BDS advocates seem to have recently become obsessed with hygiene, or more specifically what they perceive to be the nefarious washing practices of their political opponents.
Most of you are probably aware of the “Pinkwashing” phenomenon. This arose out of the need for anti-Israel activists, who perceive themselves as not just progressive but the focal point around which all progressive thought must rotate, to get out of a jam.
You see, in their fight to see Israel discredited, de-legitimized and dismantled, the BDSers are allied (some formally, some informally) with the most brutish and homophobic regimes on the face of the earth. Certainly gays and lesbians have their struggles here in the US and elsewhere in the West, but they do not have to deal with persecution, prosecution and murder as religiously sanctioned state policy as they do in the Middle East.
Simply put, homicidal homophobia is the law of the land in every Middle East country (save Israel), including those paradises on earth being created in Gaza and the West Bank under the leadership of the BDSers beloved Palestinians. And the fact that Israel is the most welcoming society in the world with regard to gays and lesbians provides an especially tough problem for a BDS cause that readily allies itself with regimes and organizations that practice such sexual Apartheid.
The contrast between Israel and its foes with regard to gay rights is just too huge for BDSers to deal with through their usual tactic of refusing to acknowledge questions they know they cannot answer. And so they have taken a different approach to get off the defensive, creating a fake phenomenon called “Pinkwashing” which insists that any mention of the contrast between Israel’s progressive values with regard to gay and lesbian issues and the deplorable condition of gays everywhere else in the Middle East is actually a wicked plot by Israel’s apologists to take the spotlight off the only thing the boycotters ever want to talk about: Israel’s guilt (for everything).
Based on the premise that the best defense is a good offense, the BDS brigade has actually prioritized “Pinkwashing” in their list of accusations and chants, hoping to drown out reality in a flurry of finger-pointing in order to make Israel’s defenders feel uncomfortable bringing up the otherwise unchallengable point that those who hate Israel also seem to hate homosexuals (and don’t have much time for women to boot). And fortunately for the boycotters, the catchy term “Pinkwashing” came ready-made for them since it first originated years ago within the breast cancer activist community as a term to describe corporations that try to cover up practices that could lead to breast cancer with high-profile charitable activities targeted at breast cancer research.
But when the BDS cru tried to extend this effort and come up with their own catchy phrase, rhetorical disaster inevitably struck. Thus was born the term “Assadwashing,” which means (as you might guess) pointing out more Arabs have been killed in the last few months in Syria (to the near silence of the BDSers) than have been killed in decades of conflicts between Israel and the Palestinians is just one more example of Israel sinisterly trying to change the subject.
Again, the murderous repression going on in Syria is just too well known and widespread for the boycotters to completely ignore it, especially when it demonstrates that their pretense of representing human rights is just as false as claims to represent progressive values. But if they can make the issue “Assadwashing,” and not Assad (and his victims), then they hope to get the conversation back to where they want it: a debate over Israel’s punishment, with guilt assumed and the BDSers playing the role of prosecutor, judge and jury.
Unfortunately for them, “Assadwashing” is so clumsy a term that it just highlights its creators and users hypocrisy and clownishness. For if you step back for a moment, it becomes immediately apparent that accusations that Israel uses the suffering of others to deflect from their own crimes is actually one more projection of the faults of Israel’s foes onto the Jewish state.
Are women and minorities really repressed by the millions in Iran, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, or is this just an example of AhmadinejadWashing or FaudWashing? Do the Palestinian Authority and Hamas really run corrupt repressive states that breastfeed the children under their control a steady diet of murderous hatred, making peace all but impossible, or is this just more Israeli “WestBankandGazaWashing?” Has political and religious conflict led to over a million dead in the Middle East over the last fifty years (with no involvement of Israel), or is this an example of “DeadArabsWeDon’tWantToTalkAboutWashing?” You get the picture.
What ends up getting lost in these politically motivated verbal games are the thousands of gays and lesbians, the hundreds of thousands of persecuted minorities, the millions of women who fall victims to the tyranny and fanaticism that is the real cause of all conflict in the region (including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict). And what respectable BDSers would want them to intrude on their conversation?