Opinion: Chicago Dyke March’s Israel doesn’t exist | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Opinion: Chicago Dyke March’s Israel doesn’t exist

The Chicago Dyke March is where the anti-Israel far-left revealed itself.

It’s where we get to see how far the far-left has finally and so creatively traveled. They’ve marched right off the map, into a distant land of make-believe.

The Chicago Dyke March Collective’s most recent annual march, on June 24, again celebrated the lesbian community. That’s great. Yet for the first time organizers ejected three Jewish women for carrying Jewish Pride flags, according to news reports.

A statement put out by the Chicago Dyke March Collective three days later added more nuance. It suggested the ejection was related to a larger disagreement between organizers and the three Jewish women over the merits of Zionism.

Rob Golub

Much has been written about who behaved properly and who did not and whether anti-Semitism was a culprit in the whole dustup. But there’s a third leg to this story, which is, um, just what in the world is the Chicago Dyke March Collective even talking about?

“Zionism is an inherently white-supremacist ideology,” their June 27 statement reads, along with a litany of other anti-Israel assertions.

White supremacist? Really?

Zionism is the movement for the creation and then support of the world’s only Jewish state. It has nothing to do with seeking supremacy over anything.

Arab nations sought to destroy Israel in the Six Day War 50 years ago. It was not the other way around. It has never been the other way around.

Israel is not perfect. Yet its human rights record, including its treatment of LGBTQ, would be a good model for other nations in the Middle East.

Israel has a history of welcoming Jews of any nationality or color. Have there been complaints of discrimination within Israeli society, including among Jews? Sure, as there have been among the people of various Western nations.

But Israel is home to 140,000 Ethiopian immigrants, some of them airlifted out of difficult situations in Africa. Israelis run the gamut on color, from white to black and plenty in between.

Zionism, according to the Chicago Dyke March Collective, is “based on the premise that Jewish people have a God-given entitlement to the lands of historic Palestine and the surrounding areas.”

Really? That would be news to Theodor Herzl, the late 1800s founder of modern Zionism. He dreamed of a Jewish state as a haven to avoid persecution against Jews. It wasn’t about a God-given entitlement. In fact, early Zionists considered territory outside of today’s Israel for the new Jewish state.

Yes, the Torah establishes a special relationship between the Jewish people and the land of Israel, but it’s probably fair to say that most Israelis and American Jews approach this with realpolitik in mind. Israel has entered into peace negotiations multiple times, offering sovereignty or control over land while seeking an acceptance of Israel’s right to exist that never materializes.

Chicago Dyke March organizers say that “Palestinians deserve to live free from violence,” referring to an alleged recent bombing in Gaza, but who is the bombing targeting? Could it be the target was Hamas, an organization that seeks to destroy Israel?

A view of the San Francisco Pride Parade, June 30, 2014. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Palestinian militants have dug tunnels from Gaza to reach Israel, carved out to facilitate the transfers of weapons and death. In mid-June, Israeli Policewoman Hadas Malka, 23, was stabbed to death by Palestinian terrorists. There have been dozens of other similar attacks in recent years. In July, two Druze police officers were killed by Muslim gunmen. Everyone in Israel deserves to live free from violence – Jews, Christians, Druze, Muslims, everybody.

The Chicago Dyke March seeks to “ensure a safer space for those who are most marginalized,” but the Jewish people have a long history of being marginalized and the state of Israel has been a 69-year salve for that ailment. It is a place for Jews to go if need be, to believe in, to feel safe.

The Palestinian leadership subsidizes Palestinians involved in terror, including payments to the families of terrorists. Hamas’ 1988 charter calls for Israel’s destruction and if we Jews have learned anything from history, it’s that when someone says they want to destroy us, we should take them seriously.

The Chicago lesbian community, having also struggled with mainstream acceptance, has the perspective to understand our difficult position. Maybe they can help. Chicago Dyke March organizers should consider supporting those Palestinians who have chosen to become activists for moderation, understanding and conversation.

Some Palestinians, instead of focusing on hating Israel, bravely seek accommodation and co-existence. I’ve met a few of them and they’re absolutely remarkable. That’s something worth marching for.

Rob Golub is editor of the Chronicle.