Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Jewish Voice for Peace Disrupt LGBT marchers in the New York Israel Parade

LGBT contingent at the New York Israel parade June 4

LGBT contingent at the New York Israel parade June 4

This year, Jewish Voice for Peace disrupted the Israel Parade in New York City. One of the groups they infiltrated and prevented from marching (temporarily) was Jewish Queer Youth - "a New York organization devoted to the health and well-being of at-risk LGBTQ Jewish youth. JQY runs a weekly Drop-in Center for LGBTQ teens from predominantly Orthodox and rejecting families. As our focus is the emotional and physical welfare of all LGBTQ young people in the Jewish community, we believe it is important that no one feels excluded from care because of their political, ideological, or denominational stance. Our membership reflects the full spectrum of Jewish feelings about Israel, and we support our youth on all sides of this important debate."

JVP disrupting the march.

JVP trying to block the LGBT banner.
This is a statement from JQY about the parade:
“Jewish Voice For Peace” infiltrators sabotage at-risk LGBTQ Jewish youth at the Celebrate Israel Parade 
What really happened this year in the LGBTQ Jewish marching group: 
This past Sunday, over 80 people courageously marched in the LGBTQ cluster of the New York Celebrate Israel Parade. JQY believes it is an incredible act of bravery for LGBTQ youth to proudly and openly march through an audience of over 40,000 predominantly religious Jews. Marchers included teens who were kicked out of their homes, schools, and synagogues just for being who they are. These are teens who often struggle with self-harm, suicidal ideation, and internalized shame. Yet almost miraculously, they muster up the courage to face the communities that rejected them. Their message to the Jewish community is very simple: "We all belong." As far as JQY is concerned, these youth are heroes.

However, in their moment of courage and pride, this most vulnerable cohort of the Celebrate Israel Parade was targeted for sabotage, bullying, and harassment by an organization called Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). Seven JVP "disrupters" secretly infiltrated the LGBTQ marching cluster. They pretended to be part of our group, marching side by side with our teens. As our contingent approached 72nd Street, one of the JVP disrupters lunged toward our speaker system, pulling out as many wires as she could until our music went silent. At that moment, five other disrupters removed their shirts to reveal red shirts brandished with the words “DEADLY EXCHANGE” in black. In the absence of our music, they began yelling to cause a disturbance. They proceeded to block our marching banners with their own anti-Israel signs. The disrupters had formed a human chain, aimed at preventing our group from moving forward. Efforts to move forward were met with physical resistance, intimidation, and screaming. Finally, police and security swarmed into our group creating more disarray and fear. People were pushed, trampled, and shoved. Our marchers were terrified and shocked. In this confusion, some in our cluster thought it was a terror attempt and immediately fled the parade route. Ultimately, five JVP members were arrested. Despite this sabotage attempt, our group managed to turn the music back on and completed the march with our heads held high.
Such a brave group of people, JVP, picking on at-risk LGBT Jewish youth. The infiltrators wore t-shirts reading "Deadly Exchange" and held signs reading "Queer Jews for Palestine." How they thought that pushing and shoving fellow queer Jews would help the Palestinians is beyond me.

The Tablet article on the disruption reported on the words of Rebecca Vilkomerson:
Rebecca Vilkomerson, the Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace, said the LGBT marching contingent was “a carefully chosen target.” She explained that the protest was organized by “a group of queer Jews who feel strongly about gay rights not being used to pinkwash the occupation.” ....
“[The protest] was a hate crime,” said Mordechai Levovitz, the founding director of JQY. “The reason this happened is because we were lesbian and gay and bisexual and transgender and queer. They targeted us. They didn’t target another high school; they targeted us, the queer kids.” 
When asked whether or not it would have made a difference if the organization knew the number of minors that were in the group, and the extent of the vulnerability of the population, JVP’s Vilkomerson said, “No, we were just targeting the LGBT contingent [in general].”

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