Tarab NYC, January 19, 2016
We know that military occupation, ethnic cleansing, racism, and colonialism are incompatible with queer liberation and with fundamental human rights.
We are EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED that the National LGBTQ Task Force has chosen to welcome back the reception hosted by the organization “A Wider Bridge” on “LGBT Life in Israel”. The reversal in cancellation demonstrates a true lack of commitment to opposing military occupation, ethnic cleansing racism, and colonialism–all of which we view as fundamentally incompatible with queer liberation! A Wider Bridge partners with the Israeli Consulate and the right wing Israel advocacy organization Stand With Us to put on pinkwashing events that are boycotted and protested by queer and trans activists across the United States. We understand this reception to be part of a broader Zionist political strategy to “pinkwash” Israel’s complicity in violating Palestinian human rights.
Pinkwashing is an explicit strategy that the state of Israel and Israeli advocacy organizations engage in to try to improve Israel’s image which has been tarnished by its global reputation for ethnic cleansing and apartheid. By shifting the focus to a very narrow definition of LGBT rights (exclusive, of course, of queer Palestinians), these Pinkwashing efforts normalize the occupation of Palestinian land by distracting from the violent, inhumane actions of the Israeli settler state.
We condemn any efforts to discuss “LGBT Life in Israel” that cultivates pinkwashing propaganda and does not center the decolonization of Palestine. After bold advocacy by migrant justice activists and organizations, Creating Change pulled ICE off the program and apologized for offering space to a force of brutal violence in queer and trans lives. Immigration enforcement should not be pinkwashed at Creating Change, and neither should Israeli occupation, apartheid and ethnic cleansing.
In seeking accountability from the Creating Change conference and the National LGBTQ Task Force, we demand that:
- The Creating Change conference re-cancel the reception, and release a public statement attesting to why the reception hosted by A Wider Bridge should be cancelled (specifically, as a move to counter pinkwashing and Zionist efforts in solidarity with the Palestinian people).
- The Creating Change conference commit to opposing future efforts that promote Zionism and pinkwashing of the illegal occupation of Palestine–whether those efforts appear in workshops, caucuses, plenaries, organizational sponsorships, and more.
- The National LGBTQ Task Force publicly endorse the Palestinian right of return and the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.
Opposing racism, colonialism and ethnic cleansing is central to queer and trans liberation.
Just as we cannot make space for ICE to be promoted at Creating Change, we must oppose Creating Change being a platform for Israel advocacy organizations that seek to cover up the brutality of the occupation. We call upon all who are committed to justice and in solidarity with Palestinian people to join us in demanding accountability from the Task Force and a clear message that Creating Change is not a space for pinkwashing.
alQaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society
Aswat – Palestinian Gay Women
Jewish Voice For Peace
National Lawyers Guild
MASGD (Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity)
Gay Liberation Network
Southerners On New Ground (SONG)
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid Seattle
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid New York
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid Vancouver
US Campaign To End The Israeli Occupation
Black & Pink
Queer Detainee Empowerment Project
Trans Student Educational Resources
Queers Against Israeli Pinkwashing
Students for Justice in Palestine UIUC
Transgender Muslim Support Network
US Palestinian Community Network-Chicago Chapter
Audre Lorde Project
US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel.
Black Lives Matter Chicago
Faculty for Justice in Palestine, University of California, Davis
Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine
United States Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)-Chicago
Jews Say No!
Survivors Organizing for Liberation
The Dream Defenders
Sage Community Health Collective
Survivors Organizing for Liberation
Jewish Voice for Peace Portland
Friends of Sabeel–North America
Hilton Head for Peace
Jewish Voice for Peace, Bay Area Chapter
Madison-Rafah Sister City Project
Jewish Voice for Peace, San Diego
Showing Up for Racial Justice
Individuals: Dean Spade, Ashton P Woods, Imani Keith Henry, Shelley Ettinger, Andy Thayer, Andrew Miller, Stephanie Co, Bashar Makhay, Jodi Melamed, Corinne Sutter-Brown, Alexis Stern, Jessica Jones, Suzi Pietroluongo, Hannah Mermelstein, Mary Lucchese, Shelley Ettinger, Angela Campion, Ed Feigen, Sara Rubinstein, Cindy Shamban, Charmaine Burrus, Diane Dulin, Korla Masters, Kameahā‘aweokaponia ‘I‘i, Omar Almasri, Hassan Chenti, Hedy Epstein, Rosalind Petchesky, Sydney Levy, victor paes, Ellen Ross, Jean Riesman, Zillah Eisenstein, Lynn Grassmeyer, Erika Lynn Kreeger, Danielle Bullock, Leisa Meyer, Maxine Fookson, Zoe Grieder, anna berg, Carl Schieren, Naomi Allen, Neal Feldman, Georgiaq Guida, Pauline Park, Steve Quester, Tami Gold, Farah Erzouki, Emma Cunningham, Dr. F Taylor, Justin Adkins, John Barker, Newland F Smith, Seth Morrison, N. B., Aurelia Holliman, Margo Lee Sherman, Aaron Ellis, Amanda Bloom, Jacqueline Langeveld, Muhammad AR, Merry Maisel, Kay Kroeger,Steven Botticelli, Karma Chavez, Simon Patane, Dara Silverman, Martin Kemp, Laura Tanenbaum,Tali Ruskin
Contact Tarab at TarabNYC.org, Bashar.Makhay at gmail.com or message us via facebook to add your endorsement. Most recent updates can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/170607083302401/