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At a Chicago Gay Pride March, No Jewish Symbols Allowed

June 28 2017

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.

Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Homosexuality, Jewish World, Leftism

The Palestinian Authority Should Be Held Responsible for Palestinian Refugees

April 25 2018

For aid and assistance with resettlement, most of the world’s displaced persons look to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Only Palestinian refugees and their descendants are consigned to the bloated, corrupt, and terrorist-infiltrated UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA), which aims to keep its wards in a permanent state of refugeehood. Alex Joffe argues that UNRWA should be abolished, and its responsibilities handed over to the Palestinian Authority (PA):

The PA [should] be responsible for the Palestinians within its own territories as well as those who reside in other Arab states. It would [thus] be forced to act like a state and defend the rights and interests of its own citizens. Externally, foreign aid to a state can also—in theory—be subject to more rigorous donor oversight. Unlike UNRWA’s internal assessments, which rarely find problems except in the allegedly inadequate scale of aid and programs, external review by donor countries would examine metrics and efficiencies, spot corruption, determine the success or failure of programs, and assess the overall level of need. External review is designed to encourage self-sufficiency, not dependency. . . .

UNRWA is an iconic and sacrosanct entity. Without it, aid to the Palestinians would no longer be a sacralized demonstration of support for their narratives of displacement and return, or of support for the international system itself and for the UN. The Palestinian issue would be put into proportion while other needs and issues, like the genuine refugee crises in Syria and Yemen, would receive proper attention and resources.

Finally, by transferring responsibility, two cultural-political requirements would be addressed. First, a final-status issue would be at least partially taken off the table [of Israel-Palestinian negotiations]: that of who bears responsibilities for Palestinian “refugees.” It is the PA. Even without formally repudiating the “right of return,” which UNRWA supports and the PA cannot at this point conceivably abandon, the issue would be incrementally quashed in theoretical and practical terms.

The PA’s taking responsibility, and the end of UNRWA, would also go a long way toward forcing Palestinians to give up the centrality of refugee-ness in their own culture. They are not refugees, much less internationally supported ones. They are a people with their own nascent state.

Read more at BESA Center

More about: Israel & Zionism, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian refugees, UNRWA