2012 February » ADL Blogs
February 23, 2012 1

Israeli Apartheid Week Slanders Israel with “Pinkwashing” Falsehoods

Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) begins in cities across the United States this Sun­day, includ­ing at approx­i­mately two dozen col­lege cam­puses. One of the cen­tral themes of this year’s events is “pinkwash­ing,” a short­hand for claims that Israel tries to show­case its pro­gres­sive record on LGBT issues as a way to white­wash its poli­cies toward Palestinians.
Three uni­ver­si­ties, Yale, Boston Univer­sity and Tem­ple, will host events about “pinkwash­ing” and LGBT issues as part of their IAW pro­grams. A fourth event calls on indi­vid­u­als to rally out­side the LGBT Cen­ter in New York because the Center refused to host an IAW event last year.
Alle­ga­tions of so-called Israeli pinkwash­ing have become more promi­nent in the past sev­eral years and gained main­stream atten­tion a few months ago when The New York Times pub­lished an op-ed on the sub­ject by CUNY pro­fes­sor Sarah Schul­man. She argued that Israel’s accep­tance of gays into the mil­i­tary is an “incom­plete indi­ca­tor of human rights” and shouldn’t “blind us” to the Pales­tini­ans’ issues.
This is a clas­sic straw man argu­ment: No one was assert­ing that Israel’s record on LGBT issues was the final say on its human rights record.
The pinkwash­ing alle­ga­tion uncov­ers some­thing deeply nefar­i­ous about the anti-Israel move­ment: Oppo­si­tion to Israel is rarely lim­ited to  crit­i­cism of Israel as it relates to the con­flict. Instead, it often becomes an all-out attempt to slan­der every facet of Israel’s exis­tence and to claim that Israel’s real and laud­able achieve­ments are just an attempt to “cover up” the darker truth. Israel’s swift responses to the recent human­i­tar­ian crises in Turkey and Haiti were sim­i­larly dis­missed by anti-Israel activists as an oppor­tu­nity exploited by Israel to white­wash its record.  

Even if one dis­agrees with some of Israel’s poli­cies, Israel has every right to pro­mote its legit­i­mate accom­plish­ments on LGBT rights, includ­ing annual pride parades, anti-discrimination laws, adop­tion rights and, most recently, Tel Aviv being ranked the “best gay city” in the world. Israel deserves and should be enti­tled to claim credit for a gay rights record that far sur­passes most other coun­tries in the world. 

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February 22, 2012 0

Thousands Expected to Attend Nation of Islam’s Annual Anti-Semitic Convention in Chicago

In what will likely be the largest gath­er­ing in the U.S. to hear an anti-Semite this year, approx­i­mately 20,000 peo­ple are expected to con­vene this week­end in Rose­mont and Chicago, Illi­nois, for the Nation of Islam’s (NOI) annual Sav­iours’ Day convention.
Over the past three years, the NOI has engaged in a wide-ranging cam­paign to demo­nize Jews. Not only have the speeches deliv­ered by Louis Far­rakhan been among the most hate­ful of his 30-year career as head of the NOI, but the organization’s media arm has also rein­forced these mes­sages through a range of propaganda.
Under Farrakhan’s lead­er­ship, Sav­iours’ Day has served as the NOI’s pre­mier event pro­mot­ing anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries, includ­ing accu­sa­tions of Jew­ish con­trol over gov­ern­ment, media, finance and enter­tain­ment. In addi­tion to Farrakhan’s keynote address, which often serves as the weekend’s pri­mary plat­form for these views, this year’s event will fea­ture a ple­nary ses­sion seek­ing to demon­strate dis­pro­por­tion­ate Jew­ish involve­ment in the slave trade.
The ple­nary ses­sion, titled “Busi­ness is War­fare: The Secret Rela­tion­ship Between Blacks and Jews,” takes its name from a set of NOI books alleg­ing that Jew­ish exploita­tion of Blacks dur­ing the slave trade has caused deep and pro­longed reper­cus­sions for African-Americans. A sim­i­lar ple­nary ses­sion devoted to this topic dur­ing the 2011 con­ven­tion called for the inclu­sion of the books in edu­ca­tional cur­ric­ula nationwide.
Another ple­nary ses­sion, titled “9/11: What Really Hap­pened and Why?” is being billed by the NOI as an exam­i­na­tion of “all angles of the events which took place on that day” and will fea­ture a known “9/11 truther” group.

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February 22, 2012 0

Gilad Atzmon Scheduled to Speak at Israeli Apartheid Week in Colorado

Gilad Atz­mon, an anti-Semitic author, writer and musi­cian based in Lon­don, is sched­uled to make two speak­ing appear­ances as part of Israeli Apartheid Week in Colorado.
Atz­mon is sched­uled to speak at the Uni­ver­sity of Col­orado in Boul­der on March 1 dur­ing an event titled “A Musi­cal Con­ver­sa­tion about Israel.” The event, which will include a dis­cus­sion of “Jew­ish Iden­tity Pol­i­tics and the Oppres­sion of Pales­tine,” is being spon­sored by Stu­dents 4 Peace and Jus­tice and CU-Divest. On March 2, he is sched­uled to speak at the Bunt­port The­ater in Denver.
Past “Israeli Apartheid Week” events have been marked by extreme anti-Israel rhetoric, includ­ing accu­sa­tions of Israeli racism and apartheid, and calls for boy­cotts and divest­ment actions against Israel.
For over a decade, Atzmon’s writ­ings have employed tra­di­tional anti-Semitic stereo­types while demo­niz­ing Israel, Zion­ism and Jew­ish cul­ture and iden­tity. He is an out­spo­ken and pro­lific pro­moter of clas­sic anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries about Jew­ish con­trol over Amer­i­can for­eign pol­icy, and has writ­ten that Jews have a plan for world dom­i­na­tion. He has traf­ficked in anti-Semitic canards such as the notion that Jews are respon­si­ble for the death of Jesus.

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