Caitlyn Jenner will be honored at this year’s Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala, receiving the ‘Champion of Israel’ and LGBTQ Rights Award. However, some activists are not pleased with the recent announcement, calling it a case of “pinkwashing.”
According to HuffPost, Israel has been accused of pinkwashing ― using the queer community to deflect from larger issues like the nation’s ongoing conflict with the Palestine territories ― due to their country being LGBT-friendly.
Several LGBT activists and media outlets have been quick to point out the contradicting conservative nature of the upcoming event that will honor the former Olympian and outspoken Republican. HuffPost reports that former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer will be an honorary guest and the event is funded by Sheldon Adelson, a supporter of President Donald Trump.
In a Jan. 24 press release, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who will be presenting Jenner with her awards, described the nature of the event.
“Israel is a bastion of global human rights and a great light to the nations,” Boteach said. “But the Middle East is sadly a cesspit of human rights abuses, especially toward LGBTQ citizens who are routinely murdered, beheaded, and even hung from cranes.”
Boteach, an established conservative, went on to state that Jenner, “is uniquely suited to highlight Israel’s incredible record on human rights and LGBTQ rights and protection to the LGBTQ citizens, which is utterly unique and unprecedented in the Middle East.”
The U.S.-based World Values Network event will take place on March 8 in New York. According to HuffPost, Jenner will not be making any statements until the gala.