Dec 3, 2010

#BDS: No to JNF’s Pinkwashing of Israeli Apartheid

Statement of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)

As lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and straight activists and scholars, we condemn the Jewish National Fund’s launch of a new LGBT committee in New York City on December 9, 2010, for what it is: an attempt to "pinkwash" the JNF's central role in acquiring Palestinian land on which to build the Israeli apartheid state.
Most immediately, this campaign is designed to cover up the ugly fact that Palestinians, with few exceptions, are effectively barred from living on 93 % of land in 1948 Palestine ("Israel"). That 93% is land controlled by the Israel Land Authority – a government body in turn controlled by a council on which the JNF holds just under half of the seats. The JNF's LGBT committee is also part of a well-orchestrated campaign to deflect growing international outrage over Israel's six decade-long occupation of Palestine, including its continued denial of basic human rights to the indigenous population, the brutal siege of Gaza, and the recent massacre of humanitarian aid activists on the Gaza Freedom flotilla.
This campaign is the latest addition to the Israeli state’s concerted efforts to portray Israel as a gay tourist destination based on its tolerance for diversity – despite the entire Israeli social fabric being woven to exclude and erase Palestinian culture, livelihood and lives. This includes the culture and history of LGBT Palestinians – who often face increased harassment at checkpoints from Israeli soldiers, due to their sexual identity. Clearly, any gains made by Jewish LGBT Israelis are not shared by Palestinians.
We stand in support of both LGBT rights and an end to Israeli apartheid. We therefore condemn the JNF’s tokenizing of the long fought for rights of LGBT communities for the purposes of erasing the ongoing struggle for the rights of Palestinians.

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