Last week, the New York Times gave an op ed to a lecturer in humanities called Sarah Schulman. The resultant article argued that Israel’s promotion of gay equality and anti-discrimination was something rather disgraceful:
What makes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies so susceptible to pinkwashing — and its corollary, the tendency among some white gay people to privilege their racial and religious identity, a phenomenon the theorist Jasbir K. Puar has called “homonationalism” — is the emotional legacy of homophobia. Most gay people have experienced oppression in profound ways — in the family; in distorted representations in popular culture; in systematic legal inequality that has only just begun to relent. Increasing gay rights have caused some people of good will to mistakenly judge how advanced a country is by how it responds to homosexuality.
In Israel, gay soldiers and the relative openness of Tel Aviv are incomplete indicators of human rights — just as in America, the expansion of gay rights in some states does not offset human rights violations like mass incarceration. The long-sought realization of some rights for some gays should not blind us to the struggles against racism in Europe and the United States, or to the Palestinians’ insistence on a land to call home.
The “Pinkwashing” argument illustrates how mad and utterly immoral anti-Israel politics has become. Here, we see the pretty disgusting spectacle of a comfortably-0ff middle-class Western lesbian women, attempting to turn Israel’s gay equality laws – laws which protect the marginalised from discrimination – into a stick with which to beat it. This is part of the same mania, in which Israel’s routine contributions to disaster relief are first attacked as sneaky propaganda, and then “exposed” as a cover for organ theft.
I’d suggest that “Pinkwashing” should have a different meaning. In my view, a “pinkwasher” is a lesbian or gay (or, in the case of Amina Arraf, the fake Syrian lesbian, a straight man) who is prepared to betray other gay people in order to promote a far Left “anti-imperialist” or “anti-Zionist” politics.
By contrast, I do not think I have seen a single detailed report on the details of Muslim Brotherhood’s political platform for yesterday’s elections in any newspaper. Have you? I may be wrong here, but I don’t believe that any journalist has taken the simple step of searching Google for the “Freedom and Justice Party” and then putting their election platform into Google translate.
Thirty years ago, Egypt joined an international convention for women called the “Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)” although this Convention controls the most private of the marital relationship details.
Do any members of our great public know that Egypt is a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which allows a child to choose the family to live with?
Do Egyptians realise that they are obliged to accept homosexuals and treat them in the best and kindest way possible, in compliancewith those agreements?? Not to mention the legalisation of adoption in ways strictly forbidden inIslamic law?!
Was it not our right as citizens in this country to have referenda on such conventions and agreementsthat control the finest details of our lives and our family relationships? Since this was not done at thetime these conventions were signed, it is our right – as a people proud of their identity and religion – to insist on re-consideration of those agreements. Then they should be re-evaluated in terms of suitability to our culture, traditions and established values. We should have the first and last word on accession to those conventions
Here is the Muslim Brotherhood’s long term goal:
Developing a road map to achieve complete independence for the Egyptian state, in all matterspertaining to family, women and children, beginning with a review of the CEDAW and CRC international conventions, and ending with a popular decision on those, so that Egyptian policy,in this regard, stems from the inherent pure values of the Egyptian people, not from some international agenda
Now, you would have thought that the expected victory of a political party which fights an election on an anti gay and pro-gender discrimination platform might mention a comment, by somebody, somewhere. Perhaps in a liberal newspaper. In particular, those involved in queer politics might have an interest in highlighting what is likely to herald the start of a further turn for the worse for gays and women in Egypt, when the Muslim Brotherhood starts to crack the whip.
The failure to report, let alone campaign, on these developments is the true meaning of “pinkwashing”.