queers alike.
Read the full article, by Haneen Maikey and Hilary Aked, here.