Pinkwashing (derived from the term whitewashing) refers to gay-friendly marketing and political strategies that use LGBTQ+ issues to mask human rights abuses. As part of its Brand Israel efforts, the Israeli government portrays itself as a promoter of LGBTQ+ rights and sells Tel Aviv, in particular, as a gay-friendly tourist destination (in spite of the fact that gay marriage is illegal throughout Israel). This propaganda technique enables the Israeli state to present Palestinian, Arab and Muslim societies as intolerant, backwards and at odds with LGBTQ+ rights. It also obscures the struggles of queer and gay Palestinians as they resist Israeli occupation and apartheid as well as homophobia.
Hosting Eurovision (perceived by many as a queer and gay-friendly event) enables Israel to continue its pinkwashing tactics and distract from its ongoing human rights abuses. As queers and allies, we say no to the #pinkwashing and #artwashing of Israeli apartheid! We also encourage you to support groups like alQaws, a grassroots civil society organisation that supports sexual and gender diversity in Palestinian society; Pinkwatching Israel, launched by queer Arab activists in 2010; and #CancelPinkwashing, a collection of anti-Zionist, anti-pinkwashing activists.