More on Toronto Pride

Israel/Palestine
on 25 Comments

This year the board of Pride Toronto has decided to ban "Israeli Apartheid" as words appearing in group names or banners at all LGTB events, including the July parade.

I don’t know if you know what pride parades are like, but here in Toronto -apart from pride in and celebration of ourselves- everything and all gets protested: patriarchy; ableism; monogamy; racism; consumerism; eating meat; banning smoking; having to wear clothes (tried to ban that naked group of people some years back but police refused to enforce it) etc. There is room for groups standing up for the homeless, for disadvantaged youth, for the elderly. There even is room for promotion of the commercial activities of companies (banks, car dealers) who are proud to include us. Pride is diverse and is aimed at making all of us feel that we belong.

To me Pride is about showing ourselves and others who we are, what we are, how we want to be seen, how we want to relax and party and what we stand for. For a lot of people the fun is in watching gay men prance about (and good for them), but I think there should always be room for other facets of our lives, because I’m not just queer/bi and I want to show that too.

I feel that if we start banning words and groups just because some people are uncomfortable with the way they express themselves, we destroy bit by bit what makes us a community. If we push some groups out, our community grows smaller, our own right to be seen and heard becomes questionable. I think we should choose to have a dialogue with each other, we should choose to disagree and allow our community and the people in it to think for themselves. I really think a community only thrives when we keep people in, even those who we may not agree with. We need to find a place for everyone in the parade who is part of or supportive of the LGTB community. That we should be law-abiding goes without saying. Criticism however of others, or of practices, does not amount to hate speech.

That said, I get that some Jewish and Christian Canadians who participated in for example the civil rights movement are hurt by seeing the word "apartheid" joined with the state of Israel, whose people they feel connected to. But dialogue, disagreement and protest are part of democratic society. We all want to be seen and heard and we should take the opportunity to celebrate that together at Pride.

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25 Responses

  1. potsherd
    May 30, 2010, 2:12 pm

    Go with “Zionist Segregation”

    • Sumud
      May 30, 2010, 4:31 pm

      No pots – go with Israeli Apartheid.

      South Africans have said it. Israels leaders have said it. Trying to ban it is completely outrageous and must be resisted!

      • sherbrsi
        May 30, 2010, 4:50 pm

        One must keep in mind that it is not a crime that Israel operates apartheid, as much as it is a crime to say that Israel operates apartheid.

        It must also be noted that the former activity is pro-semitic, the “self-determination” of the Jews, while the latter is anti-semitic and the “destruction of Israel.”

  2. sherbrsi
    May 30, 2010, 2:34 pm

    I don’t know if you know what pride parades are like, but here in Toronto -apart from pride in and celebration of ourselves- everything and all gets protested: patriarchy; ableism; monogamy; racism; consumerism; eating meat; banning smoking; having to wear clothes (tried to ban that naked group of people some years back but police refused to enforce it) etc.

    Then why don’t the Zionists organize their own counter-protest?

    Surely for an event that is receptive to all forms of dissent, the Zionists would find that it is a productive and effective way to not only express themselves but also demonstrate what they are against. Fight fire with fire, you know?

    But who am I kidding. For that to happen, the Israelis and their Zionist supporters would actually have to subscribe to some notion of Western civil discourse and democratic exchange of ideas, beyond touting the tired old Hasbara romantic notions of little Israel the being “the only democracy in the ME.” And why play it fair when the Israel lobby can play it dirty? Way to show how democratic Israel and its supports actually are.

    I am glad that the participants of the event are protesting significantly and not letting this go. This banning demonstrates yet again that the Zionists in their hypocrisy are themselves the best antidote to their own propaganda.

  3. occupy nomo
    May 30, 2010, 3:06 pm

    Typical reaction/behavior from Israel apologists is to silence any all criticism of Israel. What is even more disturbing is a) the antisemitism/hate excuse is used and b) israel apologists are getting the City of Toronto to do their dirty work by tying their agenda to funding i.e. get rid of the QAIA or the city will cut funding.

    What happened to free speech? Some people believe (rightly in my opinion) that israel’s policies represent apartheid, so what? They are not allowed to express this opinion because some pro israel apologist (Martin Gladstone) made a movie and cried to the toronto officials about how the QAIA group is hateful and has no place in the pride parade. Expressing yourself is what this parade is all about and nobody can and will change that.

    I think this will backfire. The gay community has long experienced discrimination and will not stand for this censorship and silencing. Many of the members of QAIA are Jewish; the QAIA spokesperson, Elle Flanders, was raised in Jerusalem and has been active in pride toronto for years.

  4. demize
    May 30, 2010, 3:44 pm

    Of course its dispicable, but I’m curious to how they think they can enforce it. Would the police detain people for the content of their signs? Would there be parade marshals going up to Radical queers and snatching their signs and saying, ah,ah no you diint! I predict drama. I don’t know if there is a Canada has a free speech right, but if it does this seems a blatant violation. The rationale would prolly be similar to The Ancient Order of Hibernians prohibiting Gay groups to march because St. Pats is a Catholic, private, membership only etc. Parade. But on public property with public services provided by tax dollars. I’m sure Toronto PRIDE doesn’t agree with that, but eh whatevs.

  5. Richard Witty
    May 30, 2010, 4:06 pm

    I would hope that some of the pride supporters would carry signs saying “Anti-Zionism is racism”.

    I know a few that would.

    • sherbrsi
      May 30, 2010, 4:09 pm

      I would hope that some of the pride supporters would carry signs saying “Anti-Zionism is racism”.

      Apparently Zionists prefer shutting down the debate altogether.

    • Chaos4700
      May 30, 2010, 4:12 pm

      Witty, sweetie? I hate to break this to you, but… YOU’RE WHITE.

    • Sumud
      May 30, 2010, 4:37 pm

      Duly noted.

      First you invoked the Bushism (with us or against us) and said that anybody who wasn’t a zionist was a “radical anti-zionist”.

      link to mondoweiss.net

      Now anybody who opposes policies of racial/religious segregation in Israel/Palestine is a racist?

      Bizarre, stupid. The essence of the Palestinian liberation movement, and of liberalism (which you claim to respect) is liberty and EQUALITY. Not equality for everybody but *special* equality for jews.

      • edwin
        May 30, 2010, 7:01 pm

        Hmmm how does that Orwell quote go?

        All people are equal, but some people are more equal than others.

        And according to Witty, Jews are the the most “more equal than others”.

    • Sumud
      May 30, 2010, 4:40 pm

      Don’t beat about the Bush Richard, just go ahead and call us all jew-hating anti-semities. You’ll feel *much* better when you get it off your chest.

      • Chaos4700
        May 30, 2010, 4:41 pm

        Maybe Witty can hook up with his friend yonira and do some gay bashing, too! This is just the thread for these Zionists.

      • Sumud
        May 30, 2010, 6:30 pm

        I wouldn’t be surprised Chaos, so much other toxic goo has oozed out of RW this weekend..

    • Sumud
      May 30, 2010, 6:27 pm

      RW. You’re absurd.

      As I quote above you’ve stated non-zionists are radical anti-zionists. Now you claim that anti-zionists are racist.

      Therefore: to be a non-zionist, is to be racist. Is this your position?

      • Richard Witty
        May 30, 2010, 6:31 pm

        Funny math Sumud.

        I know a few very very Zionist gays, that if they lived in Toronto might be at that rally.

      • Sumud
        May 30, 2010, 6:37 pm

        Are you going to answer my question?

  6. Richard Witty
    May 30, 2010, 6:41 pm

    “As I quote above you’ve stated non-zionists are radical anti-zionists. Now you claim that anti-zionists are racist.”

    What do you imagine that you are quoting?

    • Sumud
      May 30, 2010, 6:47 pm

      They’re your words Richard, not mine.

      Are you going to answer my question?

      • Richard Witty
        May 30, 2010, 6:50 pm

        Thats the problem. They aren’t my words. How surprising?

      • Sumud
        May 30, 2010, 7:09 pm

        Aren’t they? Verbatim:

        1.
        “The divide is three-way.

        Radical anti-Zionists
        Liberal Zionists
        Radical Zionists

        Relative to the liberals that adopt live and let live, the radical approaches (Likud and solidarity) are in fact united to deter peace.

        That is the greatest divide.”

        2.
        “I would hope that some of the pride supporters would carry signs saying “Anti-Zionism is racism”.

        I know a few that would.”

        Are you going to try and disclaim “anti-zionism is racism”?

        Again, are you going to answer my question?

      • Frances
        May 30, 2010, 7:26 pm

        Cue the deafening silence. If he shows up again on this thread, it’ll be further down, stating something about how gays should be more sympathetic to Jewish self-determination. Then if people ask him why he didn’t respond to your question, he’ll say “What questions were those? I noted merely an aggressive confrontational approach that sought to mock and delegitimize valid Jewish concerns rather than addressing these real and pressing issues.”

      • Sumud
        May 30, 2010, 7:40 pm

        oh Frances you ‘ol maximalist non-liberal radical anti-zionist racist! He’ll be back with some withering excuse about..

  7. eGuard
    May 30, 2010, 7:06 pm

    The big parade will be on Sunday, July 4th, 2010.

  8. Colin Murray
    May 30, 2010, 7:25 pm

    That said, I get that some Jewish and Christian Canadians who participated in for example the civil rights movement are hurt by seeing the word “apartheid” joined with the state of Israel, whose people they feel connected to.

    Tough. It wouldn’t hurt if it weren’t true, and this isn’t some internal Zionist club disagreement. It affects us all and that makes it our business.

    I remember seeing a wedding photo of a Marine and his new wife. They were engaged before he went to Iraq where he lost most of his face, including ears.. His bride looked so trapped while he looked on her with adoration. Frak whether these staggeringly self-centered and self-entitled Zionists have their ‘little feelings’ hurt by the very applicable word ‘Apartheid’.

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