Haaretz Readers React: Was Banning the 'Jewish Pride' Flag From the Chicago 'Dyke March' anti-Semitic?

The incident in Chicago, where a rainbow flag with a Jewish star was banned, unleashed a flood of reaction from Haaretz readers. Hear what they had to say, vote in a poll and join the conversation

File photo: Israelis at the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem, July, 2016.
Michal Fattal

After women carrying Jewish Pride flags were banned from the annual Chicago Dyke March over the weekend, a debate on hostility to Zionism and Israel - and perceived anti-Semitism in the LGBT community - ensued.

In Chicago, lesbians participating in the event were told they could not march with flags bearing a Star of David on a rainbow background. Organizers charged that its resemblance to the Israeli flag was a “trigger” that "made people feel unsafe" and flew in the face of the Dyke March's collective "pro-Palestinian" and "anti-Zionist" politics.

Ongoing coverage in Haaretz of the controversy, which included news of protests from Jewish groups as well as an opinion piece from one of the women who was expelled from the parade, unleashed a flood of views on the issue. The vast majority of commenters objected to the removal of the flag and suggested that what happened was anti-Semitism in an anti-Zionist disguise. Others, however, said the flag was a blatant nationalist and separatist display of an oppressive symbol that had no place at an event whose goal is to unite, not divide.

Check out the comments below from Haaretz readers. Vote in our poll and let your voice be heard:

Here’s a taste of what Haaretz readers had to say:

Meyer Goldberg: A Jewish Star is not a symbol of Zionism, it is a symbol of Judaism! A cross is not exclusively a symbol of Catholicism or Baptism or the KKK! It is a sign of Christianity and should be taken that way! Shame on the intolerance of the LGBTQ community! 

Linda Jericho: Someone has to speak up and be the voice of the Palestinians, Black Jews, and anyone else that Israel is racist toward or forcing an apartheid against! Apartheid and racism are never cool and there is no reason to pinkwash the crimes they have committed against 100,000's of innocent people. ZIONISM is racism, and it's nothing to be proud of. 

Edan Hollombe: Why is Antisemitism not OK, but Anti-Zionism is? Is it also OK to be anti-France or Anti-Italy? Why is it permissible to oppose the existence of an entire sovereign nation, if that nation is Israel? I wonder what a Spanish person would think of me if I told him I am anti-Spain...

Sometimes I am ashamed to be a progressive

Emma Phillips: If the Star of David is only a Zionist symbol how come Jews made to wear yellow ones under Nazis . Or was it just Zionist Jews who wore them??? Don't think so... it's very ugly watching today's antisemites turn themselves inside out to carry on their persecutory ways. Oh and do they feel solidarity with the Palestinians who would be very happy to launch gays off roofs, particularly the Hamas government of Gaza. How do they begin to get their muddled Jew hating heads around that conundrum? Intersectionality, don't make me laugh!! 

Sylvain Duprey: “Why Was I Kicked Out for Carrying a Jewish Pride Flag?” Because some racist and insane motherfuckers waving a star of David on a flag stole a land and slaughtered thousands of innocents. It's not the star's fault, not the jewish or gay people fault. The religious symbol became an ethnic supremacist symbol. Ethnic supremacism by definition is an excluding ideology and the Pride fights exclusion.

Trey Anthony Soto: If that's the case with Jews, where does the line draw? Do we not allow German LGBTQ pride because of the holocaust? Do we not allow Turkish LGBTQ pride because of the Armenian genocide? This list can go on forever. It makes no sense to exclude one group of people, especially when the pride parade is centered around inclusiveness and unity.

Tom Charles: The Star of David has been around for thousands of years. It long predates Zionism or the modern State of Israel. So to say a white hexagram on a rainbow flag is pro-Zionism and anti-Palestinian is ridiculous. To ban such a flag and its participants is bigoted. Period.

Christine Gonzales: Sadly, I sense that "trigger" is the new word to excuse exclusion of any kind. It allows people to see themselves as victims and therefore entitled to remove the "trigger" group(s), perpetuating the division they claim to reject. In the end, this will destroy any inclusion that they advocate for and any community that they hope to achieve.