Monday, June 27, 2011

Israeli actor in anti-Gaza Flotilla pinkwashing video identified

Trying to kill two birds with one stone; the LGBT Rights Movement and the Gaza bound Flotilla…
Israel is taking advantage of a new phenomenon by engaging in an on-line ‘Pinkwashing‘ campaign. As was reported on this site earlier today, ISRAEL GRASPING AT STRAWS TO STOP THE FLOTILLAS, the following just might be the straw needed to ‘break the camel’s back.’

Submitted by Benjamin Doherty

The disillusioned “gay activist” called “Marc” who appeared in a YouTube video condemning the Gaza Freedom Flotilla for alleged homophobia, that was tweeted by the Israeli Government Press Office, has been identified as an Israeli called Omer Gershon.

This definitely proves that the video is either a hoax or a piece of propaganda designed to discredit the flotilla and use a mask of concern for gay rights to pinkwash Israel and justify the persecution of Palestinians in Gaza.

Last night The Electronic Intifada confirmed that one of the first people to tweet the video was Guy Seemann, a staffer in the office of the Israeli prime minister.

The following images clearly identify Gershon by his face and tattoos.

Omer Gershon’s public Facebook profile

Gershon, as an Israeli, could not possibly have been so naive as “Marc” claimed to be in the video about either the flotilla or the situation in Gaza. It is puzzling that a piece of propaganda that was meant to pass as the genuine work of an activist previously uninformed about the situation in Palestine would use a figure who is fairly well-known in the Israeli gay scene.

Gershon has been profiled in leading Israeli publications such as Haaretz, Maariv and Ynet (here and here).

A 2008 report gave his age as 33 and said he lived in Tel Aviv. Gershon was described as a “producer, entrepreneur, and PR manager for clubs.” Gershon says he went to school in New York where he got a degree in marketing and advertising at the age of 25 and lived there for almost four years. He also said he had volunteered for IGY (the youth LGBT organization in Israel) and a women’s rights org called “Ladies Circle.”

In 2011, he appeared in a promotional video for XL Energy Drink featuring a man beating a Muslim woman.

Questions still remain about who commissioned the “Marc” video and the role of the Israeli government in disseminating it. Is this official Israeli government propaganda?


We thought it was important to debunk this project for a few reasons. The message of the video—however clumsy, transparent and fradulent—attacked Palestine solidarity actions and tried to undermine the relationships the Palestine solidarity movement has with other movements and activists such as LGBT rights. It may have also had intelligence gathering objectives. In the YouTube video description, “Marc” explicitly asked people to write to him. “Let me know if you’ve had similar experiences-” It is hard to believe anyone might have written to “Marc” sincerely offering information about LGBT and Palestine solidarity activists and organizations, but the creators of this video clearly invited such contacts.
Written FOR
Max Blumenthal adds the following…

Israel Law Center behind harassment of flotilla funded by homophobic End Timer Pastor John Hagee


On June 24, Joseph Dana, a journalist who will traveling aboard the US boat to Gaza, discovered that an anonymous private legal complaint had been filed against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. The complaint alleged that US boat, “The Audacity of Hope,” was not sea worthy and therefore was unfit to sail. In response, the harbor master in Athens, Greece, where the boat was docked, told the crew that he could not allow them to leave until the complaint was resolved.
Two days later, the Israel Law Center, Shurat Hadin, accepted responsibility for the complaint, which was essentially a baseless but startlingly successful exercise in legal harassment. Who is Shurat Hadin, and what is their agenda? According to the group’s website, Shurat Hadin is a Tel Aviv-based law center that specializes in lawsuits against “terrorists.” Its founder, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, describes herself in her bio as a “human rights activist.”

Darshan-Leitner began her harassment of the US boat to Gaza began weeks ago when it filed a civil action against “perceived supporters of Hamas” on behalf of Alan Bauer, an American doctor who was injured along with his son in a 2002 Jerusalem bombing attack. The action also threatened maritime insurance companies with legal consequences if they insured any of the boats involved in the flotilla.

I have discovered that a major donor to Shurat Hadin is the homophobic far-right Pastor John Hagee. In March 2010, I reported that Hagee appeared beside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a major rally in Jerusalem to denounce the two state solution and announce the financial contributions he and his supporters were making to Israeli organizations. Among the organizations Hagee said he had bankrolled was Shurat Hadin.
Read the rest HERE
Athens – Passengers on the U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, said news reports that an Israeli “lawfare” group, Shurat HaDin, is behind the complaint delaying the departure of the U.S. boat from Greece substantiate the Americans’ assertions that the complaint is frivolous. The passengers expressed confidence that Greek authorities will now quickly dispense with the complaint and allow The Audacity of Hope to sail.

On Sunday, June 26, the Jerusalem Post reported: “Sources in the Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center) on Sunday took responsibility for lodging an anonymous civil complaint against the American-flagged ship, The Audacity of Hope, which is a part of the flotilla expected to sail towards Gaza later this week, Army Radio reported.” The Israeli group is known for making frivolous legal complaints against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

“We reiterate that the boat we are leasing for this journey, after its refitting for the voyage to Gaza, was surveyed by a professional surveyor and successfully completed its sea trials,” said Ann Wright, an organizer and passenger on the U.S. boat. “There is no reason for any further delays on this matter, we are ready to sail.”

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