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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)

Comments

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I stand by the statements of the protest organizers. They felt there was a reason for them to believe the actions of these women were malicious so they were asked to leave.

With the current negative attitudes towards Muslim immigrants and refugees in the US and Europe,  these women should have exercised if not a measure of sensitivity at least some common sense before carrying THAT symbol in THIS rally. They should have at least been considerate enough to clear it with organizers. 

If they got any type of local media coverage where they were able to cry foul and label the actions of the organizers as antisemitic, then, they got what they wanted, an opportunity to discredit the organization and the rally. 

This was sabotage. 

If it wasn't, then, the women are so ignorant they are unable to discern the consequences of their actions. Instead, they cry antisemitism. 

Idiots!

If you are that thick you can keep your damn support.

They're better off without it. 

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Funny how they are pro-Palestine when Palestine is anti-gay. I'll never get the liberal obsession with Islam.

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I think we should get some things straight here.  Although the Star of David is now considered a symbol of Judaism and Jewish identity, it was not always so.  In fact, the Star did not become exclusively symbolic of Jewishness until the mid-19th century when it was associated with the largely secular Zionist movement.  Prior to that the Star of David could be found adorning Medieval churches and mosques as well as synagogues. 

That being said, it should be noted that the Pride flags baring the Star of David did not represent Israel or Zionism.  If they did, there would have been two bars running across the flags similar to the flag of Israel.  In this case, the Star symbolized the Jewish people and not the State of Israel.  Jewish people who support the Palestinian people, I might add.  So the organizers were wrong to ask these participants to leave.  They have just turned away potential supporters of their cause-supporting marginalized and disenfranchised groups.  Sadly, this only weakens their fight for the oppressed something they cannot afford. 

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The women were obviously staging their own counter protest within the rally.

They knew exactly what they were doing,  and I don't doubt this was their planned response.

The group is known to be anti-zionist and you show up waving a Zionist's symbol in the faces of the potestors, they were lucky they were only asked to leave and not tossed out on their heads.

Idiots!

There was nothing antisemitic about any of this.

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Obviously?!? Apparently not.

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If one waved a Palestinian flag and someone else complained they felt threatened by the ideology of Hamas whose stated goal is the destruction of the state of Israel would they have kicked them out?  Probably not.  So apparently its ok to be Jewish as long as you think the right thoughts. Toe the party line or else, haven't we heard that before from Uncle Mao and Uncle Joe?

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