Category Archives: Israel

Some thoughts on the banishing of Jews at Chicago’s LGBT Pride march

A few days ago at this blog, in a post (which can be read in full here) that outlined my opposition to LGBT Pride culture from an LGBT perspective, I explicitly warned:

“Pride, like all social justice movements, has a goal: to overcome prejudices. But, in taking part, many of its members subscribe to the very narratives and stereotypical behaviours that become magnets for bullying and misunderstanding.

The problem with social justice movements is that invariably they fight what they perceive to be oppression by adopting methods which are counter-productive to their cause.

Racism and sexism are tackled by university students with counter racism and counter sexism. Just as any lasting homophobia is addressed through means which serve only to give life to bigotry.”

So it wasn’t surprising to me to read the following about an LGBT march in Chicago in a Windy City Times report only this morning:

Asked to leave by Collective members of the Dyke march were three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center).

According to one of those individuals—A Wider Bridge Midwest Manager Laurel Grauer—she and her friends were approached a number of times in the park because they were holding the flag.

“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,” she told Windy City Times. She added that she lost count of the number of people who harassed her.

One Dyke March collective member asked by Windy City Times for a response, said the women were told to leave because the flags “made people feel unsafe,” that the march was “anti-Zionist” and “pro-Palestinian.”

“They were telling me to leave because my flag was a trigger to people that they found offensive,” Grauer said.”

Firstly, I refer to LGBT activities of this kind as a social justice movement due mainly to the fact that organisers and activists repeatedly assert that they belong to an oppressed class, and that they need these celebrations to display defiance and overcome the homophobia they often claim to be systemic or rampant.

But, as we see once again, the tactics deployed in bringing about these aims, even if by a small sect of the community, highlight the concerns I shared on June 21st. The new culture we have fostered, in which certain, usually minority groups challenge perceived oppression, is being conducted with the harnessing of self-aggrandising and counter-intuitive techniques.

We all know what is at play here. Many of those at Chicago’s march will have been activists or semi-political Left-wingers, no doubt vehemently opposed to Israeli policies against the Palestinians. The trouble is that LGBT marches ought to be apolitical in the sense that they are designed to unite goers in defiance, companionship and joy.

I am not going to comment on the merits of Israeli policy towards Palestine, purely out of a lack of knowledge, but it must be stated that by latching on to separate, wholly irrelevant political conquests, the LGBT movement splits, weakens and invites fresh hostility unto itself.

A potential consequence of anti-Jewish sentiment of this kind is that it may provoke a counter-response from Orthodox Jews in the United States, especially those who are easily offended or (in some cases) antagonistic or violent, who of course view minority sexual behaviour as sinful and in violation of the word of God.

It is not inconceivable that, by taking partisan stances on fringe issues, much like the National Union of Students has in Britain, the LGBT Pride movement will find itself alienating people that would otherwise be allied or apathetic. American Jews will not appreciate internal subjugation at marches which are designed in such a way as to display harmony and solidarity.

Much like the Right has developed a worrying problem with Islamophobia (not to be confused with sensible critiques of Islam and its role in the spread of Islamism), the Left has for many years had a lingering problem with anti-Semitism. It is largely rooted in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which the Left often uses to advance its favoured power narrative, viewing truth and justice purely in terms of who is stronger and who is weaker.

Not all LGBT representatives or marchers are Left-wing, of course, but the vast majority are. And those responsible for banishing Ms Grauer from her participation in Chicago will have been too.

For years it was religious policy and thought that most hindered the expression of the LGBT community. Let us not, then, in more equal and freer times reject those outstretched arms from religious communities. We ought to be treating others in ways we implored to be treated in decades gone by.




All this Syria fuss and we’ve forgotten the one Middle Eastern conflict we’re ACTUALLY obliged to resolve

Earlier on this evening, British members of parliament staged a cross-party debate and voted for strategic RAF airstrikes in Syria, with the goal of degrading Islamic State. David Cameron said in the House of Commons only today that the proposed airstrikes will make Britain a safer country to live in, though how that is I am not exactly sure.

Our rash and likely emotionally-charged inclination to war has served both the UK and the Middle East poorly before, and seldom are we capable of putting together a sensible, internationally-organised and long-term plan to achieve our military goals.

I am not entirely opposed to war, and nor am I a pacifist. Just last month, I wrote a piece on this blog in which I openly endorsed the prospect of military action on the pre-condition that the British armed forces work with suitable international partners. Please also take the time to read that piece, below:

But here is my problem. We have found ourselves in the midst of yet another obsessive, compulsive need to interfere in regions we aren’t required to interfere in, and we must rely on the utterly unreliable. We seem to have completely forgotten our own blotchy and questionable past military endeavours; many of which resulted in the kind of territorial disasters we aimed to prevent in the first place.

Iraq, anybody?

There is, though, one conflict very much on-going in the Middle East which this country has ignored, (likely out of sheer embarrassment) and whose development arose directly as a result of the 1920 British Mandate for the geographical region of Palestine.

Only this week, Israel have announced new restrictions on Gaza’s Palestinians seeking medical treatment, with those under the age of 55 now having to undergo thorough security checks in order to establish eligibility for operations and medical procedures in Israel or the West Bank.

And so forgive me for brushing down the importance of today’s Syria vote in the House of Commons, but I really think Britain’s attention in the Middle East is best served elsewhere. The more Israeli and Palestinian blood spilled, the more I am sickened by the British Empire’s shameful distribution of the region of Palestine.

Yes, our part in the destabilisation of Syria and the Levant cannot be completely forgotten, but in no way can it be compared to the disgraceful neglect we have shown towards the people of Gaza, West Bank and Israel. Islamic State are accountable for their own mass-murdering, Bashar Al-Assad is responsible for his own repression of Syrian citizens, and interference on the part of Hezbollah and the Kurds can’t be attributed to British activity either.

The 90-year dispute concerning the inhabitants of Palestine has, in my mind, been overlooked by our media, and by the international community. Not enough is being done by Britain, the US or the United Nations to help bring about long-lasting peace for both Arabs and Jews. It offends me to my very core that we have given hundreds of column inches and hours of broadcasting time to jihad in Syria, when children in both Israel and Palestine are being slaughtered by our historical incompetence daily.

I didn’t want to make this post particularly long, so I will leave it here for now. Britain is set to embark on yet another international bombing campaign in Syria, whilst refusing to accept liability for the damage it has caused just a few miles to the south.

I would laugh, if it wasn’t so serious.