Brand Israel and Pinkwashing
a DocumeNtary guiDe
Not only do Palestinian queers face these injustices on
a daily basis and undergo Israeli oppression like any other Palestinian, but also
our name and struggle is often wrongly used and abused to “Pinkwash” Israel’s
continuous crimes against the whole Palestinian population.
—Palestinian Queers for Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions
The Israeli Foreign Ministry, Prime Minister’s Office Finance Ministry, con-
cludes a three- year consultation with American marketing executives and
launches “Brand Israel,” a campaign to “rebrand” the country’s image to ap-
pear “relevant and modern” instead of militaristic and religious.1 An article in
Jewish Week explained the marketing maneuvers:
“Americans find Israel to be totally irrelevant to their lives and they are tuning
out . . . particularly 18–34 year old males, the most significant target,” explained
David Sable, ceo and vice president of Wunderman, a division of Young and
Rubicam that conducted extensive and costly branding research for Israel at no
charge. Starting off with a free trip for architectural writers, and then another
for food and wine writers, the goal of these “and numerous other efforts” was to
convey an image of Israel “as a productive, vibrant and cutting- edge culture.”2
In July 2005, The Brand Israel Group (big) presented its findings to the
Israeli Foreign Ministry.3
Because it was important for Israel’s branding concepts to have internal
consistency and external appeal, the Foreign Ministry held additional focus
groups in Europe and Israel. It hired the firm Marketwatch to determine the
current perception that Israeli citizens held of their own national brand.4
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