Am I intersecting on your intersectionality?

Because obviously you can’t support Israel and the advancement of women in modern society at the same time, right?

By ASHLEY O'BRIEN
July 26, 2017 18:48
4 minute read.
Light is the intersection at night, traffic intersection at night, the lights go out.

Light is the intersection at night, traffic intersection at night, the lights go out.. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Hi you guys,

It’s me again (Ashley). I previously wrote an open letter to Chicago Jews after the organizers of the Chicago Dyke March made an official statement defending their actions to remove gay pride flags with the Star of David on the grounds that it was an ‘anti-Zionist’ organization. The Jewish community, and the LGBTQ community, remained uncharacteristically silent in the wake of this report.

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Since this antisemitic incident surfaced in June, the reporter who broke the original story was removed from her reporting duties, and later made a statement that the report ultimately cost her her job.

While surfing the Internet waves this morning, I came across a few articles reporting on another incident from a seemingly ‘progressive’ Chicago-based chapter of a international movement: SlutWalk Chicago. These reports referenced an announcement the Chicago group made via Twitter:

“We still stand behind @DykeMarchChi's decision to remove the Zionist contingent from their event, & we won't allow Zionist displays at ours”

“We support people showing their Jewish and LGBTQ+ pride. Please show yours if you feel so moved! Just leave the Zionism at home ¯\_(ツ)_/¯”

Just leave the Zionism at home? Welp, I’m fired up. AGAIN.

I reached out to the Chicago SlutWalk group on Facebook… and email, and Twitter… to try to understand exactly what consists of a ‘Zionist display’. The response I received from the group’s Facebook page was that they are a “radically inclusive annual demonstration," “no religious or heritage symbols are banned” and that they’ll “have a clarifying statement out shortly.”

This non-answer wasn’t sufficient, and when I pressed to try to understand what was meant with the phrase ‘Zionist displays’, I was met with this excuse:

“We have quite a few people who help on on social media, and often times there's a sense of urgency to respond to matters before we can all convene to discuss.”

Uhhh, you guys.. there was a full SIX DAYS between the two statements made on Twitter, and several other 'antisemitic masked by anti-Israel' statements tweeted out in between those six days. But, to be fair, maybe they met on day seven to ‘convene to discuss’.

As I anxiously await the clarifying statement with a sense of hope that this was all just some misunderstanding, I can’t help but think about the Chicago Dyke March, the Women’s March, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and intersectionality spokeswoman Linda Sarsour, who made headlines a few months back after stating that feminism and Zionism are incompatible.

My overwhelming emotion is simply this: confusion. What are the organizers of these progressive movements missing? Why are their supporters blindly abiding by this anti-Israel propaganda? Why can't I support equal rights for all people of all backgrounds and colors and ways of life (yes, even Palestinians), and still support and openly love the Jewish state of Israel?

I don't know the answers to the first two questions, but the answer to the last one is this: I can, and I do. These movements should focus their efforts on supporting the lives of those who want to better the world, bring peace to others, and genuinely care for all of mankind, regardless of all the 'sections' that get 'intertwined'. This includes Arab women, the LGBTQ community, and minority citizens of any country around the world, who too often are oppressed within their own cultures.

I don't believe Israel is a perfect country without any flaws to its own history, but to suggest that 'Zionism equals oppression' is 2017's favorite way to heroically broadcast antisemitism, and still look trendy while doing so (shout out to Al Jazzera).

I care about this issue as a Chicagoan, as a Jew, as a Zionist, as a liberal, progressive thinker, as a woman, and most importantly, as a human.

If you truly believe supporting Israel goes against any type of liberal movement or agenda, I would LOVE to know why. I would love to have a conversation, hear your perspective, and share with you mine.

But for now, while I wait for the Chicago SlutWalk to release their clarifying statement, I'll just spread this post around social and hope to spark enough conversations that encourage educational, peaceful discussions.

B'ahava,
Ashley


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