Gays Debate 'Pinkwashing' as N.Y. Center Reverses Ban on Israel-Related Events

Pro-Israel Advocates Slam Theory as Critics Push Conference

Green Light: Sarah Schulman hopes she can now go forward with a talk about her book, which is critical of Israel, at the LGBT Center.
WIKICOMMONS/DAVID SHANKBONE/
Green Light: Sarah Schulman hopes she can now go forward with a talk about her book, which is critical of Israel, at the LGBT Center.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published February 20, 2013, issue of March 01, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 4)

In its statement on the lifting of the moratorium, the center outlined a process for filing complaints about events held in its space, saying that if community members “feel that hate speech or bigotry has occurred at the Center,” they can file a written complaint.

Schulman said in an email to the Forward on February 19 that the center had yet to respond to a resubmitted request to rent space for the event. She praised the reported reversal of the ban.

“The community showed their heartfelt belief in open expression and caring for each other, proving yet again that our common value is social justice,” she wrote in an email.

The moratorium was imposed in 2011, following a controversy over an activist group’s plans to rent space for a party associated with the pro-Palestinian nationwide event known as IsraelI Apartheid Week. At the time, the pro-Israel gay activist Michael Lucas threatened to organize a boycott by donors if the event was allowed to go forward. In response to efforts by Lucas and others, the center announced that it would no longer allow any Israel-related events to be held in its space.

In an interview days before the moratorium was lifted, Lucas noted that because of the moratorium, he had not brought his new pro-Israel film about gay life in Israel to the center, either.

“People should be able to talk about whatever they want to talk about,” said Lucas, who is a gay porn film producer. “It’s just the venue’s wrong. People can bring their hate wherever they want.”

Lucas responded strongly to news of the lifting of the ban. “I would advise people to stop donating to the center and believe the city should stop funding an organization whose original mission of helping gay people has changed to providing a platform to anti-[Israeli] hate groups,” he wrote in an email.

Almost immediately after the moratorium was lifted, a group of gay elected officials praised the new guidelines. The group included Quinn, who is running for mayor, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick and state Sen. Brad Holman. In the same statement, the officials criticized the notion of pinkwashing.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.