Anti-Israel Crowd Tries to Hijack Gay Rights Parade

June 1st, 2010 at 2:00 pm | 7 Comments |

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Realizing that in the battle for public opinion, moderation is a virtue, gay rights organizers in Toronto stopped a group called Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from marching in their gay pride parade this year.

Queers Against Israeli Apartheid drew the ire of the city of Toronto, which grants authority for the march to take place, funds it and provides security.  The city threatened to pull funding from the parade, which would effectively shut the entire event down, because it feared that allowing Queers Against Israeli Apartheid to march would constitute an endorsement of a political message that has nothing to do with the celebration of tolerance and diversity through gay rights that the parade is meant to signify.  Indeed, the Israeli Apartheid group has marched in several previous Toronto Pride Parades, and many people who had wished to attend the parade avoided it because they didn’t want to be associated with such radical groups.

The Toronto Sun detailed footage of a video of the group at least year’s parade:

200 QuAIA marchers carried anti-Israel signs, while marchers angrily chanted “Fist by Fist, Blow by Blow, Apartheid State, Has Got to Go” and at least one parade marcher was decked out in a shirt featuring a crossed-out swastika.

Everyone will have their own opinions about issues like Israel, but it remains to be seen why anyone concerned about gay rights would have such a high level of vitriol toward the only country in the Middle East which respects gay rights.

Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, which is a collaboration of gay Muslim groups and gay Jewish groups, railed against their being banned in a rather unorthodox flier released to its members.  It decried “censorship” of “political expression” and sought the right to “free political speech.”  But no one in Toronto is denying the group this.  If Queers Against Israeli Apartheid wishes to express its views, it is welcome to hold its own demonstrations at a separate date.  Controversial political views on something as off-topic as Israeli border policy have got nothing to do with the Toronto Gay Pride Parade, and radical groups should not be allowed to detract from the parade’s overall positive message.

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7 Comments so far ↓

  • Smarg

    Homosexuality is a filthy, disease-ridden practice explicitly condemned by God.

  • train

    “The city threatened to pull funding from the parade”
    The city has not threatened to pull funding – a grandstanding councilor has a motion that the executive committee will look at. There has been nothing official from the city stating that funds will be pulled.

    “Indeed, the Israeli Apartheid group has marched in several previous Toronto Pride Parades, and many people who had wished to attend the parade avoided it because they didn’t want to be associated with such radical groups.”

    What? Who are these people? If you’re referring to the Martin Gladstone film – more on that later, it was a couple of zionists saying they didn’t feel comfortable. Really, unless you can name names, I could tell you that some people went to Pride because QuAIA was there. Bad reporting.

    “200 QuAIA marchers carried anti-Israel signs, while marchers angrily chanted “Fist by Fist, Blow by Blow, Apartheid State, Has Got to Go” and at least one parade marcher was decked out in a shirt featuring a crossed-out swastika.”
    The signs were anti-Israel policy. Don’t go jumping on the “everything that anyone says that is bad about Israel is anti-Semetic or against the state of Israel. The chant was misrepresented in the film. The shirt with the swastika crossed out is a pretty standard anti-fascist symbol. While it might have been in bad taste, it certainly wasn’t anti-Israel. How could it possibly be?

    “Controversial political views on something as off-topic as Israeli border policy have got nothing to do with the Toronto Gay Pride Parade, and radical groups should not be allowed to detract from the parade’s overall positive message.”

    Pride is political and queers would have gotten nowhere if we waited for the likes of David Frum to tell us for what reasons, where and when we could protest. It wasn’t that long ago that Mr. Frum was against gay marriage. If queers want to march for anything, that makes it queer. Zionists have a lot to answer for and I’m happy that queers are playing a role in making them answer to a lot of regressive and brutal policy.

  • charlesreardon

    What a disgusting organization. Glad to see them get the boot from the Pride Parade. no country in the Middle East is more tolerant of gays and lesbians than Israel. For this organization to specifically target Israel while ignoring countries like Iran, which routinely executes gay men is pretty much all the evidence you need that the Israeli Apartheid group are a bunch of raving anti-Semites.

  • train

    what a disgusting organization – raving zionists.

    It makes no sense to call everything that criticizes Israel as anti-Semitic. While I understand the fear that many people have and the guilt that many people carry because of the Holocaust during WWII, it doesn’t mean that criticism can’t happen. I think the writer of this article is Jewish, but I don’t know if he is queer…he really doesn’t come out either way.

    This is not about which country is the best for gays or lesbians in the middle east; this is about a group that wants to protest the policies of Israel and are banned from the parade. I always thought you republicans were about free speech…I guess only when it is whatever you believe in, if it’s something you’re afraid of – the truth, you’d rather censor it. Funny, that.

  • train

    Oh and maybe Israel is tolerant on land, but that stuff that they’ve been doing on water…very bad PR, n’est pas?

  • Jimjimjim

    I agree they should not be banned.

    But I think they bring up a good point. Are these Pride rallies just about parties, marriage, being in the military and joining churches, or is there a deeper issues of civil rights that we stive for all people?

    Agreed, Muslims are bat shit crazy when it comes to women and gay people and people who insult them…. oh wait…… See More

    oops.

    But Israel is also bat shit crazy when it comes to anyone pointing out the little matter of the concentration camp on it’s southern border, and it’s bombing of innocent people …

    well pick a border.

    And the USA is bat shit crazy for sending billions of dollars in aid to anyone when we’re more broke than a pagan whore in Utah.

    But praise Jesus, it’s the Holy Land. Praise Allah. Shalom.

    So yeah, let’s just point out that apartheid is apartheid, even if it’s against people we hate. I does the soul good.

    And let’s move this Pride Inc discussion beyond the comfort of marriage, military and church and see exactly where queers stand on more important issues.

    I hold no love of Muslim tyranny, but we lead by example.

    In the past month far more people have died from Muslim car bombs in the name of Allah than died on that boat.

    But two wrongs do not make a right.

    Yes?

    Also, Isreal is a citadel. It is not a democracy. It can have all the pride events it wants, but at the end of the day, it’s a military theocracy, that allows for homosexuality.

    Not a bastion of civil rights.

    And I think that’s the point these people are trying to make.

  • jakester

    Why should the city be sponsoring any sort of parade like that is beyond me to begin with? This is just nanny statism at it’s worst. Though those “Fruits Supporting Hamas Victory” seem to be short on irony. cause their heroes would gladly build skyscraper with express freight elevators to the roof just for them.