Israel Cannot Faithwash and Pinkwash Its Image

June 29th, 2015, exculsive work of Khaled Jarrar on the Qalandia Checkpoint.

As solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice, and equality expands across the globe, Israel and its allies have attempted to quash the movement by either trying to shut down activism for Palestinian rights or by attempting to whitewash Israel’s war crimes.

Pro-Israel groups have in recent years increased their faithwashing and pinkwashing efforts, trying to clean up Israel’s image as a criminal regime oppressing Palestinians by painting Israel as a liberal bastion of acceptance.

It is not. As part of our Together We Rise: Palestine As Model of Resistance curriculum, join us for webinars later this month to learn more about these normalization efforts and why it is important to resist them, especially in this political moment.

Fighting Faithwashing and Islamophobia
with American Muslims for Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace’s Network Against Islamophobia
Tuesday, October 17
8:30-9:30 PM Eastern

Register here! 

From Pinkwashing to Pinkwatching
with Palestinian queer activists
Tuesday, October 24 
2:00-3:00 PM Eastern 
Register here!

What do we mean by faithwashing and pinkwashing? Join the webinars to learn more, but in the meantime, here is an introduction:

Faithwashing helps promote the idea that the so-called conflict is due to religious differences that have existed for centuries, and that Palestinians (supposedly representing Muslims) and Israelis (supposedly representing Jews) only need to dialogue their way to a solution. This whitewashes Israel’s deliberate denial of Palestinian rights and the structural oppression that includes the complicity of governments, corporations, and other institutions. Faithwashing also erases the existence of Palestinian Christians, Druze, Samaritans, and other religious groups, as well as allows liberal Zionist groups to engage in misleading interfaith efforts that are in fact meant to stifle organizing for Palestinian rights.

Pinkwashing describes the disingenuous invocation of LGBTQIA rights by Israel and its supporters in an attempt to divert attention from its atrocities against Palestinians. Pinkwashing seeks to transform public perception of Israel from an oppressive state to a gay-friendly one by juxtaposing this false image with a racist portrayal of Palestinian and Arab societies as backwards, repressive, and intolerant.

Faithwashing and pinkwashing are favorite strategies of Progressive Except on Palestine (PEP) groups. They hope to distract from their anti-Palestinian projects by highlighting their supposed commitment to progressive values, such as local Jewish Community Relations Councils fighting against the Muslim Ban while also pushing state level anti-BDS resolutions to criminalize tactics to resist Israel’s ban against Palestinian refugees. As the PEPs attempt to align themselves with the growing resistance to Trump’s policies and rhetoric, we must make clear there cannot be a Palestine exception to collective justice.