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June 21, 2021 4:06 pm
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Chicago Dyke March Posts Promotional Image Showing Burning Israeli and American Flags

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

A promotional image for the 2021 Chicago Dyke March showing Israel and American flags being burned. Photo: Instagram screenshot

The Chicago Dyke March, an annual LGBT parade that in 2017 ejected marchers carrying flags with Jewish symbols, promoted its upcoming event with an image showing the burning of Israeli and American flags.

The image depicted a woman standing atop a burning car holding the two flags, which were both shown in flames.

The Instagram promotional post was removed by the company for “hate speech or symbols,” in a warning that threatened to delete the group’s account.

The March responded by urging followers to capture a screenshot of the post, “and share to prevent any attempts by Z1ON1ST and Instagram to censor our account.”

Using numbers or other characters to deliberately misspell key terms is a common tactic on the web to skirt content moderation.

In a subsequent post, the Dyke March then altered the image, superimposing animated yellow and orange flames to conceal the two flags. The image was otherwise identical.

Another Instagram post asked if readers were “tired of social media censorship” and announced that the design “will be printed and wearable on this years (sic) t-shirts.”

A Wider Bridge, a nonprofit connecting American and Israeli LGBT communities, said in a statement Monday it was “outraged” by the image bearing the burning flags.

“While those symbols have seemingly since been removed, the message remains the same unless we hear otherwise: that dykes who wish to attend the Dyke March must choose between their identities,” the group said. “We Refuse to Choose.”

In 2017, the Chicago Dyke March threw out participants for carrying flags emblazoned with the Star of David.

One of the Chicago marchers who was ejected, Iranian Jew Eleanor Shoshany-Anderson, observed, “The Dyke March is supposed to be intersectional. … I felt that, as a Jew, I am not welcome here.”

The March responded to criticism by saying “anti-Zionist” Jews were welcome, prompting Arthur Slepian — the founder and then-executive director of A Wider Bridge — to remark that the response was “at least as heinous, or even more heinous, than the original exclusion.”

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