The Sunday Telegraph

Citizens Advice staff trained on Israelis’ use of ‘pinkwashin­g’

- By Ewan Somerville

ISRAEL used “pinkwashin­g” to “legitimise” human rights abuses against Palestine, a website used to train Citizens Advice Bureau staff on diversity says.

“Woke” guidance documents urge the charity’s staff to educate themselves about the “key concepts” such as alleged pinkwashin­g of Palestinia­ns, microaggre­ssion and toxic masculinit­y.

Mandatory equality and diversity training is being rolled out for staff to demonstrat­e “good allyship” when helping members of the public on issues such as benefits, debt and employment.

But MPs condemned the guide’s “anti-Israel propaganda”, while sources warned the training is creating a culture of fear for those not subscribin­g to the “woke creed”.

In between diversity sessions, which are run by an external agency, consultant­s give Citizens Advice staff a self-help library with 26 key terms. One is “pinkwashin­g”, which links to an external webpage that defines this as “an attempt to legitimise Israel’s human rights abuses against Palestinia­ns”.

The cited webpage adds: “Perhaps the most noted example of pinkwashin­g is Israel’s public relations campaign to promote itself as the ‘gay mecca’ of the Middle East.” It says Israel “positing itself as the saviour of Palestinia­n and Arab queers” is an “inherently orientalis­t and Islamophob­ic rhetoric”.

Andrew Percy, co-chair of the All-Party Parliament­ary Group Against Antisemiti­sm, said: “This is anti-Israel propaganda.”

Other key concepts in the guide include whitewashi­ng and double consciousn­ess, described as an inward “twoness experience­d by African-Americans”.

A source close to the charity added: “It’s deeply troubling for an organisati­on that

‘It’s troubling for an organisati­on that receives millions from the Government’

receives millions from the Government to advise people without fear or favour.”

A Citizens Advice spokesman said last night there are plans to remove parts of the library guide following a review, but could not confirm when.

Chief executive Dame Clare Moriarty, said: “Our learning programme has been designed to help staff and volunteers build knowledge and have open discussion­s about equity, diversity and inclusion. We’ll continue to ensure that we’re an inclusive organisati­on for all.”

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