By Caleb Parke
Published June 07, 2019
The Anti-Defamation League is calling on the D.C. Dyke March to immediately overturn its "outrageous," "anti-Semitic" decision banning the Star of David on LGBTQ flags at the protest.
Organizers say it's a "pro-Palestinian space" and claim their ban is not anti-Semitic.
ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said Friday's protest, which the group describes as "a grassroots march for queer liberation led by self-identifying dykes," should allow the Star of David on rainbow stripes. This comes one day after thousands marched through the streets of Jerusalem in the Israeli Gay Pride parade, many waving the flag.
“Banning the Star of David in their parade is anti-Semitic, plain and simple," Greenblatt said in a statement. “It is outrageous...the D.C. Dyke March is forbidding Jewish participants from carrying any flag or sign that includes the Star of David, which is universally recognized as a symbol of the Jewish people.”
Dyke March organizers Yael Horowitz and Rae Gaines, who describe themselves as “Jewish Dykes and Dyke-ish Jews,” say the restriction on the Israeli flag and Zionist symbols is part of a larger policy to ban all nationalist symbols and flags from the march.
"We welcome yarmulkes, tallitot, tefillin, rainbow pomegranates, Lions of Judah, Hamsas, chai, a menorah and anything that doesn’t directly replicate nationalist images and symbols," the two wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Blade. But Israeli flags and the Star of David, they said, is a no-go.
A.J. Campbell, the founder of the lesbian Jewish group, Nice Jewish Girls, wrote an op-ed in Tablet Magazine that the Dyke March organizers told her they don't want "pro-Israel paraphernalia in solidarity with our queer Palestinian friends."
"The DC Dyke March is a pro-Palestinian space," Gaines allegedly wrote to Campbell. "We believe that our struggles and oppressions are tied together and we support Palestinian dykes. Palestinian dykes are welcome to carry symbols celebrating their Palestinian pride."
Campbell pushed for clarification.
"I think there may have been a miscommunication," the organizer said. "Palestinian symbols and Jewish symbols are both welcome and encouraged. However, Israeli symbols will not be welcome."