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March 22, 2016 6:05 am

AIPAC Policy Conference: Israel Targeted by Hate Group for Being Pro-Gay Rights

avatar by Eliana Rudee

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Jerusalem's Gay Pride parade. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Jerusalem’s Gay Pride parade. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

On Sunday afternoon, as participants at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference made their way to the Verizon Center in Washington, DC, anti-LGBTQ activists from the Westboro Baptist Church voiced their disdain for the Jewish state’s support of LGBTQ communities.

One protester held a sign proclaiming that Israel and America are doomed because of their support for same-sex marriage. Her sweatshirt read: “Jews Killed Jesus.” Behind her was a woman standing on the American flag with signs that read, “Some Jews will repent” and “Repent or perish.”

Another woman, standing on an Israeli flag placed on the ground, held a sign proclaiming, “What would Jesus do? Jesus destroyed Sodom!”

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They sang songs about Jews and gays going to hell for their sins.

AIPAC Northeast Progressive Outreach Director Phil Jones moderated an off-the-record panel Sunday morning titled “Proud and Pro-Israel: LGBT Support for the US-Israel Relationship.” The panel featured the following speakers: Jill Barkley of Emerge Maine, an organization that recruits, trains and inspires Democratic women to run for office; Arthur Slepian of A Wider Bridge, a pro-Israel organization that builds bridges between Israelis and LGBTQ North Americans; and Dan Slyper, an LGBT activist and educator.

Israel’s support for gay rights does not just exist on the legal level, where discrimination is prohibited; in Israel, same-sex couples may adopt children, and anyone can serve openly in the military. The LGBTQ community is celebrated with the biggest parades in the Middle East. Based on the LGBTQ support found at the 2016 AIPAC Policy Conference, the Westboro protesters are going to be very disappointed, because Israel’s support for the LGBTQ community isn’t going anywhere.

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