This is part of Israel’s attempts to “pinkwash” its colonial policies and occupation of the Palestinian people by diverting international attention to a fictional public relations image appealing to western liberals.

Israeli Pinkwashing Campaign to be Launched at Berlin Tourism Show in March

Yossi Bartal, Connie Hackbarth (AIC)

Berlin’s International Tourism Trade Show (ITB-Berlin) will be the site from which the Israeli government launches its campaign to promote gay tourism to the city of Tel Aviv.

This is part of Israel’s attempts to “pinkwash” its colonial policies and occupation of the Palestinian people by diverting international attention to a fictional public relations image appealing to western liberals.

ITB-Berlin, which brands itself as the “world’s leading travel trade show”, will host the Israeli exhibition entitled Tel Aviv Gay Vibe- Free; Fun; Fabulous. According to information on the ITB-Berlin website, this exhibition is a joint project of Israel’s GLBT Association (Aguda) and Tel Aviv’s Tourism Association, which work together to generate pride events for tourists, information materials, the construction of tour packages to Tel Aviv and their marketing and advertising.

According to a public relations piece, Israeli events in ITB-Berlin, which runs from 9-13 March 2011, will include a celebratory cocktail for gay travel agents from throughout the world and two huge parties for the German public, with DJs and artists flown in from Tel Aviv, in addition to the traditional trade exhibition.

Yaniv Weitzman, a member of the Tel Aviv Municipal Council and special advisor to the mayor on the gay community, stated that in 2010 some NIS 340,000 were invested in promoting gay tourism by the Tel Aviv Municipality and Israel’s Ministry of Tourism. Estimates note that some 4,000 gay tourists came to Tel Aviv in June 2010 for the city’s pride events, while a 20% increase in this number is anticipated for 2011.

Shai Deutsch, a board member of the Aguda, says that new events were developed for Tel Aviv gay tourism, including English language tours on Fridays focusing on the history of the gay community in the city, in addition to three special weekends: Tel AvivPurim Carnival, Tel Aviv Pride Week and Tel Aviv Endless Summer events in September. A “hot city pass” discount card is also being promoted for gay tourists.

Deutsch explains that while the campaign is currently focusing on Germany and the UK as sources of large number of tourists, the campaign will expand its reach in the coming year to include addition European countries, particularly Holland and France, in addition to the United States.

Palestinian Queers for BDS issued a statement in June 2010 calling upon the LGBTQI communities around the globe to stand for justice in Palestine through adopting and implementing broad boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until the latter has ended its multi-tiered oppression of the Palestinian people, in line with the 2005 Palestinian civil society call for BDS.

Additionally, in November 2010 the Tel-Aviv based group Israeli Queers for Palestine issued a statement denouncing the nomination of Tel Aviv in MTV’s gay tourist attraction “a shameful tribute to apartheid” and supported the aforementioned call by Palestinian Queers for BDS.

ITB-Berlin has a code of corporate social responsibility, stating that it “sees itself as a link between research and science, between companies, markets and societies. It utilizes this key position in order to…engage in a dialogue with companies in their efforts to create economically, socially and ecologically responsible tourism products and services…The members of the ITB Team admit their overall social responsibility…

ITB-Berlin may be contacted here:

Contact: Astrid Ehring
Press Officer
Telefon: +49 (0)30 3038 2275
Fax: +49 (0)30 3038 2141
ehring@messe-berlin.de This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Teodora Vasileva
Press Assistent

Telefon: +49 (0)30 3038 2266
Fax: +49 (0)30 3038 2141
vasileva@messe-berlin.de This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The AIC calls for the organization of demonstrations and other events to counter Israel’s pinkwashing at ITB-Berlin, which falls during Israeli Apartheid Week. The AIC will be pleased to receive information and photos of actions.

Written FOR


In another attempt to hide its ugly image, the Ministry of Tourism is going ahead by hosting a group of Chilean miners. Again, despite attempts to get these brave people to change their mind about coming to Israel, they will be arriving here tomorrow…..

Chilean miners to visit Israel Wednesday

Tourism Ministry plans extensive tour for miners, hoping they will help improve Israel’s image

Thirty-one of the 33 miners who were trapped for 68 days underground in Chile are due to arrive in Israel Wednesday for a week-long tour. “It won’t be a circus,” the Tourism Ministry vowed ahead of the long-awaited visit.

The ministry wants to use the heroes’ visit to improve Israel’s image in the world. The miners will be traveling with their wives, the local governor, and senior Chilean journalists.

Rescued after 68 days (Photo: AP)

Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov will welcome the miners at the airport, from where they will travel to Jerusalem for an afternoon press conference. Hosts say the tour will be of a spiritual character, allowing the miners to “give thanks” for their heroic rescue.

In Jerusalem, the party is set to visit the Old City, the Western Wall, the Knesset, Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, and a number of churches. On Saturday they plan to tour Bethlehem, and then to get a taste of the Jerusalem nightlife.
Then, on Sunday, the miners plan to visit Masada and the Dead Sea after a special ceremony at the Presidential Residence. Throughout the visit they will also get to see Nazareth, Megiddo, the Golan Heights, Tiberias, and the Kinneret. A goodbye ceremony will be held in Tel Aviv.

The Palestinian Authority was outraged that the miners would not visit its territories as well, and the Palestinian foreign ministry said it would appeal to its Chilean counterpart to organize a tour of the West Bank.


1 Comment

  1. February 22, 2011 at 20:03

    […] TAKING PRIDE IN APARTHEID « Desertpeace. February 22nd, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized | Leave a comment | […]

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