Why This Plane’s Paint Job May Mean The End Of Tel Aviv Pride

Should Tel Aviv Pride planners roll up the rainbow carpet and say no to the government profiting off of their celebration?

We’ve seen planes painted like Star Wars characters and thought they were pretty neat.  If you can celebrate a science fiction series with a paint job, why not a rainbow plane to celebrate Pride?  Because, to boil it all down, most in Israel think the idea of the rainbow plane is a joke and a true representation of the Israeli National Government trying to make money off of gay tourism and accuse the government of “pinkwashing.”  Liam Hoare from Forward.com explains:

I confess when I first saw the simulated image of an airplane bedecked in the colors of the rainbow flag, ostensibly on its way to Tel Aviv Pride, I thought it was some sort of joke.

Yet it really was the Israeli government’s intent, as part of an 11 million shekel ($2.9 million) advertising blitz, to “set up an international competition whose winners will be flown to Israel in a plane specially painted in gay pride colors,” Ha’aretz reported. While Israel has in recent years actively promoted itself as a gay tourist destination, the idea of blowing millions of shekels rainbow high on a plane dressed up in magical colors would have been something else entirely.

The backlash to this eccentric idea—which has caused the government to back down—first came from the LGBT community. Activist Netanel Azulay said LGBT people in Israel shouldn’t “allow the government to profit at its expense.” They “won’t allow the government to use it and lie to everyone that LGBTQ people have it good here.” Community leaders have insinuated that Tel Aviv Pride, scheduled for June 3, could become a protest event this year—in contrast to the party atmosphere the Tourism Ministry seeks to project in its overseas promotion.

Tzipi Livni sarcastically asked if the rainbow plane was going to be used to fly gay couples overseas in order to get married, given the last government of which she was a member voted down her proposal for civil unions. Livni said—“as someone who has supported the gay community for more than twenty years”—that the government could not use Pride as part of a branding exercise “without showing an ounce of willingness to promote full equality in Israel. The gay community are our natural partners, not just when you need them, but all year round.” – Forward.com

Do you see governments here in the United States, or where you live, trying to profit from Pride?

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