The Washington D.C. DYKE MARCH last Friday, which was billed as an all-inclusive celebration of underrepresented people, chose to ban symbols of Israeli and Jewish “dykedom,” despite the fact that Israel is the ONLY country in the Middle East which gives full rights to homosexuals, including Arab Muslim (Palestinian) homosexuals.
Yet in Muslim countries, including Arab-Muslim/Palestinian-occupied parts of Israel, homosexuals can still be executed for being gay under Islamic law.
In Arab Muslim-occupied parts of Israel – Gaza & Judea-Samaria (aka West Bank) – a homosexual could be executed for being homosexual.
NBC News Organizers of a queer march held in Washington on Friday are telling me that I should be ashamed of where I was born, my nationality and that I am Jewish. In solidarity with the Palestinians and to create a safe space for them, the D.C. Dyke March banned “nationalist symbols” from countries with “oppressive tendencies,” in particular Israeli flags. However, Palestinian flags were allowed.
The organizers asked marchers not to bring a longtime symbol of LGBTQ rights, rainbow flags, with Jewish stars superimposed on the center. March organizers say those flags are reminiscent of the Israeli flag, which they say could feel threatening to Palestinian marchers. “We choose to prioritize Palestinian lives and justice in Palestine over lazy symbols,” organizers write.
Banning expressions of Israeli identity along with the central emblem of Judaism dating from at least the third century is a painful sentiment, and isn’t lessened by the organizers’ statement that displaying Jewish stars in other ways that they find acceptable would be allowed. Their decision is not only personally alienating, but undermining of the very spirit of what LGBTQ+ parades should be about — the inclusivity and acceptance of all identities.
One Israeli gay Jew explained: By the time I turned 19, I couldn’t take it anymore. While serving as a humanitarian officer during my mandatory service in the Israeli Defense Forces, I finally came out of the closet. In the U.S. Army the policy was still “don’t ask, don’t tell”; luckily, there was no such prohibition in Israel. My army commander was the first person I told about my queer identity. His response: “It’s OK to be who you are.”
The same thing happened last year at a Dyke March in Chicago: