No Pinkwashing! Queers for Palestine!

Wednesday 22.05.2013 h. 7pm @Klit

queer palestine

RQAC and Allies invite you

to discuss a topic of primary importance for our understanding of values and politics: the political strategy of pinkwashing. This term refers to the Israeli strategy of covering its violations of Palestinians’ human rights and illegal occupation of Palestine through an apparent openness toward gay reclamations. or better: “Israeli pinkwashing is a potent method through which the terms of Israeli occupation of Palestine are reiterated – Israel is civilised, Palestinians are barbaric, homophobic, uncivilised, suicide-bombing fanatics. It produces Israel as the only gay-friendly country in an otherwise hostile region […]. In reproducing orientalist tropes of Palestinian sexual backwardness, it also denies the impact of colonial occupation on the degradation and containment of Palestinian cultural norms and values.” (J. Puar, “Israel’s Gay Propaganda War”, The Guardian, July 2010,

Pinkwashing in this meaning is directly linked with a state’s wish to pose itself as democratic in order to justify acts of violence on “others”. Thus, it also applies to campaigns by the US (and Britain among others) to justify interventions in Iraq and elsewhere (to protect Iraqi women but also Iraqi ‘gays’) and spread ‘democratic values’ either through NGO or military interventions. These policies cast Iraqis (and Iranians and many others) as inherently homophobic and therefore undemocratic, while erasing local understandings of sexuality and its politics.

As a strategy of instrumentalization of a part of our struggles as feminists and LGBTQI people this phenomenon matters not only as an analysis of what is happening in Israel, but also on how homonationalism is spreading in our “neighbourhood” too, in Central Eastern Europe, for example. It is crucial to uncover the cooptation of liberatory discourses into the fascist or neo-liberal political strategies and therefore rethink the meanings of intersectionality and antinationalism in feminist and LGBTQI political struggles.

We will problematize and answer these questions together in order to share a strategy of liberation that takes into account the complicated mainstream construction of oppression through categories of race, gender and class. We will also explore how the discourses on “nation” and “sexuality” can be shaped in a liberation movement environment, such as the Palestinian one. The approach to the region we’re living in, Central Europe, will be another frame to understand the terms we take into account. Thus, we aim to ask and discuss the following questions:

– How do “pink-washing” and “homonationalism” function in the CE region?

– How can Queer Politics help us in building a transnational struggle without homogenizing our differences and without being co-opted by the power system? How to reclaim our Pinkness?

-How and What can we learn from the Palestinian national struggle which includes a struggle against Israeli pinkwashing? And what is our role in this struggle?

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