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CUNY's Despicable Anti-Pinkwashing Conference
by Bruce Bawer
It was in November 2011, less than a year and a half ago, that the veteran far-left Jewish lesbian activist Sarah Schulman wrote an op-ed in which she introduced New York Times readers to a couple of unfamiliar terms. One was "pinkwashing," which she defined as "a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians' human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life." The other was "homonationalism": the alleged tendency of gays who've won social acceptance and legal rights to identify with "the racial and religious hegemony of their countries," and to "construct the 'other,' often Muslims of Arab, South Asian, Turkish, or African origin, as 'homophobic' and fanatically heterosexual."
The thrust of Schulman's op-ed was that gays and others should look past Israel's gay-friendly image (which, she claimed, is the product of an intentional Israeli effort to bolster support abroad), focus on the terrible suffering of Palestinian Muslims at the merciless hands of the Israelis, and stop "constructing" Muslims as gay-hating. Schulman, it should be noted, is a leading proponent of the BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaign against the Jewish state.
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