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Canadian Gay Film Festival Bans Israeli Flag in Ad

A gay film festival in Vancouver, Canada, found itself facing criticism for “pinkwashing” when a Jewish group used an ad that included the Israeli flag.

The local gay Jewish organization Yad B’yad submitted an ad to the Vancouver Queer Film Festival’s (VQFF) guidebook which included a rainbow-colored gay pride flag next to the blue and white Israeli flag.

Anti-Israel critics claimed that the ad was an example of “pinkwashing” – an accusation that the only reason Israel does not persecute homosexuals is to distract from its persecution of Palestinians.

In response to the controversy, festival organizers banned “overt expressions of nationalism.”

A spokesperson for Yad B’yad argued against the festival’s surrender, claiming that “Its specific policies are aimed at silencing proud supporters of the LGBTQ community and of Israel, all while remaining silent on the plight of gays and lesbians in places such as Iran, Syria, China and even the Palestinian Authority.


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