To the Seattle Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Commission (SLGBTC): Thank You!
On march 15, 2012, the Seattle Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Commission (SLGBTC) cancelled an event because the Commission wanted to stand up to "Pinkwashing"—diverting attention from Israel's occupation and abuses of human rights by praising Israel on LGBT issues. This is a huge victory for the queer Palestinians and Jews who testified in favor of the decision and all who support them and will make real dialogue possible. Please read the letter and sign on in support of the SLGBTC, they will no doubt face a huge backlash for their brave stand. Local activists will deliver it in person next week.
As lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) folks and allies, we extend our deep gratitude for your decision to stand for universal justice and equality. You bravely said no to the planned Pinkwashing event funded by the Israeli Government and militant pro-Israel organization, Stand With Us
You recognized that such an event would actually harm LGBTQ rights and our community.
As you know, Israel’s reputation has become increasingly unpopular around the world because of its violations of International laws and human rights abuses.
In 2006, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched a “Brand Israel” campaign in an increasingly desperate attempt to divert attention away from Israel’s treatment of Palestinians by promoting Israel’s technology, medicine, culture, and tourism. When this re-branding propaganda exploits LGBT culture to promote the idea that Israel is a "safehaven" for all LGBT people, the strategy is referred to as Pinkwashing.
By refusing to sponsor such government-funded Pinkwashing, you stood up for a truly inclusive community, where all voices are equally represented and queer lives and struggles are not appropriated to cover injustice.
We encourage you to take another step towards understanding by actively meeting with queer Israelis and Palestinians, but those who are not part of a government-sponsored propaganda effort.
We do not see canceling the Pinkwashing event as an end to open communication, but just the beginning.