Jewish Groups Condemn ‘Antisemitic’ Exclusion of Marchers From Chicago LGBT Rights Parade Over Star of David Flags
by Ben Cohen
Leading US Jewish organizations on Monday excoriated the organizers of a gay rights march in Chicago this past weekend whose stewards ejected a group of women carrying Jewish Pride flags on the grounds of their opposition to “Zionism.”
On Monday, the Chicago Dyke Collective defended its decision to prevent the women from participating by saying that anti-Zionist Jews were welcome — a rationale slammed as “heinous” by Arthur Slepian, founder of the Israeli-North American LGBTQ organization A Wider Bridge, in an interview with The Algemeiner.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on the organizers of the Chicago LGBTQ pride march to apologize.
“It is outrageous that while celebrating LGBTQ pride, Jewish participants carrying a rainbow Star of David flag were asked to leave the Chicago Dyke March,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. “The community of LGBTQ supporters is diverse and that is part of its tremendous strength. Both the act and the explanation were anti-Semitic, plain and simple.”
Greenblatt — whose organization has produced a set of materials to mark Pride Month — called on “leaders from LGBTQ and progressive communities to join us in condemning this exclusion.”
Greenblatt praised the Human Rights Campaign, the largest national LGBTQ civil rights organization, for offering its support.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper — associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center — said the banning of the Jewish Pride flags “brings disgrace to a movement that is dedicated to equal rights for all. Equal rights that is except for Jews who dare to celebrate their ties to their people and the Jewish homeland.”
Cooper added: “Tel Aviv recently hosted a massive Gay Pride Parade, but a similar event in Turkey was met with police firing into crowds of people trying to march. In the Jewish State, gays serve in the military. In Iran, gays are publicly hung.”
Amy Stoken — Chicago director of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) — described the ejection of the women as a “blatant incident of anti-Semitism.”
“An annual march celebrating inclusion and acceptance was hijacked today by those who believe Jews do not belong to the LGBTQ community,” Stoken stated. “Shame on the organizers of the Dyke March for not ensuring Jewish marchers can participate as freely as any other participant.”