Thursday, February 23, 2012

More "Pinkwashing" Whining on the Huffington Post

Like the good left-wing newspaper that is is, the Huffington Post loves gay people, as well they should. But they also hate Israel (again, like many left-wingers). So when forced to choose between their love of gay people and their hatred of Israel, you are probably not surprised to hear that their hatred of Israel wins out. Which is why we get a second article accusing Israel of "pinkwashing" from veteran Huffington Post blogger Katherine Franke. As usual, the Huffington Post publishes the barest minimum of articles praising Israel for their acceptance of gays and lesbians, and will never hesitate to accuse it of exploiting them. As one of the talkbackers pointed out, clearly us Western nations have to be pro-gay, but not too pro-gay, because then we "exploit" our tolerance and that is bad.

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 ( and Aswat ("
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 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 Jews Zionists, I might be a little more sympathetic towards her point of view. But all she has at this point is that an Israeli is meeting with them, and that's enough to send her off to the races.
"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.


  1. I've been attempting to post for 2 days now, they wont let my comments through, my comments are challenging Franke, as always strong, but nothing out of the ordinary.

    1. As far as I know, I am the first and possibly only HuffPo reader who's IP address was simply blocked. I am not allowed to create an account on any new or existing email address. I will be at the public library later or possibly on the weekend to verify. In either case, here's my suggestion - mount a campaign for gay rights groups to spend a week all expenses paid, to Gaza. As long as the name and intent of their group is advertised up and down Gaza, replete with gay events, marches and marriages, all their expenses including all travel would be covered.

    2. @Empress Trudy, I am shocked. You might have a technical issue. I'm not saying that you are wrong, I'm just thinking that technically, they can not ban based on IP, that would mean that all users from your provider wouldn't be able to post on the HP. Something is wrong, it might be your settings, possibly even a java issue.

    3. im pretty sure an IP ban doesnt ban the ISP.

  2. @Empress Trudy, I am sure you are correct. They can in fact block an IP address, they state such (or at least used to) on the page about banning. They (used to) state that after 'x' number of bannings, the IP address itself would be banned, which is different from an ISP.

    Can you call your internet provider and have them change your IP?
    I believe that can be done.
    Meanwhile, so many anti-Israel commenters have been banned numerous times, yet still keep coming back as other incarnations. I guess you are on the wrong side of the agenda for the HP.

    1. I want to be clear. I can read, not post. I haven't found a reliable anonymous proxy that allows me to post. I wonder also if they've banned registering with mailinator mail accounts. In the Brave New World of social media, this site and so many others try to do an end run around online anonymity by compelling you to register through your social media profile. That way they can, if you follow the rules of the road, connect a real name with an account.

      Also, they don't have to ban an ISP all they have to do is reject a specific IP address.

      BTW I'm pretty sure Salon's 'upgrades' a few months ago included this feature as well. Which to me is hysterically funny since their Nazi God King Glenn Greenwald seems to justify every brutality in the world on the premise that absolute free speech is a foundation of a free society. Except of course when you question or quibble with the Nazi God King Himself.

  3. Note Alqaws meetings are always held in Israel.

    I don’t think you covered this
    56 Islamic States Reject UN Debate on Anti-Gay Violence

    Re IP’s
    Ask your ISP for a “dynamic IP address” rather than a static one. Reboot (turn off and on) to get a different IP.



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