Jews blocked from gay pride march

Star of David flags deemed to be "offensive" at "pro-Palestinian" gay rights march


Organisers of a gay pride march in Chicago banned flags bearing the Star of David from a march after claiming they were “offensive”.

Several Jews were asked to leave the annual Chicago Dyke march on Saturday after being told their flags “made people feel unsafe.”

One marcher, Laurel Grauer, said she was harassed by other Dyke March attendees before being told she needed to leave with her flag.

“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," she told Windy City Times.

“They were telling me to leave because my flag was a trigger to people that they found offensive,” she added. “Prior to this [march] I had never been harassed or asked to leave and I had always carried the flag with me.”

Eleanor Shoshany-Anderson was also asked to leave because she was carrying a Jewish flag. She said: "The Dyke March is supposed to be intersectional. I don't know why my identity is excluded from that. I felt that, as a Jew, I am not welcome here.”

The Chicago Dyke March is billed as an "anti-racist, anti-violent, volunteer-led, grassroots mobilisation and celebration of dyke, queer, bisexual, and transgender resilience", according to its Twitter account.  

It is a separate event from Chicago's main Pride Parade and is described by organisers as being "more inclusive" and "more social justice-oriented" than the main event. 

Organisers confirmed the women were told to leave the march "after they repeatedly expressed support for Zionism".

The statement went on to say that the organisers are "explicitly not antisemitic, we are anti-Zionist" and "support the liberation of Palestine and oppressed people everywhere."

Israel’s own tolerant attitide to homosexuality, especially in Tel Aviv,  is often dismissed as “Pinkwashing” by anti-Zionist activists who claim it is way of covering up its treatment of Palestinians.

In January 2016 a Shabbat service and reception for Jewish participants at a gay activism conference in Chicago, hosted by A Wider Bridge, was disrupted by hundreds of protesters who chanted "Hey hey, ho ho, pinkwashing has got to go”.

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