Attendees at the Chicago “Dyke March” who carried Jewish LGBT Pride flags were made to leave on Saturday, according to a report.
According to the left-wing Israeli daily Ha’aretz, the flags, which featured the Star of David over the LGBT rainbow, allegedly “made people feel unsafe,” and upset attendees who claimed that the march was “anti-Zionist,” and “pro-Palestinian.”
“It was a flag from my congregation which celebrates my queer, Jewish identity which I have done for over a decade marching in the Dyke March with the same flag,” said one woman who was made to leave the march for carrying the flag, adding that numerous other attendees harassed her, according to the Windy City Press.
“They were telling me to leave because my flag was a trigger to people that they found offensive,” she continued. “Prior to this I had never been harassed or asked to leave and I had always carried the flag with me.”
“People asked me if I was a Zionist and I said ‘yes, I do care about the state of Israel but I also believe in a two-state solution and an independent Palestine,'” the attendee concluded. “It’s hard to swallow the idea of inclusion when you are excluding people from that. People are saying ‘You can be gay but not in this way.’ We do not feel welcomed. We do not feel included.”
Another attendee also claimed that they felt excluded from the march because of their Jewish identity.
“I was here as a proud Jew in all of my identities,” she proclaimed. “The Dyke March is supposed to be intersectional. I don’t know why my identity is excluded from that. I fell that, as a Jew, I am not welcome here.”
The Chicago Dyke March tweeted an official response:
Yesterday, June 24, Chicago Dyke March was held in the La Villita neighborhood to express support for undocumented, refugee, and immigrant communities under threat of deportation. Sadly, our celebration of dyke, queer, and trans solidarity was partially overshadowed by our decision to ask three individuals carrying Israeli flags [sic] superimposed on rainbow flags to leave the rally. This decision was made after they repeatedly expressed support for Zionism during conversations with Chicago Dyke Mark [sic] members. We have since learned that at least one of these individuals is a regional director for A Wider Bridge, an organization with connections to the Israeli state and right-wing pro-Israel interest groups. A Wider Bridge has been protested for provocative actions at other LGBTQ events and has been condemned by numerous organizations (http://tarabnyc.org/cancelpinkwashing/) for using Israel’s supposed “LGBTQ tolerance” to pinkwash the violent occupation of Palestine.
The Chicago Dyke March Collective is explicitly not anti-Semitic, we are anti-Zionist. The Chicago Dyke March Collective supports the liberation of Palestine and all oppressed people everywhere.
From Palestine to Mexico, border walls have got to go!!
“Pinkwashing” refers to the alleged practice of advertising Israel’s outstanding record on gay rights as a way of allegedly distracting from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Also on Saturday, it was reported that Turkish authorities had banned Istanbul’s LGBT Pride parade for the second year in a row, citing “safety concerns.”
“Two years ago police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse participants, after organizers said they had been refused permission because it coincided with the holy month of Ramadan,” the Hindu explained. “While homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey unlike many other Muslim countries, homophobia remains widespread. Critics say President Tayyip Erdogan and his AK Party, which is rooted in puritanical Islam, have shown little interest in expanding rights for minorities, gays and women, and are intolerant of dissent.”