I Wonder: Why the pinkwashing?

During the LGBTQIA Pride Parade in Chicago on June 21, a pro-Israel attempted to co-opt the parades message of inclusion by inserting a message of exclusion and militarism.  They were told to leave by the parade organizers, which immediately unleashed the usual false accusations of “anti-semitism”.

Chicago gay pride parade expels Star of David flags

Organisers of an LGBT-rights festival in Chicago are being accused of anti-Semitism after they expelled marchers carrying the Star of David.


In a social media post, the Dyke March said: “This decision was made after [the expelled marchers] repeatedly expressed support for Zionism during conversations with Dyke March Collective members.”


In a statement, the Dyke March Collective later accused Ms Grauer’s organistion of “using Israel’s supposed ‘LGBTQ tolerance’ to pinkwash the violent occupation of Palestine”.

Why are pro-Israel groups and Israel itself so desperate to pinkwash the country and its alleged “acceptance” of LGBTQIA people, desperate to get the world’s LGBTQIA people to take its side?

In part it is a numbers game.  Israel has long offered citizenship to anyone of jewish descent, even LGBTQIA people.  The country is vastly outnumbered in the region.  Increasing the population occupies more land and enlarges the country’s military reserves.

Now I suspect the reason is very different.  Of all the groups in the world that oppose the apartheid state, LGBTQIA people are the one group that cannot be falsely accused of anti-semitism, having been the victims of the same atrocities during World War II.  I’m not referring to blood libel and other repulsive statements which most definitely are anti-semitism.  Rather, I’m speaking of opposition to Israel’s militarism and crimes against humanity (e.g. mentioning that Israel used white phosphorus on Gaza in 2009).  The false accusations of “anti-semitism” can’t stick the way they do with other groups.

Intersectionality is when the oppressed band together to support each other.  Israel is not the oppressed anymore.  It is the oppressor, and Palestinians are the oppressed, which is why their fight for human rights must be supported.  It is not anti-semitism to support equal rights for all groups.  LGBTQIA people are the one group that cannot be falsely accused, which makes saying it all the more important.


  1. iiandyiiii says

    It still isn’t clear to me whether the group was expelled for having a Jewish symbol on their flag or because the carriers of the flag expressed support for the state of Israel. If it’s the former, I think the act of expelling them should be condemned.

    • says

      Your statement is predicated on an assumption with no evidence. There is not one factually verified instance of DykeMarch making an openly hateful statement towards jewish people, only baseless assertions of “anti-semitism” in the corporate media.

      From Out Magazine‘s website, bold emphasis mine:

      A statement from the Dyke March’s Facebook read:

      “Sadly, our celebration of dyke, queer, and trans solidarity was partially overshadowed by our decision to ask three individuals carrying Israeli flags superimposed on rainbow flags to leave the rally. This decision was made after they repeatedly expressed support for Zionism during conversations with Chicago Dyke March Collective members. We have since learned that at least one of these individuals is a regional director for A Wider Bridge, an organization with connections to the Israeli state and right-wing pro-Israel interest groups.”

      They also stated, “We want to make clear that anti-Zionist Jewish volunteers and supporters are welcome at Dyke March and were involved in conversations with the individuals who were asked to leave. We are planning to make a longer statement in the future.”