Pinkwashing: Fabian Maamari’s pictures in Israel help the Israeli propaganda.

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.

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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.

Pinkwashing:

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.

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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.

Enough with the Shaming of Miss Lebanon : How Israel uses Miss Israel for propaganda.

DISCLAIMER : I do not believe Sally Greige is a spy or a traitor to the nation. I do not also believe that every Lebanese that have relations with an Israeli must be considered as so. 

Miss Lebanon Sally Greige.

There are more important subject than a selfie, even if it does symbolise a lot. Let’s admit that Sally Greige said the truth, that the Israeli miss was trying to take pictures with her but she didn’t agree, so at the end, she “photobombed” herself in and boom. The controversial picture was taken.

“The truth behind the photo [is that] since the first day of my arrival to participate to Miss Universe, I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel, who tried several times to take a photo with me,” Greige, 25, wrote on Instagram Saturday with a cropped version of the photo that Matalon had posted on Jan. 11. “I was having a photo with Miss Japan [and] Miss Slovenia [when] suddenly Miss Israel jumped in and took a selfie, and uploaded it on her social media.”

I wouldn’t mind if Sally Greige took a picture with every innocent Israeli woman. But the Israeli Miss represents much more for Israel than ours. I personally believe that the Israeli miss is a tool in the hands of Israel Propaganda. Or famous Hasbara.

Israel always tries to represent itself as a peace-loving country, a welcoming country where all people and “races” are equal in it. But the reality is very far from it. They have multiple “tools” for Hasbara, per example, greenwashing, appearing as a green eco-friendly country to all the people from the world when they contaminate Gaza’s water. Or “Pink-washing”, using the LGBT rights as a propaganda tool to appear very open-minded and welcome all gays (and counter all these backward Middle East countries (sarcasm).

Is Miss Israel a tool in the hands of Israel ? 

I’d like first to introduce you to the ex Israeli Miss. Famously Black. Here’s what David Sheen, an Israeli independent journalist and filmmaker said about her in online newspaper Electronic Intifada.

In February 2014, Aynaw was ferried around the United States in an attempt to improve Israel’s image. She allowed herself, and her dark skin and Ethiopian origins, to be held up as supposed proof that Israel is a post-racial society. But she was not content to “black-wash” Israel’s image with her token success story; she also used her newfound fame to specifically smear non-Jewish Africans in Israel.

Israel is everything but a post-racial society, it is a racist one where asylum seekers that fled war-torn countries are considered as “infiltrators”, where they are rounded up and enclosed in what it is a modern concentration camp. Please watch this video about Israel racism and their persecution of black migrants.

Ex-Miss Israel also played with Israel stereotypes and added.

Even worse, she went on to echo the rhetoric of Israel’s most racist political agitators, characterizing non-Jewish Africans as savage sexual predators: “There’s actually places in Tel Aviv where you can’t walk around because there’s rape and violence,” Aynaw said.

Israeli police statistics show that the crime rate for Africans is considerably lower than that of the Israeli general public.

Aynaw’s tenure as Israeli beauty queen has since elapsed, but her face — and body — continue to be featured prominently in pro-Israel propaganda.

Let’s get back to Matalon.

What if Israeli Hasbara used her to promote itself as a peace-loving country and oppose itself to all these Arab countries that literally try to run away from Israel.

By reading Matalon wikipedia page, something interesting came out.

In December 2011, Matalon gained national publicity after a sex segregation incident on a Jerusalem bus. She said a 45-year-old Haredi man demanded she move to the back of the bus, threatening her and calling her a prostitute, but she refused. The incident was covered extensively by the Israeli media, and she became a symbol of women’s empowerment.[2][3] Matalon pressed charges and the man was later convicted of sexually harassing her.[4]

Matalon may have moved hearts with this story. But isn’t the occasion so beautiful ? Now Israel can use the Miss to make itself appear as against all forms of segregations, including Jewish one. This Rosa Parks-like story I believe is widely used to promote Israel as a feminist country.

Matalon has also served for Israel’s “Defence” Army, you know, the “Army” that killed mostly civilians months ago and removed entire generations of the same families ?

Let’s admit that Sally Greige story is true, Israel photo(bombing) her, (see the irony) wouldn’t be a surprise. Matalon did try multiple times to include herself according to Miss Lebanon. And Matalon picture with Miss Lebanon is a win win situation. Win to make Israel appear as a country of peace and pardon. And win over Lebanon to make Lebanese appear as backward and a peace-hating country. It’s always a great public relation win. Matalon responded to Miss Lebanon with a revealing commentary.

Matalon, 21, responded Sunday, writing on Instagram, “It doesn’t surprise me, but it still makes me sad. Too bad you cannot put the hostility out of the game, [in which] only for three weeks of an experience of a lifetime [it is] that we can meet girls from around the world and also from the neighboring country.”

Reading those words it’s exactly what I tried to explain earlier in the win-win situation. The Peace loving country Israel trying to make peace with the unsurprising Lebanon that loves War.

If Sally Greige did take that picture, and I stress on my following words : We must NOT denounce her as some kind of spy or traitor to the nation. Enough with the shaming.  I am sure that if she did take the selfie, it was innocent. And we do not want to patronise her or “teach” a lesson about what’s right or wrong. Let’s support her by admitting she is a victim in this awful story, and let’s share how Israel Hasbara use their Israeli misses to lie about their true nature.

Al Akhbar responds to the Israel “Defence” Force spokesman on Twitter.

The political leaning of al-Akhbar is well-known in Lebanon, its “leftist” or pro-Resistance stance is not really hidden from the masses.

It has tweeted earlier this evening (12/24/14) a link to an article published today entitled : Israel kills Palestinian in yet another ceasefire violation.

To sum the article up, al-Akhbar expresses concern about the incessant ceasefire violation of Israel that is happening almost daily in Gaza. The ceasefire was to be respected after a violent war that killed more than 2160 Palestinians, most of them civilians. Israel has lost 66 soldiers and 6 civilians (one thai).

Peter Lerner, “IDF” spokesman responded to the tweet.

Al-Akbhar could not stay silent and answerer to the Spokesman with this tweet.

It is important to understand why Al Akhbar indirectly blamed Peter Lerner of Propaganda.

I believe it blamed him for the Hasbara, the strategy Israel uses to embellish its image in the media and in public relations. It is a pitiful euphemism of propaganda.

The Hasbara is taught to Israeli defenders. The Israel project, a US based group that lobbies for Israel, teach Hasbara makers to defend Israel, notably the sensible subject of settlements.

So here’s the five-step approach to talking about civilian casualties in Gaza:

  1. Empathy: “All human life is precious. We understand that the loss of one innocent Palestinian life is every bit as tragic as the loss of an Israeli life.”
  2. Admission: “We admit that Israel isn’t always successful at preventing civilian casualties…”
  3. Effort: “We remain committed to doing everything in our power to preventing civilian casualties.”
  4. Examples: “Let me tell you how our armed forces are trained, tasked, and operate to ensure that Palestinian civilians remain safe.”
  5. Turn tables: “It is a tragedy that Iran-backed Hamas shoots rockets at our civilians while hiding in their own … This causes tragic deaths on both sides.”

Al Akhbar has every right to call Peter Lerner, “IDF” spokesperson, a propagandist.

Continue reading Al Akhbar responds to the Israel “Defence” Force spokesman on Twitter.