Yes, It Was Anti-Semitism
Exploiters’ ‘Leftists’ Ban ‘Unacceptable’
Jews from Chicago Dyke March
Every year, the LGBTQ+ community celebrates with Pride events — marches, rallies, social events, etc. — as a means of fighting for their rights and dignity. While virtually all Pride events are billed as being inclusive and open to all, the reality is that they’re not. Many “official” Pride parades and gatherings effectively exclude or marginalize those sections of the community outside of the immediate circle of organizers.
As a result, “alternative” Pride events are often organized by those marginalized and excluded sectors of the community. Such is the case with the annual Chicago Dyke March, which is held separate from the “official” liberal bourgeois Pride events in the city.
The CDM, too, advertizes its event as “inclusive” and open to all those who believe their voices are not heard by the bourgeois LGBTQ+ organizers of the mainstream Pride events. However, this year’s march, held on June 24, showed conclusively that “inclusiveness” is in the eye of the beholder — especially when the beholder is part of the petty-bourgeois (read: exploiters’) “left.”
During the course of the march and rally, three Jewish LGBTQ+ participants were thrown out by CDM organizers. Their apparent crime? Being Jews in public. Specifically, flying rainbow flags with the Star of David on them. The organizers claimed that the presence of the Star of David, a ubiquitous symbol of the Jewish community for nearly a millennium, made the flags look too much like the Israeli flag (!!) and, as a result, its presence in the CDM was “triggering” (!!!) participants.
Of course, the organizers gave no real indication of who was being “triggered” by the Star of David. After all, many of the Palestinian and Muslim participants in the event expressed their solidarity with those thrown out. Odds are that those who were actually “triggered” were the “leftists” who couldn’t handle having a few “wrong-thinking,” “non-conforming” Jews present.
That last point is not mere rhetorical flourish. The CDM organizers themselves made it an issue when they decided to pull out the old trope, “But, we have Jewish friends!” They are referencing their alliances with groups like Jewish Voices for Peace, known for being the acceptable Jews in the eyes of the exploiters’ “left.”
When their “we have Jewish friends” tactic fell flat, the CDM organizers then attempted to level the charge that those thrown out were “pinkwashing” the criminal actions of the Israeli ruling classes in Palestine, with the only “evidence” offered being that one of those removed was part of a LGBTQ+ group that supports Israel’s existence, albeit a more liberal and “inclusive” one.
The “because Israel” line of argument used to isolate and push out Jews from the public square is little more than an attempt to impose a “collective punishment” on all Jewish people because of the actions of the exploiting and oppressing classes in power in Tel Aviv. Fundamentally, it is no different than the demands of the radical reactionaries that all Muslims be repressed because of the actions of Da’esh and other terrorists.
Indeed, the practice of “collective punishment” has historically been an extralegal arm of repression by reactionary regimes and movements for centuries. For the “left” to stoop to this level is to expose their own inherently authoritarian and reactionary character.
The fact is, though, that the three Jewish LGBTQ+ who were thrown out were not there as agents of Israel, but as who they are. The fact that they were removed from the march by CDM organizers is not a blow struck against “Zionism,” it is blatant and ugly anti-Semitism.
Anti-Semitism is centuries old and neither began nor ended with the founding of the State of Israel. In recent years, however, there has been a spike in anti-Semitic attacks around the world, both from the exploiters’ “left” and its “right.” In terms of the “left,” it has bloomed in recent years from opposition to Israeli “Zionism” to an embracing, especially by its reactionary “anti-imperialist” elements, of the narrative of various Islamist groups, from Hizb’allah and Hamas to Da’esh.
Communists oppose anti-Semitism in all forms. We reject on principle the idea that all Jews (including Israeli Jews) are to blame for what the ruling classes of Israel do in occupied Palestine. We reject the blood libels and lies often cloaked in the ideology of “anti-Zionism.” We agree with German Socialist August Bebel, who called anti-Semitism “the socialism of fools,” and will call out these “left” fools whenever necessary.
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