Pinkwashing: Another gay Middle Easterner who isn't on the level?
Move over Thomas McMaster. You've got competition from 'Marc,' who claims he's an LGBT activist jilted by the Gaza flotilla.
Is every gay Middle Easterner on the Internet a fraud? Some days it feels like it.Skip to next paragraph
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Hot on the heels of the Gay Girl in Damascus hoax (perpetrated by Thomas MacMaster, a middle-aged American man), comes "Marc" the gay activist of indeterminate nationality who, in his telling, was spurned by the Gaza aid flotilla.
He claims to have sent an e-mail to a group involved with the flotilla (he doesn't say which one) offering to bring an LGBT contingent. He says he was turned away and told that gay involvement would be detrimental to the interests of those involved.
Then he goes online and discovers that Hamas is opposed to gay marriage (which is true). The video then has a montage of pictures of suicide bombers and the like, and he says "these are the people the flotilla organizers are hugging." (Which is not true, the outside activists involved in the flotilla say they're opposed to violence of all kinds).
"If you hook up with the wrong group," he intones, as he bats his eyes at a camera closeup, "you might wake up with Hamas." (Flotilla organizers insist they aren't working with Hamas or the Palestinian Authority, and their interest in opening up Gaza to sea traffic are purely humanitarian).
Thanks to some online sleuthing by Benjamin Doherty, it's clear that Marc is a fraud. The slickly produced video – with footage of a pensive Marc walking outside and at least three different camera angles while he sits at his computer in his impeccably lit room – is enough to raise red flags for anyone used to filtering out propaganda. But Mr. Doherty's digging found that Marc is in fact Omer Gershon, an Israeli actor and PR person.
Any educated Israeli understands the issues surrounding the Gaza strip, the blockade and the arguments for and against, which makes his professed naivete at the start of the video nothing but a pose.