Shalom Life | April 24, 2014

Pride Reverses Ban on Israeli Apartheid

CJC: Pride organizers "succumbing to pressure tactics."

By: Bev Spritzer

Published: June 24th, 2010 in News » World

Pride Reverses Ban on Israeli Apartheid

Just a week before Pride Toronto’s annual parade, the previous ban on the controversial phrase “Israeli Apartheid” has been lifted.

Tracey Sandilands, Pride Toronto’s executive director, confirmed on Wednesday that the decision was approved. It will require each participating group in the July 4th parade to sign a contract agreeing to abide by the city’s Declaration of a Non-Discrimination Policy.

The resolution came after three respected member of Toronto’s gay and lesbian community proposed the alternative option, after having spoken to Pastor Brent Hawkes of the Metropolitan Community Church, human rights lawyer Doug Elliott, and 519 Church Street Community Centre executive director Maura Lawless.

The proposal was then unanimously voted upon by the board.

“There are a large number of people that are sad at the way the community is currently torn over this issue,” said Pastor Brent Hawkes. “Pride has found itself in the middle of a difficult situation and we felt it was time to step in and see how we could help.”

According to Pride senior co-chair Genevieve D’Iorio, “We are extremely grateful to the community leaders that took the time to work on this proposal and help us examine ways to resolve this impasse. The board’s intention has always been to make the best decision possible to ensure the success of Pride and we believe that this proposal is a really constructive way forward.”

Back on May 21, Pride Toronto’s board of directors had stated that use of the term “Israeli apartheid” went against the city’s anti-discrimination policy, referring to the Ontario legislature’s decision to denounce Israeli Apartheid Week last February.

The group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid then denounced the ban, and threatened to boycott the festival since that time, the parade’s grand marshal has resigned, and other dissidents have threatened to initiate an alternative to Toronto’s Pride Parade.

According to Bernie Farber, CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, “it’s absolutely astounding that bullying and intimidation seems to be a message that works. In other words, if you want to get something, just bully and intimidate and you’ll get your way. The hateful and violent language from last year is very well-known and I think people as a result, and I’m sad to say this, will stay away.”

The National Post reported that Tim McCaskell, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid spokesman, said he thought the decision to ban the phrase “Israeli apartheid” was about censorship, not hate.

Pride Toronto, which received close to $120,000 in funding from the city last year, said it initially decided to ban the phrase during the parade for fear funding would be pulled from multiple sources. In a statement released June 7, the group said “the use of the words ‘Israeli apartheid’ made participants feel unsafe.”

Nonetheless, however, organizers have caved.

Jordan Kerbel of the Canadian Jewish Congress told Shalom Life: “I can tell you that we think the organizers of the pride parade are now cowering and giving in to bullying and intimidation tactics. What they should have done was stuck to their original statement, which was correct, and stand up against discrimination and hateful messaging that the anti-Israel organization is planning to deliver. They should not have succumbed to the pressure tactics.”

“The whole idea of the pride parade,” Kerbel continued, “is to create a safe and respectful environment, and the groups that bring messages of discrimination and intimidation must not be given license to hijack the parade, and turn it into a propaganda tool for inflammatory anti Israel venom.”

Chisel Used to Build Western Wall Discovered Chisel Used to Build Western Wall Discovered TrendingMissouri Mayor Resigns After Siding with Kansas Shooter Missouri Mayor Resigns After Siding with Kansas Shooter TrendingJewish Men Leave Synagogue to Save Family from Burning Car Jewish Men Leave Synagogue to Save Family from Burning Car Trending
 

Jewish Hall of Fame: Émile Durkheim

April 23, 2014 | By Zak Edwards
Jewish Hall of Fame: Émile Durkheim

The French sociologist, social psychologist and philosopher is considered to be one of the founding fathers of social science

Read More

Anton Yelchin and Zooey Deschanel Slated for ‘The Driftless Area’

April 23, 2014 | By Sarah Bauder
Anton Yelchin and Zooey Deschanel Slated for ‘The Driftless Area’

The film will also star John Hawkes, Ciaran Hinds, and Alia Shawkat.

Read More

Sarah Silverman Apologizes in Advance For Swastika Doodle

April 23, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Sarah Silverman Apologizes in Advance For Swastika Doodle

The controversial comedian posted a doodle she drew of a swastika to her Twitter feed.

Read More

Andy Samberg to Return to ‘SNL’ as Host

April 23, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Andy Samberg to Return to ‘SNL’ as Host

The 'Saturday Night Live' alum will be hosting on May 17th.

Read More

Drake Lint Rolls His Pants During Raptors Playoff Game [VIDEO]

April 23, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Drake Lint Rolls His Pants During Raptors Playoff Game [VIDEO]

The Raptors global brand ambassador wanted to ensure he looked his best while his team beat the Brooklyn Nets

Read More

Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman Welcome Baby Frankie

April 23, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman Welcome Baby Frankie

The actress announced the birth of another happy baby girl on Tuesday.

Read More

Mel Brooks to Star in Autobiographical One-Man Show

April 23, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Mel Brooks to Star in Autobiographical One-Man Show

The 87-year old actor/director is planning a solo show in Los Angeles for one-night only.

Read More

Travel Back in Time with Google Street View

April 23, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Travel Back in Time with Google Street View

Google's latest feature allows you to scroll through past Street view photos, whether in New York, Toronto, or Singapore

Read More

More Headlines