Gay Jewish flag bearer ejected from Pride parade

A Jewish pride flag

Chicago Dyke March had been accused of antisemitism for banning the flag, as the Star of David has been Jewish symbol for hundreds of years.

At its core, organizers say, the march is created to celebrate inclusiveness. The reason? Event organizers thought it triggering that they were carrying Jewish Pride flags, Haaretz reported. "It's not the first time we've been told to hide our heritage". American flags also were reportedly not welcome at the event, although it isn't clear whether anyone was kicked out for having one.

Pride parades are some of the most inclusive events one could participate in.

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Another person who was asked to leave, Eleanor Shoshany-Anderson, said she felt the Dyke March was supposed to be intersectional but that she didn't feel welcome.

The Dyke March Chicago has defended themselves from claims of anti-Semitism by repeatedly posting comments from Jews who are anti-Zionist on social media pages.

Zionism is a belief that Jews deserve their own ancestral homeland because Judaism is not merely a religion but also a nationality.

"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", Laurel Grauer, Wider Bridge Midwest manager, told Windy City Times. In the past, she said, her Jewish rainbow flag has never been a problem and she assumed this year wouldn't be any different. Nobody confronted her about the flag until the march concluded in a local park to listen to speakers and entertainment. The march is billed as a more inclusive event than traditional pride parades, yet ironically was the only event held during pride celebrations that outwardly excluded people due to their use of a religious symbol.


"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, '" the attendee concluded.

But Grauer says she wasn't carrying an Israeli flag, and she wasn't even talking about Israel until she was cornered by other marchers. There are too many such incidents which are being allowed and, at times, encouraged to happen, and all it does is play into the hands of the Nazis and anti-Semites among us, including those in the White House. "You are putting them in danger by being here", Grauer said she was told by the march's organizers, volunteers, and even other participants.

One Dyke March collective member asked by Windy City Times for a response, said the women were told to leave because the flags "made people feel unsafe", that the march was "anti-Zionist" and "pro-Palestinian."

"Both the act and the explanation were anti-Semitic, plain and simple", the statement added. A Wider Bridge has been protested for provocative actions at other LGBTQ events and has been condemned by numerous organizations (http://tarabnyc.org/cancelpinkwashing/) for using Israel's supposed "LGBTQ tolerance" to pinkwash the violent occupation of Palestine.

The expelled Jewish members said that "there's nothing offensive about this flag". It didn't feel like they wanted to have a conversation with her, she added, "so I just walked away".

Pinkwashing not only serves to legitimize the Israeli state but also reinforces US imperialist propaganda, which claims that the USA wages war in an effort to "liberate" LGBTQ peoples and women in the Middle East and throughout the world - even as LGBTQ peoples face police brutality, added economic hardship and denial of social services here in the U.S.

Grauer says the whole point of the march, which has been in Chicago since 1996, is to bridge together communities.

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