The disillusioned “gay activist” called “Marc” who appeared in a YouTube video condemning the Gaza Freedom Flotilla for alleged homophobia, that was tweeted by the Israeli Government Press Office, has been identified as an Israeli called Omer Gershon.
This definitely proves that the video is either a hoax or a piece of propaganda designed to discredit the flotilla and use a mask of concern for gay rights to pinkwash Israel and justify the persecution of Palestinians in Gaza.
The following images clearly identify Gershon by his face and tattoos.
Gershon, as an Israeli, could not possibly have been so naive as “Marc” claimed to be in the video about either the flotilla or the situation in Gaza. It is puzzling that a piece of propaganda that was meant to pass as the genuine work of an activist previously uninformed about the situation in Palestine would use a figure who is fairly well-known in the Israeli gay scene.
A 2008 report gave his age as 33 and said he lived in Tel Aviv. Gershon was described as a “producer, entrepreneur, and PR manager for clubs.” Gershon says he went to school in New York where he got a degree in marketing and advertising at the age of 25 and lived there for almost four years. He also said he had volunteered for IGY (the youth LGBT organization in Israel) and a women’s rights org called “Ladies Circle.”
In 2011, he appeared in a promotional video for XL Energy Drink featuring a man beating a Muslim woman. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW1cX7UFP-k
Questions still remain about who commissioned the “Marc” video and the role of the Israeli government in disseminating it. Is this official Israeli government propaganda?
We thought it was important to debunk this project for a few reasons. The message of the video—however clumsy, transparent and fradulent—attacked Palestine solidarity actions and tried to undermine the relationships the Palestine solidarity movement has with other movements and activists such as LGBT rights. It may have also had intelligence gathering objectives. In the YouTube video description, “Marc” explicitly asked people to write to him. “Let me know if you’ve had similar experiences- firstname.lastname@example.org.” It is hard to believe anyone might have written to “Marc” sincerely offering information about LGBT and Palestine solidarity activists and organizations, but the creators of this video clearly invited such contacts.