Chicago's "Dyke March" under fire for alleged anti-Semitism

Members of Chicago's "Dyke March" asked Jewish activists to remove their Star of David by citing their anti-Zionism

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published June 26, 2017 9:02AM (EDT)

 (Dougal Brownlie/The St. Joseph News-Press via AP)
(Dougal Brownlie/The St. Joseph News-Press via AP)

The so-called "Chicago Dyke March" is facing criticism of alleged anti-Semitism.

Three individuals who carried rainbow pride flags with Jewish Stars of David in the center were asked to leave the parade, according to a report by the LGBTQ newspaper The Windy City Times. They were told that the flag "made people feel unsafe" and that the parade had a "pro-Palestinian" and "anti-Zionist" perspective.

It is worth noting that none of these flags were Israeli. They were simply Jewish, something that the people who raised objections assumed could be automatically conflated with Zionism.

"It was a flag from my congregation which celebrates my queer, Jewish identity which I have done for over a decade marching in the Dyke March with the same flag," Laurel Grauer, who was brandishing one of the flags, told The Windy City Times.

This isn't the first time that anti-Zionism has become a controversial issue in the Chicago gay rights community. In January 2016, anti-Zionist protesters chanted outside of a gay activism conference with Jewish participants by chanting, "Hey hey, ho ho, pinkwashing has got to go."

Pinkwashing refers to Israel's touting of its strong pro-gay rights record, which anti-Zionists claim is used to distract from its alleged human rights abuses against Palestinians.

This also isn't the first time that a left-wing activist movement has faced criticism for trying to push out Zionists. Feminist Linda Sarsour stirred up controversy in March when she insisted that Zionists could not also be feminists.

"You either stand up for the rights of all women, including Palestinians, or none. There’s just no way around it," Sarsour told The Nation.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Anti-semitism Chicago Chicago Dyke March Israel Partner Video Zionism