Queers Against Israeli Apartheid to march in Toronto Pride

Quick item this. I read it first on Dr Dawg’s Blawg, under a little list headed The Good, the Bad and the Ugly:

The good: Toronto Pride, no doubt with the assistance of considerable pressure, reverses itself: Queers Against Israeli Apartheid will be permitted to march after all. And Jonathan Kay is having a hissy-fit, which is also good.

The post is dated 24/6/2010 but I only got the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s take on the affair today. Maybe it took them this long (nearly a week) to co-ordinate this spontaneous outpouring of condemnation that the JTA reports under the headline: Gay pride parade used ruse to include anti-Israel group, critics charge. A ruse? What ruse?

Canadian Jewish organizations are saying they will not back down after an unexpected policy reversal that will allow an anti-Israel group to participate in this year’s Toronto gay pride parade.

Organizers of the annual parade, one of the largest events on Canada’s cultural calendar, backtracked this month from an earlier decision that had banned a group called Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from marching in the parade under that name. Critics said the reversal was part of a ruse designed to secure some $120,000 in city funding.

Parade officials, responding to pressure from Jewish groups and several municipal politicians, including candidates for mayor, said in May that they were “disallowing” the controversial group from using the phrase “Israeli apartheid” in the July 4 parade. Officials said the anti-Israel group could march under another banner, such as “Queers in Favor of a Free Palestine.”

Ah the old, we’re all for a, ahem, “Free Palestine” ruse. But what do we want Palestine to be free of?

And there’s the rub.

Check out the rest of the article. I’m still not quite sure who is being accused of the ruse and what the ruse actually was. Was it Queers Against Israeli Apartheid or the Pride organisers?

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