The Shmooze

Israeli Apartheid Group Banned From Toronto Gay Pride Parade

By Michael Kaminer

  • Print
  • Share Share

The decision today to ban a group called Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from Toronto’s Gay Pride parade is drawing fire from some gay activists for “censorship” – but has earned praise for “censoring a hateful message” from the Canadian B’nai Brith.

At a raucous press conference earlier — interrupted by cries of “Shame!” and “Resign!” from QAIA activists — Pride Toronto officials announced the group’s exclusion.

Pride co-chair Genevieve D’Iorio told the Toronto Star that the long-running controversy around the organization had put the festival, North America’s largest Gay Pride march, “in jeopardy.”

“To not have a celebration is unacceptable and would be detrimental to the experience of millions and to the existence of this organization. As we celebrate 30 years of Pride in 2010, this will not be the year we see our festival cancelled because of any one specific message,” she told the paper. A Toronto City Council member had threatened to withhold city funding and accommodation if QAIA was allowed to march.

After news of a possible ban was leaked last week, Canada’s Bnai Brith issued a press release applauding Pride organizers. “We wish to commend Pride Toronto for taking the correct and courageous step of censoring the hateful messaging of QAIA,” said Frank Dimant, B’nai Brith Canada’s Executive Vice President. “The Pride Parade is about diversity and promoting human rights. Issues that clearly do not mesh with the hateful messaging and antisemitism we have witnessed from QAIA in past years.”

On its own site, QAIA blamed “Toronto City Hall [one of Pride’s main funders] and Israel lobbyists, who claim that criticisms of the Israeli government amount to hate and discrimination. By caving to their demands, Pride Toronto has not only silenced the voices of queer Palestinians and human rights activists —they have set a dangerous precedent for free expression in our community.”

QAIA did not return an e-mail requesting comment from the Forward. But the group is now threatening to march under its own banner in the July 4 parade, the Star reports, setting the stage for a potentially ugly confrontation.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Queers Against Israel Apartheid, Israel, Gay Pride, Controversy, Censor, Apartheid, Toronto, Toronto Star

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • "Selma. Nearly 50 years ago it was violent Selma, impossibly racist Selma, site of Bloody Sunday, when peaceful civil rights marchers made their first attempt to cross the Pettus Street Bridge on the way to the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama." http://jd.fo/r50mf With the 50th anniversary approaching next spring, a new coalition is bringing together blacks, Jews and others for progressive change.
  • Kosovo's centuries-old Jewish community is down to a few dozen. In a nation where the population is 90% Muslim, they are proud their past — and wonder why Israel won't recognize their state. http://jd.fo/h4wK0
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.