The state of Israel’s official Twitter account recently posted photos of a gay Israel Defense Forces soldier holding a rainbow pride flag atop the rubble in Gaza as “a message of hope to the people of Gaza living under Hamas brutality.”
Israel has, for years, painted itself as a defender of the LGBTQ community and portrayed Arabs and Palestinians as homophobic, prompting writer Sarah Schulman to popularize the term “pinkwashing” more than a decade ago.
YES! contributor Sara Youngblood Gregory recently wrote about the pinkwashing of Israel’s genocide of Gaza in YES! She is the author of The Polyamory Workbook, a former staff writer for POPSUGAR, and the 2023 News and Narrative Fellow for TransLash Media. Sara discussed her piece on Israel’s pinkwashing with YES! Senior Editor Sonali Kolhatkar on YES! Presents: Rising Up With Sonali.
Sonali Kolhatkar joined YES! in summer 2021, building on a long and decorated career in broadcast and print journalism. She is an award-winning multimedia journalist, and host and creator of YES! Presents: Rising Up with Sonali, a nationally syndicated television and radio program airing on Free Speech TV and dozens of independent and community radio stations. She is also Senior Correspondent with the Independent Media Institute’s Economy for All project where she writes a weekly column. She is the author of Rising Up: The Power of Narrative in Pursuing Racial Justice (2023) and Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence (2005). Her forthcoming book is called Talking About Abolition (Seven Stories Press, 2025). Sonali is co-director of the nonprofit group, Afghan Women’s Mission which she helped to co-found in 2000. She has a Master’s in Astronomy from the University of Hawai’i, and two undergraduate degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin. Sonali reflects on “My Journey From Astrophysicist to Radio Host” in her 2014 TEDx talk of the same name.