In a letter to the New York Times explaining why Israeli Prime Minister Binnyamin Netanyahu “respectfully declined” to write an op-ed piece for the old gray lady, his senior advisor Ron Dermer provides his correspondent with many examples of the paper’s bias, including this one:
Yet instead of trying to balance these views with a different opinion, it would seem as if the surest way to get an op-ed published in the New York Times these days, no matter how obscure the writer or the viewpoint, is to attack Israel. Even so, the recent piece on “Pinkwashing,” in which Israel is vilified for having the temerity to champion its record on gay-rights, set a new bar that will be hard for you to lower in the future.
Pinkwashing, as Matthew Ackerman reported last month
. . . refers to the efforts by the state of Israel and Israel advocacy organizations to promote Israel’s liberal treatment of its gay population, which is certainly the freest, by an extreme long shot, in its region and perhaps in the entire Western world, where even San Francisco may not be as welcoming to gays as Tel Aviv.
The attractiveness of this kind of argument is easy to see. Because Israel is seen most harshly in the West by the left, it is the “progressive” case for Israel that must be made. (Evangelicals and conservatives, presumably, will go on loving the Jewish state no matter how large or, shall we say, exuberant, the Tel Aviv gay pride parade becomes.) Since the left today reflexively voices its concern over gay rights, the thinking goes, highlight sexual freedom in Israel.
Despite the facts on the ground, many “progressive” voices, including those otherwise sympathetic to gay causes, bend over backwards to fault Israel, even creating the term “pinkwashing” to fault those who would highlight the rights openly gay people enjoy in the Jewish State, freedoms denied them in most nations in the Middle East.
Seems loyalty to the broader “progressive” cause trumps concern for the various groups supposedly championed by the left, even if this means alliance with those who oppress gay people when they gain political power. Remember, when gay Palestinian Arabs face persecution, they flee to Israel.
Why do some on the left, even editorialists in major newspapers become apoplectic when defenders of a nation point to facts about that nation’s treatment of a “sexual minority”? Shouldn’t that be seen as a good thing and give the nation’s critics pause?
Seems the Israeli Prime Minister had good grounds not to decline the old gray lady’s invitation. They’d rather borrow left-wing arguments on Israel than consider the facts about the Jewish State before reaching its conclusions about its role in the Middle East.
(Via Newsbusters via reader Peter Hughes)