J Street Statement on the Accusation of Pinkwashing

April 9, 2013

J Street applauds the achievements of the Israeli LGBT community and Israel’s record of LGBT equality. This record underscores many of the shared progressive, democratic values we as supporters of Israel celebrate.

J Street disagrees with those who seek to cast any and all promotion of Israel’s record of LGBT equality as merely a means to obscure other issues, like Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians– a notion some have called “pinkwashing.”

Israel is far from alone among nations in promoting its positive attributes in its public diplomacy, and we welcome Israelis expressing pride in the achievements of their LGBT community.

At the same time, Israel, as with all countries, has serious concerns that it must address, including the treatment of Palestinians and its policies in the Palestinian Territory.

As the conflict continues, the need for two-states has never been greater. And never before has a renewed, forward-focused conversation about the urgent need for American leadership been as necessary. Viewing Israel solely through any one lens — either through the gains of the LGBT community or through the occupation — does not advance the pragmatic conversation this situation demands.

The same progressive, democratic values reflected in Israel’s strong record on LGBT equality similarly highlight the urgency of preserving Israel’s Jewish and democratic character and ending the occupation through a two-state solution.