Un-Pinkwashing, 2016

Three days after the June 12, 2016 shooting of 49 people at Pulse, a gay club in Orlando, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded with a video recording of a speech on YouTube, which received over 22 million views on Facebook alone. Whilst the motivations of the shooter remain unknown, Netanyahu’s celebrated speech presents them as explicitly terrorist in nature. We saw a classic case of pinkwashing, a tactic that hijacks LGBTQ struggles for other agendas, while distracting from other injustices and violence. For Netanyahu, this means using pro-gay rhetoric to strengthen the Israeli apartheid, dependent as it is on fear and hatred toward “radical Islamist terror”; a tactic that further erases the visibility of Palestinian and Muslim queers. We intervened on his speech to show how it would look if it were not pinkwashing, if it were actually pro-gay.