Monday, August 24, 2015

Is PCG Ignoring Israel's Acceptance of Gays?

Back in June PCG's Brent Nagtegaal made the following post on Twitter promoting a column in The Jerusalem Post by Caroline Glick, a columnist often cited by PCG.
"The movement is a proxy war!" - 's latest.
In that column Glick condemns the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Did Nagtegaal fail to note this part of the column?
But so long as the word “peace” has been involved, or the boycotters have pretended that they are only referring to Judea, Samaria [meaning the West Bank] and Jerusalem, the Foreign Ministry has by and large taken them at face value and pretended that their smear operation is nothing to worry about.

To the extent they have tried to deal with the growing hate Israel phenomenon, they have run away from its essence. Instead, our senior diplomats have said that the best way to combat BDS is by rebranding Israel as the start-up, gay, friendly state with great beaches. (Caroline Glick, The New Government's War on BDS, Jerusalem Post, June 4, 2015.)
What is Glick talking about there?

This seems to be an allusion to Brand Israel, an branding campaign conducted by various pro-Israel organizations since 2005 to portray the State of Israel as a leading nation in research and development, culture and, among things, being friendly to gays.

It is marketed towards those who tend to be liberal politically speaking so Armstrongites, who tend to lean to the right in regards to politics, will be inclined not to notice. It is not advertised at them.

This branding exercise was reported on by Sarah Schulman, an American Jewish academic, in The New York Times.
In 2005, with help from American marketing executives, the Israeli government began a marketing campaign, “Brand Israel,” aimed at men ages 18 to 34. The campaign, as reported by The Jewish Daily Forward, [as may be seen elsewhere] sought to depict Israel as “relevant and modern.” The government later expanded the marketing plan by harnessing the gay community to reposition its global image.

Last year, the Israeli news site Ynet reported that the Tel Aviv tourism board had begun a campaign of around $90 million to brand the city as “an international gay vacation destination.” The promotion, which received support from the Tourism Ministry and Israel’s overseas consulates, includes depictions of young same-sex couples and financing for pro-Israeli movie screenings at lesbian and gay film festivals in the United States. ...

This message is being articulated at the highest levels. In May, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Congress that the Middle East was “a region where women are stoned, gays are hanged, Christians are persecuted.” (Sarah Schulman, Israel and ‘Pinkwashing’, The New York Times, November 22, 2011.)
That seems to be what Glick is referring to above. An advertising campaign marketing the State of Israel towards gays funded by Israeli governmental officials.

Did Nagtegaal simply not notice this? Was he never curious about what Glick was referring to?

Now, none of this is to insinuate that Israel is completely accepting of gays. That is not completely the case, of course, as evidenced by the horrifying stabbing rampage of six people, one of whom was murdered, that occurred in the Jerusalem Pride Parade recently. But the State of Israel did allow gays to openly serve in the military before the United States did.

Unfortunately part of being a COG member is to believe certain things. One of them is belief in Armstrongite dogma concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is simplistically presented in a black and white manner. One side is good. The other side is bad. Consequently information that may cause the COG follower to doubt the Armstrongite dogma is collectively ignored. They fixate so much on information they agree with they fail to notice information contrary to the Armstrongite dogma they believe in. So they are less likely to notice something like Israeli government officials running an advertising campaign promoting their country to gays.

So of course Glick's allusion to all this was not viewed as worthy of mention.


  1. "Gay friendly Israel" is a complex issue. There is no same sex marriage legally recognized in Israel yet. The 'confessional communities' regulate personal status, including marriage as a part of insuring absolute separation of church and state. All of them currently oppose same sex marriage. However, gays may obtain unregistered cohabitation status where there is equal access to nearly all the rights of marriage.

    A 2009 poll indicates that 61% of Israelis supported equal marriage rights for same-sex couples, with 31% opposed.

    One wonders where things fall in the spectrum between reality and advertising. One thing is sure: There is equal opportunity for them to spend money in Israel and we would suppose that's what really matters.

  2. Thank you for your contribution to this discussion. I was aware that there is no civil marriage in Israel but the rest was unknown to me. Thank you.