Ever since Donald Trump won the election in November, many liberals, progressives, and center-right critics have accused him of embracing anti-Semitism. However, as of late, many of those progressives making these accusations are becoming the thing they despise most.
This past week, the organizers of Slutwalk Chicago announced that they’re banning all “Zionist displays” for their upcoming protest of sexual assault and rape culture in August. Slutwalk Chicago proudly states that they’re anti-Zionist, and not anti-Semitic. They’ve continued to defend themselves against such accusations.
CLARIFICATION TIME, FAM!— SlutWalk Chicago (@slutwalkchi) July 15, 2017
While again, we're v anti-Zionist & support the actions of @DykeMarchChi, we aren't here for the term "Zio"
You can be anti-Zionist without resorting to using language created and popularized by ACTUAL NAZIS.— SlutWalk Chicago (@slutwalkchi) July 15, 2017
We still stand behind @DykeMarchChi's decision to remove the Zionist contingent from their event, & we won't allow Zionist displays at ours— SlutWalk Chicago (@slutwalkchi) July 15, 2017
While the move by Slutwalk can be debated as anti-Semitic, Mark Joseph Stern from Slate points out that there are too many stipulations made up by other people for one to express their Jewish identity without being considered a “Zionist.”
“What are Zionist displays? That’s for others to decide,” Stern writes. “A Star of David might be OK. But if it’s on a rainbow flag, it probably isn’t because ‘its connections to the oppression enacted by Israel is too strong for it to be neutral.'”
Back in June during LGBT Pride Month’s Chicago Dyke March, Jewish people marching with and celebrating the LGBT community were told to leave for flying a rainbow colored flag with the Star of David symbol on it (a symbol that can be argued as supportive of the state of Israel rather than Jewish identity). According to the Windy City Times, one member who helped organize the march said that “the women were told to leave because the flags ‘made people feel unsafe,’ that the march was ‘anti-Zionist’ and ‘pro-Palestinian.'”
Interestingly enough, the reporter, Gretchen Rachel Hammond, who broke that story for the Windy City Times was relieved of her reporting duties and re-assigned to the sales desk. However, she would not confirm to say that she was moved due to her reporting on the Chicago Dyke March.
All in all, progressives and liberals are making it exceptionally difficult to build allies with members from other communities. The ideological litmus test is becoming too stringent for others on the political spectrum to stand in solidarity and advance their cause. If, for once, folks on the Left can put their differences aside and stand together with a common goal, they might actually be able to achieve what they’ve set out to do.