Israel Hayom, Israel’s right-wing newspaper affiliated with the ruling Likud party, surprised some by printing a full-page ad for a Nissan Sentra with two gay fathers this week.
The ad depicted a family of four with two young fathers and their school-age son and daughter with the phrase “Put your family in the Sentra.”
Avi Mayer, spokesman for the Jewish Agency for Israel and a prolific tweeter, called the ad “awesomewashing.” He was playing on the term “pinkwashing,” an accusation often levied against Israel that the government uses its record on gay rights to hide its crimes against Palestinians.
Full-page ad featuring a family with two dads in the weekend edition of Israel’s most-read newspaper, Israel Hayom. #awesomewashingpic.twitter.com/tMsyGvrMvp— Avi Mayer (@AviMayer) September 20, 2016
Another Twitter user, @ledoorpink, replied, “The issue is not two dads, that’s natural, but a $34,000 for a Nissan Sentara, that’s very unnatural.”
Israel Hayom is funded by Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire Las Vegas casino magnate who donates to many pro-Israel causes, and is widely seen as a mouthpiece for the Likud Party.
Individual politicians in Likud have supported LGBT rights, but the party was lambasted earlier this year when the government coalition torpedoed a series of pro-LGBT bills.
Naomi Zeveloff is the Middle East correspondent of the Forward, primarily covering Israel and the Palestinian Territories.