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      Anti-Pinkwashing as Emerging Hope: Queering the Palestinian Liberation Movement in the Context of Institutionalised Neoliberalism



            Neoliberal processes take place in rapid compromises with political sovereignties of nations. The only unsovereign political space where neoliberalism is practiced today is Palestine, particularly in the West Bank, since the Oslo peace process. The portrayal of Islam in a certain light is essential to the success of neoliberal practices in the region. In line with this, Israel's official 2007 campaign, “Brand Israel,” saw millions of dollars spent for this propaganda. One of the central points is “pinkwashing” where Israel portrays itself as a haven for homosexuals while deliberately glossing over its occupation of Palestine. Israeli occupation does not distinguish between queer and straight. This phenomenon of employing gay rights as political strategy, and in this case anchored in Islamophobia, is termed by theorist Jasbir Puar as “homonationalism.” Gender is clearly an organising principle of Israeli repression and what needs to be looked at is whether gender is also an organising principle of Palestinian resistance. The Palestinian queer movement is deeply embedded in anti-pinkwashing activism and differentiates itself from Western notions of queerness. This article applies these crucial understandings to the current context of Palestine because it is a predominantly vibrant, contemporary site.


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            International Journal of Critical Diversity Studies
            Pluto Journals
            1 December 2020
            : 3
            : 2 ( doiID: 10.13169/intecritdivestud.3.issue-2 )
            : 53-72
            © 2020 International Journal of Critical Diversity Studies

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            Social & Behavioral Sciences


            1. The Balfour Declaration was a letter from the then British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lionel Walter Rothschild, a towering figure of the British Jewish community. The content of this letter was a declaration by Britain of its aim to establish a “national home” for the Jewish people in Palestine.

            2. This system transferred power to rule over the territories previously controlled by Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria, to the victors of World War I. The declared purpose of this system was to let the war victors administer the freshly emerging states until they became independent. Palestine was an exception in this system, as the aim of the British Mandate was to design the conditions for the installation of a Jewish “national home.”

            3. Edward Said's books The end of the peace process and Peace and its discontents: Essays on Palestine in the Middle East peace process are of particular significance here. As well as his article “The Morning After,” published in the London Review of Books, where he terms the Oslo agreement an “instrument of Palestinian surrender, a Palestinian Versailles.”

            4. This slogan has contending origins. Edward Said in his book The question of Palestine, Rashid Khalidi in his book Palestinian identity, among several other prominent intellectuals, associate it with Israel Zangwill, a Zionist leader and a close aide of Theodor Herzl, popularly known as the father of modern political Zionism. A counter-argument is provided by some historians, Diana Muir being one, who associate the early use of this slogan to Christian clergymen calling for the revival of Israel.


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