Jewish Pride by the Colosseum

Magen David Keshet Italia is the first independent Italian LGBT Jewish group. “We have become a sort of mascot of the event. People love to take pictures with us,” its president said.

By
June 11, 2019 16:41
2 minute read.
Rome Pride Parade 2019.

Rome Pride Parade 2019.. (photo credit: MAGEN DAVID KESHET ITALIA)

 
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A Jewish group marched under numerous Jewish Pride flags at the Pride parade in Rome on Saturday.

Magen David Keshet Italia president Marco Fiammelli told The Jerusalem Post that since the establishment of the organization in 2015, he and the other members have been warmly welcomed at the annual Pride parade in the Italian capital.

“We have become a sort of mascot of the event. People love to take pictures with us,” he said.

The group is the first independent Italian LGBT Jewish one. It is affiliated with the World Congress of LGBT Jews.

The Jewish Pride flag is a rainbow-striped flag featuring a white Star of David in the middle.

Last week, a decision by the Washington DC Dyke March to ban such flags from its parade sparked controversy. As reported by JTA, according to the organizers of the march, the Jewish Pride flags look too much like Israeli flags and are thus a symbol of the “violent nationalism” that they reject.

Fiammelli called these episodes worrisome. However, he added that they never had any problem in Rome.

“We have been working closely with the Associazione Mario Mieli, one of the city’s main LGBT groups. We have been organizing activities together for years. There is great empathy toward us,” Fiammelli said.


Still, Fiammelli did recall one bad experience marching under the Jewish Pride flag.

Every year Magen David Keshet Italia participates in Pride Parades in other Italian cities, including Milan. Two years ago, a group of pro-Palestinian activists organized a rally there along the route of the parade and challenged those who were carrying Jewish Pride flags.

“They insulted and shouted at us," Fiammelli recalled. "However, they were not part of the event, and the other participants in the parade did not support them in any way."

According to the organizers, more than 700,000 people marched in the Rome Pride parade this year.

“Many have visited Israel and speak about the Tel Aviv Pride in awe,” the president of the Magen David Keshet Italia added. “This year, we even ran into a woman carrying an Israeli flag, who told us that she was not Jewish, Israeli nor lesbian, but she wanted to march with the flag because she liked the country."

He called the Rome parade "wonderful."

"Now, we look forward to participating in the upcoming Pride Parade in Milan on June 29,” Fiammelli concluded.

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