In Chicago last Saturday, the organizers of the “Dyke March”—an event that billed itself as “more inclusive” than the following day’s Gay Pride Parade—told some of its Jewish participants that they had to leave. The reason: they had had the temerity to display rainbow flags bearing Stars of David. A spokeswoman for the group that sponsors the event later clarified that “we don’t want anything . . . that can inadvertently or advertently express Zionism.” Charles Lipson writes:
When the organizers of Chicago’s “Dyke March” prohibited [the Star of David’s] display, they were saying, “Jews are not welcome here if they display any symbol of their faith or cultural history.” . . . It’s a bizarre contortion of “progressive ideology,” one they could test by marching through Ramallah or Gaza City.
The organizers were open about why they prohibited the Jewish symbol. They loathe Israel and love Palestinian opposition to it. Of course, you could hold those views and still let others march. But that wasn’t “progressive” enough for them. Incidents like this are not confined to a few wackos. They occur regularly at leftist protests and on college campuses. . . .
The incident reveals several . . . disturbing trends. It shows how easily the disparagement of Israel, which is nearly universal on the left, spills over into denigration of all Jews. . . .
We could point to other lessons: the heckler’s veto, where a few voices can prevent others from being heard and still others from listening and engaging. That happened at the march. A few people objected to the Star of David and that was enough for the organizers. . . . To buttress their political position, they mouth the magic words, “I feel unsafe,” and demand protection. They don’t mean some genuine physical danger or threat of intimidation, which is non-existent. They mean exposure to ideas, [or in this case symbols], they don’t like.