You may have heard of pink-washing, the accusation that Israel promotes its exceptional treatment of LGBT individuals as a way to cover up its “record on Palestinian rights.” I wrote a response to this absurd idea for the Times of Israel some time ago in which I referred to “pink-washing” as “pink eye.”

I noted that the “pink-washing” argument really amounts to this:

It doesn’t matter how inclusive and supportive Israeli society is. Because Israel is not willing to abandon the security of its citizens, it should be persecuted and boycotted.

Now, I’m coining a new term, “Child-Washing.” This isn’t a reference to bathing, but a reference to Israel advocates use of stories of Israeli doctors and hospitals caring for Palestinian, Syrian, and other children, often saving their lives.

For example, the beautiful story of the experiences of the family of Nadrah, a Syrian child, who along with her mother came to Israel for care following her heart transplant. Save a Child’s Heart, an Israel based organization, brings children to Israel from countries around the world in order to provide life saving healthcare and brought Nadrah to Israel. They have aided several thousand children over the years, most of whom are from the Palestinian Authority. Rabbi Michael Boyden wrote of a similar case wherein a kidney from a Jewish child was harvested and used to save the life of a Palestinian child.

These stories of Israeli compassion are not the exception, but the rule. So expected are they that doctors from territories and nations that are avowed enemies of Israel simply assume that Israel will not only take in people in need, but will treat them. A Syrian doctor literally attached a note with all of the relevant medical information to a patient that he sent across the border into Israel recently because only in Israel could the necessary medical treatment occur.

So let’s call this practice of citing facts about the compassion of Israelis toward even the children of their avowed enemies and the exceptional lengths that they go in order to save these children, “Child-washing.” Obviously, these stories must be meant to counter the anti-Israel narrative. We would hate to let the truth about Israeli compassion and generosity get in the way of the hate-filled narratives put forth by Israel’s critics. “Child-Washing” it is.

About the Author
Rabbi David Kaufman is the Rabbi of Temple B'nai Jeshurun in Des Moines, Iowa, a congregation affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism. He is also the President and Co-Founder of We Are For Israel, the home of "Centrist Advocates for Realistic Peace" and created the news site about the crisis in the Nuba Mountains, Rabbi Kaufman maintains an informational blog on which he posts sermons and other materials related to Jewish practice and belief at