Pinkwash, Greenwash, Hogwash: Ali Abunimah on Israel’s use of sex and marketing to distract from apartheid

On 24 June 2013, I gave a lecture titled “Pinkwash, Greenwash, Hogwash: How Israel uses sex and marketing to distract from apartheid” at the 519 Church St. Community Centre in Toronto, organized by Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA).

I’m grateful to the members and supporters of QuAIA who recorded and edited this video of the event, including cutting in clips and images of the examples of pinkwashing that I showed during my presentation.

I also thank Benjamin Doherty who helped me curate many of the multimedia elements of my talk.

Here’s more of The Electronic Intifada’s coverage of pinkwashing. Visit QuAIA’s website and follow them on Twitter at @quaiaTO.

Also read this report on the event in Daily Xtra, a prominent LGBTQ publication in Canada: “WorldPride organizers concerned about ‘pinkwashing’” (27 June 2013).


For ease of reference, here are links to some of the items shown in the video:




Over a year ago, QuAIA had a victory against a requested ban of the group and their slogan "Israel Apartheid/Israeli Apartheid" from the Pride Toronto (LGBT) event. The decision was made a few days before the 2012 Pride Toronto march by a formal external Panel.

B’nai Brith Canada had formally complained to get QuAIA banned. The judgement said:
1. The Panel finds that the activities of QuAIA are not contrary to the core missions, or policies, of Pride Toronto.
2. The Panel concludes that the activities of QuAIA [...] are not likely to present images or messages that promote, condone or may condone violence, hatred, degradation or negative stereotypes of a person or group contrary to the City of Toronto’s Anti-Discrimination Policy.
3. Therefore, the complaint of B'nai Brith is dismissed.

To me it looks like a serious defeat for the arguments "anti-discrimination policies", "respect all members of communities in Pride", "anti-Semitic activity follows on, or flows from, anti-Israel activity". I did not see it publicised very much, so I bring it up here. For legal talk, it makes nice reading.


Reminds me of WalMart trying to push its vegetables and meat as "gourmet" or "natural" in huge media campaign.

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.