LGBTQ Jews who support Israel are increasingly finding themselves caught in the crossfire between the two causes.
At a time when the Jewish community is becoming increasingly inclusive of its LGBTQ members, the wider LGBTQ community may be growing less welcoming to its pro-Israel members. At the Chicago Dyke March last Saturday, three women were asked to leave because they were carrying Jewish Pride flags, which consist of two rainbow stripes with a blue Star of David in the center, in the style of an Israeli flag.
In a statement on Twitter released on Sunday afternoon, organizers of the Chicago march said that those carrying the Jewish Pride flags were asked to leave after they “repeatedly expressed support for Zionism” in conversations with march organizers. “The Chicago Dyke March Collective is explicitly not anti-Semitic,” they wrote. “We are anti-Zionist.”
Though the LGBTQ community has grown accustomed to attacks from the right, intersectionality, the movement to align social justice causes with one another to further their goals, pits left-wing causes against Zionism. At the Celebrate Israel parade earlier this month, the LGBTQ coalition was infiltrated by Jewish Voice for Peace, a Jewish activist group that supports Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement. The protesters, who posed as members of the LGBTQ marching group, were there to counter “pinkwashing,” the distraction from Israel’s treatment of Palestinians by focusing on Israel’s openness to the LGBTQ community.
“I find that Pride parades are becoming more tepid about the prominence of Israeli symbolism and Israeli flags and the idea that you can be queer and Zionist,” said Hannah Simpson, an LGBTQ activist and participant at the New York Pride parade. Simpson marched with the Jewish cluster, led by Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, a leading LGBTQ synagogue in Chelsea. Continue reading in The New York Jewish Week