Dyke March Organizers Eject Marchers Carrying Jewish Pride Flags
Organizers of Dyke March Chicago are facing controversy following the ejection of three people carrying Jewish Pride flags. The Jewish Pride flag is a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center. Members of the Dyke March Collective are being accused of anti-Semitism.
Laurel Grauer, manager of A Wider Bridge Midwest, shares that she and her friends were approached and harassed numerous times for carrying the 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.
One Dyke March Collective member told the Windy City Times that the women were ejected because the flags "made people feel unsafe," and more specifically that the Dyke March was "anti-Zionist" and "pro-Palestinian."
Grauer continued, "They were telling me to leave because my flag was a trigger to people that they found offensive. Prior to this [march] I had never been harassed or asked to leave and I had always carried the flag with me."
Iranian Jew Eleanor Shoshany-Anderson was also asked to leave. She shares: "I was here as a proud Jew in all of my identities. 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."
Dyke March Chicago released this full statement regarding the ejections on Twitter:
They followed it with this:
The statement from Dyke March Chicago asserts that the women were asked to leave based on their purported support of Zionism. The full statement reads:
"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 superimposed on rainbow flags to leave the rally. This decision was made after they repeatedly expressed support for Zionism during conversations with Chicago Dyke March Collective 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 (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!!
"[Edited to add: We want to make clear that anti-Zionist Jewish volunteers and supporters are welcome at Dyke March and were involved in conversations with the individuals who were asked to leave. We are planning to make a longer statement in the future.]"
From Grauer's perspective: "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. 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."
What's your take on the actions taken by the Dyke March Collective?
(H/T: Unicorn Booty)