Our lively protest against pinkwashing gained widespread support in central London on Saturday 18 January.
We had called the protest after Gay Star News invited the Israeli Tourist Board to their Beach Party, an LGBT tourism event. This is a classic pinkwashing – the Israeli authorities use pictures of the Tel Aviv beaches to promote a positive and LGBT-friendly image of Israel, while the reality of the apartheid wall, illegal settlements and violence against Palestinian children goes unmentioned.
Over forty people attended the protest – there were banners from the Haringey Justice for Palestinians, International Jewish Network and Queer Strike. Activists from London Palestine Action came along – while for other Palestine campaigners this was their third event of the day, after a Sodastream protest outside John Lewis, and a 500-strong protest at the Israeli embassy called by PSC. The protest was also supported by South East Region TUC LGBT Network and UNISON Greater London LGBT Committee. We gave away hundreds of our gay tourism postcards, and had an overwhelmingly positive reception.
Things went less well, it seems, inside the event – one of us who went inside reported that there were only about fifty people present in the huge space of Heaven, and the Israeli stall was largely deserted.