Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt criticized the DC Dyke March on Thursday for banning flags with Stars of David from their march.
“It is outrageous that in preparing to celebrate LGBTQ pride, 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,” Greenblatt stated. “Banning the Star of David in their parade is anti-Semitic, plain and simple. The LGBTQ community and its supporters are diverse, and that is part of its tremendous strength. We call on the organizers to immediately reverse this policy.”
The DC Dyke March banning flags and signs with the Star of David is #antiSemitic, plain and simple. Diversity is a tremendous strength of the community of #LGBTQ supporters. We call on the organizers to reverse this policy immediately: https://t.co/6Vg3xxcL6m
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) June 6, 2019
A.J. Campbell, the founder of the lesbian Jewish group Nice Jewish Girls, published an article on Tablet Magazine describing the conversation she had with one of the march’s organizers about bringing her Star of David pride flag to the event, which is scheduled for Friday.
Rae Gaines, the march organizer that responded to Campbell’s questions, reportedly sent her the following Facebook message:
The DC Dyke March is a decidedly and fiercely pro-Jewish space. The DC Dyke March is also a pro-Muslim and pro-Palestinian space. Jewish stars and other identifications and celebrations of Jewishness (yarmulkes, talit, other expressions of Judaism or Jewishness) are welcome and encouraged. We do ask that participants not bring pro-Israel paraphernalia in solidarity with our queer Palestinian friends. This includes Israeli flags, as well as flags that resemble Israeli flags, such as a pride flag with a Star of David in the middle. We have trained marshals and deescalators ready to intervene in instances of conflict. If someone is being harassed for being a Jewish dyke, that will not be tolerated. In addition, if someone is causing conflict or creating an unsafe space for Palestinian dykes, that will also not be tolerated.
Campbell followed up by asking if Palestinian paraphernalia would be permitted.
“The DC Dyke March is a pro-Palestinian space,” Gaines answered. “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.”
DC Dyke March would like to reaffirm our support of Jewish Dykes as well as respond to recent reports concerning our policy against Nationalist symbols. Please read Jewish Dyke March Organizers Rae and Yael’s words on the subject below: https://t.co/xvFArGizhW
— DC Dyke March (@dcdykemarch) June 6, 2019
The march’s organizers, Yael Horowitz and Gaines, published an op-ed on the Washington Blade to address the backlash they’ve faced.
“The claim is that we are banning Jewish symbols, which is entirely untrue. We are asking people to not bring nationalist symbols because violent nationalism does not fit with our vision of queer liberation,” it reads in part. (RELATED: Progressive Jewish Organizations Aren’t Supporting The Women’s March)
Last year, leaders of the 21st annual Chicago Dyke March told march goers who had a Star of David pride flag to leave.