Disclaimer: I would have reacted almost the same way if the picture showed a Lebanese woman and an Israeli man, or vice-versa. But the homosexuality adds something particular to Israel called Pinkwashing, a form of propaganda.
The picture shows a Lebanese man and an Israeli man kissing, with obviously their respective flags on their back, and it’s taken somewhere in Israel. Fabian Maamari got into Israel with his Swedish passport, (I didn’t know this was possible) and happen to have, according to the pictures, a Jewish friend.
The picture is wrong for mainly two reasons, normalisation and pink-washing, both propaganda strategies used by Israel, called “Hasbara”.
1) The normalisation.
I support the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement (BDS). BDS put pressure on the Israeli society as a whole and on the Israeli government in particular. It is a peaceful way for people around the world to resist Israeli obvious war crimes and the apartheid. One of the strategies is to pressure artists, such as musicians, to boycott Israel and not to play there, whether in the West Bank or in Tel Aviv. Some accept, (like most notably Roger Waters from Pink Floyd) and themselves become advisors on the matter, on how performing in Israel will normalise the zionist country and put attention away from the crimes of the Israeli government or settlers. The Israeli government tacitly supports racist settlers.
I have nothing against the couple in itself, but I do have something against this picture, because it is now being used by pro-Israeli groups to show Israel as a welcoming country, such as “Stand with Us” and therefore turn away the attention from Netanyahu and his openly racist government. If I didn’t know anything about the Israeli society or the government, just that Israel and Lebanon have been at “war”. Then maybe I would think: “Hey, if Israelis permit that, therefore, their government must permit that too, so Israeli is not that bad!”.
Normalisation before justice is never acceptable, because it put away justice in a shade and the following reparations. Normalisation is one of the main strategies of the Israeli Hasbara, lsrael PR strategy, propaganda. Remember, Israel government incites settlers and are behind the violence that burned alive a 18-month Palestinian baby.
Israel always wants to present itself as the most modern and progressive country in the middle east, as the only democracy etc, as a safe haven for minorities and human rights. It uses a strategy called Pink-Washing: it represents itself as accepting LGBTQ people just in order to again put shadow on their crimes and wars. The picture will be used to present Israel not only as peace-loving, which is untrue, but also as LGBTQ-loving, which is also untrue. While Israel does allow gay couples, the same-sex marriage isn’t possible because of the confessional system. While pro-Israeli groups such as Stand with us display how much Israel is “open” about LGBTQ people, Israel restricts marriage between Palestinians and Israelis. In fact, Palestinians married to “Israeli” Arabs, can’t join their bride or husband into Israel. They also can’t have the Israeli nationality. Some LGBT groups like Queers against Israeli Apartheid rejected Israel pink-washing hasbara/propaganda, because it is hypocrite and is a way towards normalisation, basically just a PR stunt for Israel, again.
I don’t know Fabian Maamari as a person, but what I wish to tell him that by showing this picture, you’re helping Israeli crimes, and you most probably don’t know it.
Picture with IDF soldiers.
There’s also a highly disturbing picture of Fabian Maamari where he met Israeli soldiers and got along with them, not only he presented Israel as a welcoming country, but he also present the “IDF” as welcoming, kind, and fair. The same IDF that massacred 550 children just a year ago in Gaza, the same IDF that kills in the West Bank, the same IDF that massacred Lebanese civilians 9 years ago in 2006.
I am speaking about this because it happens that Fabian is a Lebanese person, so somehow the story connected with myself, but I would say the same to every person, regardless of nationality.
Fabian Maamari, stop whitewashing and pinkwashing Israeli crimes, just like so many Israelis do. I haven’t seen a post from you condemning Israel nor the IDF, I want to see that you’re not politically slavish, do what great Israelis are doing like Illan Pappé, combat the racist state of Israel.