Bashing Israel Again (This Time for … Tolerance)

If you didn’t know better, you would probably assume that Israel’s gay-friendly culture and policies would be the toast of open-minded, tolerant college professors and scholars throughout the United States and the Western world. The academy, after all, has been at the forefront of gay rights issues, as a glance at the topics of any academic conference will demonstrate.

But only the naive would think that Israel could inspire anything but loathing among a certain sector of academia in the U.S. In fact, the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the City University of New York will convene a discussion in April designed to show just how duplicitous those Israelis really are. According to some of the CUNY event’s participants, Israel’s pro-gay policies are but a ruse designed to blind the world to alleged mistreatment of Palestinians.

It’s a conspiracy, you know. And a mighty clever one at that. So clever that only a Ph.D. can see through it.

The CUNY conference is called “Homonationalism and Pinkwashing,” the latter word referring to the grand Israeli plot to manipulate the gay rights movement. Conference organizer Sarah Schulman leads the academics who have figured out Israel’s pernicious scheme and wish to share their knowledge with other academics.

The pinkwashing conference will come a few weeks after a pro-Palestinian rally at Brooklyn College, where speakers called for economic boycotts of the Jewish state. City University once provided tens of thousands of Jewish students with a first-rate college education. Now it invites odious anti-Semites to spill their drivel on campus.

One wonders if the academics will reserve a portion of their outrage for Israel’s neighbors in the Middle East, where gay people dare not live openly, and where women and girls are denied basic education in the name of intolerant religious ideology.

Of course, that assumes the professors and scholars aren’t simply gathering for the purpose of venting their anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views. The evidence suggests that this convocation of scholars will be precisely what Ms. Schulman intends it to be: a vicious series of diatribes against Israel posing as legitimate scholarship and analysis.

Welcome to the 21st century’s version of radical chic.