Photo via Sarah Stierch/Wikimedia Commons

Time to call out activists’ anti-Semitic bigotry


A good litmus test for the strength of a society is how it perceives and treats its minorities. In the United States, there was no more effective a proponent of equal rights for all than the late Martin Luther King Jr.

King’s derived his moral power from a biblical vision of peace and justice, that in the American vernacular meant equal rights for Blacks and all minorities.

Today the struggle for that elusive level playing field in the Justice-For-All League extends to immigrant rights and especially the LGBTQ community.

In recent years, Gay Pride parades have become a fixture in major cities around the world. These events publicly promote and celebrate inclusion of all people whatever their sexual orientation and to push for maximum rights and inclusion.

In Istanbul, Turkey where 100,000 people marched in the 2014 Gay Pride parade, in 2017, police fired at the few dozen activists who tried to defy the ban imposed by President Erdogan as he continues his drive to Islamicize the once predominantly secular nation.

Tel Aviv, Israel hosted a huge parade a few weeks ago involving over 200,000 people. In the Jewish state, gays serve openly in the military and are a part of the mainstream of all aspects of society-from the arts to business, politics and diplomacy.

In Tehran, there aren’t be any Gay Pride parades. Gays who dare openly express their sexual identity in the tightly controlled society could find themselves thrown off of rooftops, hung or disappeared into prison.

And there are many other countries including Russia and Ukraine, where gays often fear for their lives.

So LGBTQ activists have their work cut out in pursuit of global rights, equality and acceptance.

But the LGBTQ movement has not been well-served by a recent ugly incident at the Chicago Dyke March. There, three Jewish women carrying the multicolored flag of the LGBTQ movement were told to leave the march because they had sewn in a Jewish Star of David. They were told that the presence of the core symbol of Jews and Judaism “made people unsafe” and that the march was “anti-Zionist” and “pro-Palestinian”.

These progressive bigots insisted they were not anti-Semitic.

Yet who else but an anti-Semite would feel threatened by the Star of David, an age-old symbol of a faith and a people? Who else would support an ideology that denies the legitimacy of the presence of over six million Jews, living in a modern Jewish state that stands on their 3,000-year-old homeland? Who else but an anti-Semite would hold collectively accountable three women in Chicago for alleged misdeeds-real and imagined- of other Jews residing thousands of miles away?

Two days after the incident, organizers of the Chicago Dyke March not only refused to apologize, they doubled down on their bigotry.

They justified throwing out the three participants displaying the Jewish symbols by declaring that “Zionism is an inherently white-supremacist ideology.”

That would be news to Israelis whose families hail from Morocco, India, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, and Libya. And it would be a real shocker to Yityish Aynaw, the first black Miss Israel and the over 100,000 other Ethiopian Jews who have returned to the Land of Israel.

As for the White Supremacist canard, it came about 75 years too late for 6 million European Jews. They were isolated, dehumanized and mass murdered by a Nazis’ White Aryan racist, genocidal regime, who apparently unaware of the “whiteness” of their Jewish victims.

Far from being an aberration, such a wholesale demonization of Israel, Zionists, and Zionism, follows on the heels of Linda Sarsour, the Palestinian-American political activist and national co-chair of the Women’s March, who in an interview in The Nationannounced that there is no room in the feminist movement for those who identify with Zionism.

And there is more from Sarsour, who just after the 4th of July, told a major Muslim conference to in effect, wage ‘jihad’ against the President of the United States…

Apparently the vision of a society based on “equality for all” isn’t enough for these self-appointed gatekeepers of America’s progressive social agenda.

The embrace of history’s oldest hate-anti-Semitism in the name of Social justice is an abomination. It helps explain the roaring silence when Gays are executed in Iran or persecuted in Arab lands. In the final analysis, such unbridled hypocrisy diminishes and degrades the cause that claims ‘equality for all’ as its ultimate goal.

What would Martin Luther King Jr, a great admirer of the Jewish state say?

I believe he would issue a warning to bigots hiding beyond their progressive slogans:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that…


Rabbi Abraham Cooper is associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance.

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