On the June 24, 2017, at a rally organized to express women’s intersectional identities in Chicago, Illinois three women were expelled due to carrying a pride flag with a white Star of David, also known as the Jewish pride flag. The Dyke March takes place in various capital cities in the world, embracing women from the LGBTQ+ community.
The three women are active members of the gay and Jewish community and regular participants at the march. One of them, Eleanor Shoshany-Anderson said on an interview to the NY Times: “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 feel that, as a Jew, I am not welcome here.”
Another woman alienated from the march is Laurel Grauer, a manager at a Wider Bridge, an organization built to assist the LGBTQ community in Israel in a personal, not political way.
“During the picnic in the park, organizers in their official t-shirts began whispering and pointing at me and soon, a delegation came over, announcing they’d been sent by the organizers. They told me my choices were to roll up my Jewish Pride flag or leave. The Star of David makes it look too much like the Israeli flag, they said, and it triggers people and makes them feel unsafe. This was their complaint.”
Laurel, shocked, tried to explain herself. First, she tried to untie the association between the state of Israel and the symbol of Judaism, saying it’s an “ubiquitous symbol of Judaism”. Laurel insisted she just wanted to be Jewish in public, and then explained in the communities jargon: “this is my intersection. I’m supposed to be able to celebrate it here,” but in vain. The Dyke community charged Laurel for using the acceptance Israel shows towards LGBTs in Israel to “pink wash” Israel’s image.
Yet apparently, the expulsion is not more than the tip of an iceberg. As an official comment, the Dyke March Chicago posted on their Facebook page they made clear that their problem is against Zionism, not Judaism. As a progressive left group they stress that all oppressions are linked, therefore one who fights for women’s rights can’t support the oppression of other human beings. They see zionism as the ultimate oppressor in the middle east, not concerning the facts.
The group published a Facebook update:
“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 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.”
A look at their Facebook page shows the organization is clearly political, demolishes Israel and Zionism and calls for boycott, and has gone very far from only standing for LGBT equality. The page gathers tens of support calls from NYC Queers against Israeli Apartheid, Black and Brown Punk Show Collective, Jewish Voice for Peace and hashtags like #Dykes4Palestine #NoPrideInPinkwashing #NoPrideInZionism.
Source: out, NY Times, Facebook
Image: For The People Artists’ Collective
By: Roni Zedek