On June 3, LGBT activists protested at New York City’s “Celebrate Israel” parade, objecting to the Zionist regime’s apartheid laws denying Palestinian human rights and its use of gay rights messaging to portray Israel as open and democratic. Signs reading “Support Palestinian Queers” and “Israel: Stop Pinkwashing Apartheid” dotted the sidelines of the Fifth Avenue parade. Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QAIA) organized the protest.
“Israel is trying to repair its horrible human rights profile by painting itself as a gay mecca,” said Brad Taylor of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid. “But having some gay clubs in Tel Aviv doesn’t make Israel a democracy. Israel builds separate roads for Jews and Arabs, separate schools, separate neighborhoods. Your rights to work, travel, marry, etc. — they all depend on whether or not you’re Palestinian. It’s apartheid, whether you’re gay or straight.”
The anti-Zionist Torah Jews (Neturei Karta) also held a protest rally near the parade, and burned Israeli flag. Torah Jews don’t recognize the state of Israel.
Last month, Israeli ambassador Michael Oren was keynote speaker at the 20th anniversary celebration of gay and lesbian (LGBT) event in Philadelphia last week. Oren used the conference to repeat Israel hasbara lies about Israel’s great tolerance toward the LGBT community.
The parade is organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, and funding and sponsorship come from various sources, including the Israeli government and the UJA-Federation of New York.