Anti-Zionists claim that Israel’s advancement of LGBT rights is just one big conspiracy to “wash” away “crimes” against the Palestinians. If that is what Israel is doing, it certainly is a very shrewd strategy, and I would like Iran’s regime and the Arab regimes to adopt the same strategy to compensate slightly for some of their own crimes.
In Israel, LGBT rights are comparable to other liberal democracies. In 2015, the Tel Aviv pride parade alone drew about 180,000 people, and there are such events across the country. Meanwhile in Iran and Arab countries, gay sex is punishable by prison or death in most countries, and not a single country protects LGBT people against discrimination.
If Israel is using LGBT rights to distract from its so-called crimes, why doesn’t the Syrian regime, which is guilty of many crimes against its own people, use pink-washing? Why doesn’t the Palestinian Authority use pink-washing to distract from its corruption? Why doesn’t Hamas use pink-washing to distract from its attacks against Israeli civilians and its stealing of humanitarian aid from Gazans? Why doesn’t any Arab regime take advantage of this handy mechanism to distract world opinion from its crimes?
There are two reasons why Iran and Arab countries do not use pink-washing. The first reason is that unlike Israel, these countries do not support LGBT rights, and they cannot pretend to do so, even if it gained them strategic advantages.
The other reason is that the world has very low expectations of Iranian and Arab regimes. While Israel is simply expected to support LGBT rights and to uphold the highest standards of military conduct, nothing is expected from Iran and Arab countries. As reported by Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh, the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians by Arab countries is ignored by the UN and other international bodies and by the Palestinian Authority itself. Yet unintended casualties caused by Israel while defending herself against Hamas attacks from Gaza are called “genocide” by PA President Mahmood Abbas right at the UN, with practically no public outcry.
Iran and Arab countries do not need pink-washing because they have the bigotry of lower expectations working for them. They have the double-standard applied to Israel versus any of her neighbors. Nothing is expected from those regimes and no progress is expected for their peoples. The only value attached to Iranians and Arabs by the world community is their value in helping anti-Semites demonize Israel. That value can be extracted from these people regardless of whether they have rights or not. In fact lesser rights for Iranians and Arabs improve the odds of blaming Israel.
Those who accuse Israel of pink-washing betray their lack of understanding of the state of LGBT rights in the Middle East, and they also betray their own bigotry against Iranians and Arabs.
Note: The two illustrations were obtained with permission from the administrator of the Facebook page The Arabs who support Israel.