Anyway let's get to the issue. What started this whole ball rolling was that PFLAG, Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays, did something terrible, awful in fact? Their horrid crime? Daring to be invited to a meeting with Anat Avissar, who is part of a national organization of Israeli gays. To make matters even worse, it happened at the Embassy of Israel! AAAAIEEEEE!
Seriously. That's what got Prof. Franke's dander up. A meeting between two gay organizations, one Israeli and one American. This is what got her to throw the "pinkwashing" flag like a referee at a football game, puff out her chest, and throw down some propaganda of her own. She immediately wrote a letter to PFLAG spelling out just how biased she is. By the way, in case you were wondering, Professor Franke is a professor of sexuality. That doesn't stop her from elbowing her way into politics in a major way, and as we are about to see, she doesn't let her lack of knowledge about the situation stop her from sharing her opinions. The letter is mostly about her trip to Israel/the West Bank, and after many many accusations of "pinkwashing" directed at Israel (not backed up by facts naturally) she gets down to brass tacks:
"In our delegation's conversations with gay, lesbian, trans and queer activists in the West Bank, they expressed great frustration that that their lives and well-being were being used by some voices within Israeli to drum up support for Israeli policy and to demonize Palestinian society. In fact, they are well organized and are doing incredible work through two principal organizations: al Qaws (www.alqaws.org) and Aswat (www.aswatgroup.org)."Hm. I'd like to know the names of these LGBTQ activists in the West Bank. Wouldn't you? Oh wait, she never tells us and in fact she can't because if she did they would be murdered for being gay. But apparently it isn't in Professor Franke's contract to point out inconvenient facts like that. According to her, Israeli "pinkwashing" is allegedly worse than state-sponsored executions of gays not only in "Palestine" but across the region. It seems to me that the only pinkwashing happening around here is the washing away of gay blood by Prof Franke from the collective hands of the Palestinian government. Oh snap.
By the way let's take a look at those organizations. Al Qaws is holding a "Palestinian Queer Party!" Isn't that fantastic! They're holding it...in Tel Aviv. Gee. Here I was thinking it was going to be in Ramallah or Gaza City. Since, you know, they are Palestinian queers, and we all know that Palestinians are so tolerant of their homosexual brethren? And that's just one example: In neither of these organizations could I find a single name of any Palestinian LGBTQ member. In fact, none appear in Professor Franke's article either. Now I wonder why that could be? Surely Palestinian gays wouldn't be living in fear from their own people? Professor Franke is sure that Palestinians are tolerant of not only Israelis but of gay people too. And she wouldn't lie, would she? Of course not.
"I write you now not to discourage you from doing coalition work with partners around the globe who share PFLAG's mission... it is tragic to witness how LGBT rights have been politicized and manipulated for cynical reasons in certain corners of the globe, particularly -- although not exclusively -- in the Middle East."Once again, an incredibly ironic thing to say. We have a professor of sexuality writing about a subject about which she obviously knows nothing, just because she hates the very idea of Israel being praised for something good that they did. The only person I see politicizing and manipulating LGBT right is Professor Franke literally whitewashing the horrible abuses perpetrated by not only Arabs but other ignorant people around the world just so she can focus on the Jews. If she had actual evidence beyond the word of obviously biased unnamed Palestinian "activists" that PFLAG was being exploited by the evil
"The Middle East is a very complicated part of the world, to be sure, and the issue of LGBT rights there is equally complicated, in many ways more so than here in the U.S. I urge you and the PFLAG leadership to reconsider undertaking joint projects or receiving funding from any national entity, but particularly from the state of Israel, given the cynical use of gay rights in larger politics of the region. "In the paragraph before this, she announces her membership in the organization "Queer Solidarity With Palestine," so if that's not enough to make you choke on her hypocrisy I don't know what else to tell you. She claims this issue is incredibly complicated, but not complicated enough for her to pick a side and berate anyone who disagrees with her. I am very thankful that PFLAG was not as willing to swallow hypocritical Palestinian propaganda as she was, though it is no surprise that the Huffington Post was all too happy to spotlight what she has to say.
Finally, in case you thought I was a little too harsh in my criticisms of Professor Franke, here's a comment of hers from the comments section:
Here's a little tip from my experience: When you have someone referring to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank as if it were a person (complete with capital "O") that's the first sign that that someone has no freaking clue what he or she is talking about. If Prof. Franke would like to prove me wrong and actually show some knowledge that wasn't spoon fed to her but nameless Palestinians, she's welcome to do so at any time.