Jewish Voice For Peace, an organization which supports the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement (BDS), has defended the removal of three Jewish women from the Chicago Dyke March, for wearing a Jewish LGBT flag. The flag, which is seen at many Pride events around the world, was described by one of the women removed as “a symbol of Jewish identity”.
JVP defended the decision to remove the Jewish women, claiming that by attending the march with a flag sporting the Star of David, was showing support for Zionism, “which was one of the ideologies that march organizers had disavowed”, and the appearance of it “triggered” attendees.
Firstly, to claim that a flag displaying the Star of David means you are supporting the actions of the Israeli government, and therefore warrants a participant to be kicked out the parade is ludicrous. The Star of David has been used as a symbol to represent the Jewish community for over 800 years, long before the State of Israel, and more recently, was used as a way of identifying Jews during the Holocaust, again, before the State of Israel. To use the presence of the Star of David as an excuse to kick out Jewish women, is simply anti-Semitic.
Secondly, when the three Jewish women arrived at the march, they were questioned by organizers about their support for Israel. This marks a continuation of a worrying trend where Jews are singled out and questioned on their support for Israel, first highlighted when American-Jewish reggae singer Matisyahu was told to issue a statement regarding his support for the plight of Palestinians in order to be allowed to perform at a music festival in Spain. This is anti-Semitism. Imagine if openly visible Muslims were questioned about their views on ISIS when attending the Parade? There would be outrage…
JVP therefore has jumped to defend an incident of blatant anti-Semitism, showing exactly the type of organization they are. Though we shouldn’t be surprised, JVP this year invited Rasmea Odeh as their guest of honor at their National Membership Meeting. Odeh is a convicted terrorist who murdered two Israeli college students in 1969 by planting a bomb in a supermarket in Jerusalem.
Jewish Voice For Peace claims to be an organization which is “dedicated to justice” and is in “opposition to all forms of bigotry, including antisemitism”. If that were the case, JVP would not be defending blatant anti-Semitism.
Contributed by Daniel Kosky, CAMERA Intern