Action against ‘pinkwashing’ at filmscreening Kriterion

Hier kun je discussieren over Action against ‘pinkwashing’ at filmscreening Kriterion.
On the evening of Monday March 19, activist collective Queeristan organized a protest at the film screening of 'Yossi and Jagger' by Israeli filmmaker Eytan Fox in cinema Kriterion in Amsterdam. The film displays the love between two Israeli Defense Force officials stationed at the Israel-Lebanon border in the 1980's. During this war over 17.000 Palestinians and Lebanese were killed, of which the film makes no reference. The activists interrupted the introduction to the film, hosted by the University of Amsterdam's UvA Pride platform, shouting slogans such as “There is NO PRIDE in any army”; “There is NO PRIDE in Israeli occupation”; “There is NO PRIDE in Apartheid” and “Stop using gay rights to pinkwash war crimes”. After their action the activists left the cinema, handing out flyers (see below). The intervention was meant as a solidarity action to support the call of Palestinian Queers for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (PQBDS). Additionally they wanted to pay attention to the Israeli state's multimillion dollar pinkwashing campaign, which uses liberal gay rights to divert attention from Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, apartheid within Israel itself, and Israel's refusal of the UN sanctioned Right of Return for Palestinian Refugees. They argue that talking about homosexuality in the Israeli army is part of the larger pinkwashing campaign that denies the rights of Palestinians.


Text of the flyer distributed to those present at the film screening:




Pinkwashing is a multimillion dollar sponsored strategy of the Israeli state that uses progressive LGBTQ rights in order to cover up human rights
violations, such as the illegal occupation of Palestinian land, the building of illegal settlements, the marginalization and criminalization of Palestinians in Israel, the open-air prison of Gaza, the refusal of the UN sanctioned Palestinian Right of Return, and the apartheid wall.

The pinkwashing of Israel’s national image is found in campaigns of gay tourism, cultural production and international policies. This film you are
about to see is part of that pinkwashing campaign.

Israel’s pinkwashing is used as a cover up to the systematic oppression and exclusionary politics of the state against the Palestinian population.

Palestinian queer activists living in the occupied Palestinian territories and inside Israel have come together to promote and stand for the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, which was launched in July 2005, and finds increasing resonance within the international (queer) community.

Palestinian Queers for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (PQBDS) argue that the struggle for sexual and gender diversity is interconnected with
the Palestinian struggle for freedom and self-determination.

If you want to learn on how to support pqbds you can visit the following websites: &

Cool action

Very good that this happens! Cool action. Go Queristan collective!


Sneaking in, disrupting a guest speaker and shouting a few sentences doesn't seem very productive to me.

After the screening there was time for discussion, so at least you/they should've stayed until after the screening where they could have explained about this cause.

This action didn't do anything for anyone, except showing disrespect to a UvA researcher and Kriterion personnel.

Discussion The film itself


The film itself and the topic of discussion did nothing except disrespecting Palestinian lives, livelihood, right to self-determination, pinkwash Israeli warcrimes in Lebanon and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Is it productive to show a film as "a cultural event" ignoring the politics of occupation?
Would a film be described as a gay classic, open for interpretation, when it would show 2 white south african police officers during South African Apartheid, ignoring racist and criminal policies of the regime?

As you might have figured, the action of the activists was against pinkwashing and the event, and for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Campaign. Therefore participating in a discussion at such an event is simply impossible, because it violates boycott guidelines. Perhaps the activists are willing to engage in a discussion at a later stage in a non pinkwashing event. And besides that, maybe it is more interesting to focus on the message of the activists who offered a critical perspective that the event does not. If you want discussion then maybe, instead of a redundant discussion on whether or not the action was done in a way that you would like it to be done, focus on what the film says, the speaker says, and the activists pointed out.

great action! go queeristan!

great action!
go queeristan!

Oh yes, Palestinian queers...

Oh yes, Palestinian queers... When I look at their Arab pages I find this:

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Apologies, but no results were found for the requested archive. Perhaps searching will help find a related post.

Why are there no articles in Arab? Don't those Palestinian queers have anything to say to their fellow Arab-speakers?

Now I've heard already that Israel is being blamed for spreading homosexuality in the Arab world, in order to disrupt traditional families and society. And now I read Israel is being blamed for suppressing Palestinian queers.
So Israel is ofcourse responsible for everything bad: the spreading of vice and the oppression of queers.

Now WHO is pink-washing WHAT?

Yes Palestinian Queers...

If you want to read on Palestinian queer activism in Arabic you can check these two sites of Palestinian Queer activist collectives called Al Qaws and Aswat: & Second, the argument of the activists was not that the Isreali State is oppressing Palestinian Queers. The main argument is that the Israeli State is running a campaign that sells an image of Israel as a super gay friendly place full of liberal LGBT rights, to cover up their politics of occupation, human rights abuses and violations of international law regarding the rights of ALL Palestinians (that’s the pinkwashing argument). Second, the action was a call for solidarity with Palestinian Queers for Boycot, Diversment and Sanctions (PQDBS), a campaign that argues that the struggle for sexual and gender diversity is interconnected with the Palestinian struggle for freedom and self-determination. Before posting a critique please take some time to read (and search) well…

Sorry, I still don't buy

Sorry, I still don't buy it.
It seems to me that it's actually YOU who is pink-washing some national liberation struggle which is not very queer-friendly at all.

Well go and find out for yourself then

Well, if you don't trust us nor what you read on pqbds sites, nor on the sites of the Palestinian queer collectives themselves, I guess the only thing that is left is that you contact them and go there to find out for yourself, as several of the members of our collective have done already. In fact we organised a discussion on this issue last year during our festival were Palestinian queers where present. But I guess your weren't can still read a report (although it seems reading more doesn't help much to change your mind):

Can you even read Arabic,

Can you even read Arabic, because otherwise it makes no sends to put links to articles in Arabic here right?
But that is totally besides the point, the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Campaign is the front of the population's national liberation struggle (so not the government parties). It is led by the people and is a non violent struggle, in which Palestinian queers take a huge part. Which is thus not just "some" struggle, unless you of course deny the existence of an Apartheid Wall, deny the fact that Israel is violating International Law and UN sanctioned policies, and that Gaza was not bombed with white phosporous in 2009, and then you also deny there are no illegal settlements. In other words, Israel's oppressive regime oppresses ALL Palestinians, and does not make a distinction between straight or gay Palestinians. So your argument is totally beside the point. If I can interpret your words freely; what you says is actually: it is okay for Israel to oppress ALL Palestinians because they are not so "gay friendly", and Israel is super gay friendly and at least is not oppressing queers (since when?), Israel is allowed to persecute, surveill, and kill Palestinians and deny them their self-determination, because you first need to be gay friendly if you want your human rights. PINKWASHING PAR EXCELLENCE my friend, arguments such as yours are why there was a public action in the cinema.

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