R Conrad

Pride Toronto Reverses Censorship Decision on "Israeli Apartheid"

Filed By R Conrad | June 24, 2010 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Canada, Israeli Apartheid, Israeli/Palestinian conflict, QuAIA, Toronto Pride

Pride Toronto announced yesterday that it would not censor the term 'Israeli apartheid' from the upcoming Toronto Pride Parade as it had previously stated. This announcement comes after more than a month-long uproar over Pride Toronto's decision to ban the term "Israeli apartheid," effectively banning the group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from marching.


Following the original announcement from Pride Toronto to censor the term this past May, more than twenty Canadian queer and trans activists returned their Pride Honoree awards in protest. The decision was also met with widespread condemnation from the LGBTQ community, including Olympic gold medalist Mark Tewksbury, the 519 Church Street Community Centre, and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

Quotes from QuAIA activists after the jump....

"This is a victory for the Palestine solidarity movement, which has faced censorship and bullying tactics from the Israel lobby for far too long. The Israel lobby learned a tough lesson today about our community's proud history of standing up to censorship and human rights abuses."

-- Tim McCaskell, a member of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid

QUAIA Chapters have marched at Pride in Edmonton, Alberta with little trouble from Pride officials and other chapters across the United States plan to march this Pride season as well.

For those looking for a little history, a compilation of articles by Xtra, Canada's biggest fag rag, is available here.

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And How many Gay organizations do they have in Palestine ? Serious question because i don't know. I am going to guess not many.. I seriously doubt that any of the 10,000 rockets fired into Israel Had a Hammas Rainbow on it... I might be wrong..

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 25, 2010 4:12 AM

And your point is?

Carol Anne | June 25, 2010 8:29 AM

Compare and contrast:

LGBT rights in the Palestinian territories

LGBT rights in Israel

As an out lesbian, I know where I'd rather live!

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 25, 2010 3:24 PM

And your point is?

And please, if you do go to the zionist colony in Palestine please be careful not to get get too close to the GLBT center in Jaffa. Zionists shoot people who do.


Don't you get it, Bill? If you'd rather live in Place A instead of Place B, that means that Place A is automatically allowed to blockade and starve the people of Place B to death.

Like, duh. Obviously you don't get foreign policy.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 25, 2010 12:34 AM

This is a big victory for democracy in the movement and a victory against racism.

Rick Sours | June 25, 2010 9:37 AM

As the old saying goes: "there are two sides to
every story".

I think Toronto should have stuck to its guns. And Edmonton (where I live) should have grown some balls. These groups don't care about us, they don't care about our celebration or our battles. They are looking for a soapbox for THEIR issue.
Show me how this group is relevant to our community. Other than (some of) its memebers who might be queer. Also, are we welcome at their rallies and parades/event?
And I agree with AnaOkie. Which of those two places (Isreal or Palastine) would your prefer to live in? If this group is "Standing with Queers in Palestine" shouldn't they be PROTESTING Palestine's behavior. This group has nothing to do with GLBT issues and everything to do with trying to coopt other peoples work.

Amen, Tiran. And Bill, your obsessions drive you to spout utter nonsense at times. Nobody knows who shot the people at the GLBT center in Jaffa. They could have been anyone, including Arabs. Oh, and Jaffa is in "Israel", Bill. Your using a nonsense locution in its place doesn't change that fact.

It is important for all of us to express solidarity with LGBTQ people who are oppressed or under occupation or otherwise in danger. QueerToday supports the Palestinian queers and the Queers against Isreali Apartheid.

Marc Paige | June 27, 2010 8:39 PM

Spineless is the only way to describe the Toronto Pride organizers. Toronto Pride will now turn into a forum on Israel and Palestine. Israel supporters will now no doubt be vocal about the murders of innocents perpetrated by twisted Palestinian suicide bombers blowing up buses, discos, and a Passover seder for Holocaust survivors with the intent to kill and maim as many civilians as possible. Other supporters of Israel will just stay home, not wanting to be subjected to the hatred and often veiled anti-Semitism of those who exclusively demonize Israel, and even call for its destruction. Politicians will avoid Toronto Pride like the plague. Over the years, Palestinians and Israelis have been noble and criminal, they have been heroic and shameful. And both people have blood on their hands. To allow one group to demonize the other at an LGBT event, when understanding and bravery to make the compromises necessary for two states for two peoples is so critical, is sad. Toronto Pride has been hijacked.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 28, 2010 3:02 AM

Spineless is the only way to describe the IDF thugs who target and murder Palestinian children.

Bravery is standing up and fighting back against the zionist colonial bunkerstadt that has no hint of political or national legitimacy and no shred of decency.

The two state plan recognizes the zionist colony and is unviable and unprincipled. Palestinians are rejecting it and so should we.

The rightist islamists of Hamas and the centrists of Fatah in the PA have made too many accommodations to the zionists on questions like recognizing the bunkerstadt and a two state solution. Counterpoised to the islamists and centrists a sizeable and hardening percentage of Palestinians, in spite of the lack of democratic discussion, support a unitary Palestinian state and the right of return. The Jerusalem Post reports, somewhat nervously, that "the latest public opinion survey... found that while the majority of Palestinians and Israelis prefer a two-state solution to the conflict, Palestinian support for such a resolution has declined in recent months.

"The results show a decline in the Palestinians support for the two-state solution," Waleed Ladadweh, a researcher with the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research told The Media Line. "From 64 percent in December 2009 to 57 percent in this poll (March, 2010 BP)."

Dr Nabil Kukali, Director of the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, agreed that Palestinian public opinion is trending towards a bi-national state. "On the whole, Palestinians support the peace process, but there are some changes in attitudes towards the two-state solution," he told The Media Line. "The Palestinians feel hopeless and they don't think the Israelis will give the Palestinians one meter of their land."

Palestine for the Palestinians.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 28, 2010 3:41 AM

Palestine for the Palestinians

The origins of the zionists blockade and regular attacks on civilians in Gaza are threefold.

One is the usual policy of ethnic cleansing utilizing thus for mass murder like the anti-civilian raids that began December 27th 2008 and lasted until January 18th, 2009 which shredded and incinerated Gaza’s defenseless civilian population. One third or so of the 1200 reported casualties were children.




Labour MP and former shadow foreign minister Gerald Kaufman, during the Parliamentary debate about the killing fields of Gaza, said “My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town of Staszow. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed. My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.” He also said that the zionist colonial administration “ruthlessly and cynically exploit[s] the continuing guilt among Gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians.”

Second is the colonists policy of murder by deprivation of services, food, building supplies, sanitary and medical supplies and food. It does that by blockades and utilizing raids like by like those of 2008-09 and smaller attacks on a regular basis which have created a humanitarian crisis and over the years have forced millions of Palestinians off their land and caused many to immigrate.

Third is the zionist policy of theft of land and resources to expand their colony. The zionists want Gaza and its offshore waters because they're drilling and accessing underground gas deposits. One of the motivations of the coastal blockades is greed - moolah, big bucks, mammon.

" Discovered in 2000, there are extensive gas reserves off the Gaza coastline. British Gas (BG Group) and its partner, the Athens based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) owned by Lebanon’s Sabbagh and Koury families, were granted oil and gas exploration rights in a 25 year agreement signed in November 1999 with the Palestinian Authority. The rights to the offshore gas field are respectively British Gas (60 percent); Consolidated Contractors (CCC) (30 percent); and the Investment Fund of the Palestinian Authority (10 percent). (Haaretz, October 21, 2007).

The issue of sovereignty over Gaza’s gas fields is crucial. From a legal standpoint, the gas reserves belong to Palestine. However. The death of Yasser Arafat, the election of the Hamas government and the ruin of the Palestinian Authority have enabled Israel to establish de facto control over Gaza’s offshore gas reserves.

British Gas (BG Group) has been dealing with the Tel Aviv government. In turn, the Hamas government has been bypassed in regards to exploration and development rights over the gas fields.

In 2001 colonial prime minister Ariel Sharon arrogantly decided that the bunkerstadt "would never buy gas from Palestine”.


Aside from starving children and other civilians a major reason for the blockade is so no one will see these




Palestine for the Palestinians

Marc Paige | June 28, 2010 12:59 PM

Spineless and cruel is the only way to describe the murderous Hamas regime who demonize gays, and use children as human shields in their mission to destroy Israel. In Gaza, TV cartoon characters are shown to children glorifying the killing of Jews, and urge children to become suicide bombers and martyrs.
Israel left the Gaza strip in 2005 - an area they had no right to build on in the first place. However, instead of trying to build up Gaza as part of an emerging Palestinian nation, they immediately began using Gaza as a staging ground to launch thousands of rockets into Israeli border towns, terrorizing the civilian population for years with deaths and injuries. Israel snapped in 2008, and attacked Gaza for the years of relentless bombings. It was a horrific war, and many innocent Gazans were killed. This crisis is now be a part of Toronto Pride.


How is any of what you posted relevant to Pride Bill? You are talking about a completely different issue, unrelated to GLBT issues. Nothing you post answers the question of how this group is relevant to our community or if we would be welcomed at their rallies and parades/event?

And I suspect that you (and QueerToday) are ignoring those questions, and other questions relevant to GLBT settings, questions like "What is the state of GLBT rights in both Isreal and Palestine?" or "How are GLBT citizen treated in both Isreal and Palestine?" because you know what the answers are, and those answers will not support you attempts to steal the focus of Pride events.

You want to talk about Isreal/Palestine, fine more power to you. Get your own soapbox and your own event, though, and stop trying to steal ours.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 28, 2010 4:06 PM

Sorry, there's a typo. 9 aid workers, not 19 were killed by IDF thugs on the aid ship.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 28, 2010 4:24 PM

Poor, poor Tiran.

I love it that the LGBT movement rejected the anti-democratic voices of zionists but the fact is that you're losing everywhere, not just in Pride parades but in unions here and around the world.

On June 20 , 2010 the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the zionist colony took a new turn. Almost 1,000 activists picketed at the Port of Oakland and successfully stopped a Zim line ship from being unloaded for 24 hours.



The Bay Area Labor/Community Committee in Solidarity with the People of Palestine, a coalition of labor and community groups was responding to the murder of aid workers bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The demonstration was called in response to a plea to trade unions by the Palestinian Trade Union Movement. Workers from International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 workers refused to cross the picket lines just as they refused to unload South African vessels earlier.

Dockworkers unions in South Africa, Malaysia, and Sweden held similar strikes as part of an international campaign to stop the offloading of good from the apartheid based zionist colony.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 28, 2010 3:57 PM

Your report of Palestinian 'atrocities' had a familiar ring to it.

"September 1st, 1939. Germany invades Poland German forces have invaded Poland and its planes have bombed Polish cities, including the capital, Warsaw. The attack comes without any warning or declaration of war.

Just before dawn today, German tanks, infantry and cavalry penetrated Polish territory on several fronts with five armies, a total of 1.5 million troops. Soon afterwards German planes bombarded the cities.

The unprovoked attack follows yesterday's report on German radio that the border town of Gliwice had been raided by a group of Polish soldiers, who had all been shot dead." http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/september/1/newsid_3506000/3506335.stm1939:

The murders of children by IDF thugs, whether it takes the form of anti civilian attacks like the one in 2008-2009 or the slow but sure process of starvation are predicated on the same kind of lies the Nazis used in 1939 and the WMD lies used by the Clintons and Bushes used to justify genocide for oil in Iraq.

Apologists for zionist murders never fail to mention that "they immediately began using Gaza as a staging ground to launch thousands of rockets into Israeli border towns, terrorizing the civilian population for years with deaths and injuries."

Here's the key question: exactly, precisely how many civilians were killed by those rockets since 2000? 28. By contrast 19 unarmed people were murdered by IDF thugs and dozens injured when they intercepted the convoy of aid ships, almost all executed at close range. 1200 hundred civilian, including about 300 children were murdered by IDF thugs in 2008-2009.

All attacks in civilians should be condemned. These innefecutal rocket attacks are acts of desperation for 60 years of mass murder, beginning with Deir Yassin. On April 9, 1948, Deir Yassin, a village of some 700 on the outskirts of Jerusalem, was attacked by zionist terrorists including two thugs named Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir. Over 100 men, women and children were killed in a campaign that from 1948 to date has left tens, likely hundreds of thousands dead.

Bravery consists of fighting back.

Palestine for the Palestinians.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 28, 2010 4:25 PM

Sorry, there's a typo. 9 aid workers, not 19 were killed by IDF thugs on the aid ship.

Marc Paige | June 28, 2010 6:20 PM

Actually, way before the Deir Yassin massacre, 29 men, women, and children were killed when Arab thugs attacked the Jews of Hebron in 1929. But let's save this debate for Toronto Pride, where these issues belong!

Marc Paige | June 28, 2010 6:33 PM

Sorry - it was actually 67 Jews killed when an Arab mob went on a murderous rampage attacking Jewish homes and synagogues in Hebron in 1929.

Marc Paige | June 28, 2010 6:47 PM

Bill Perdue, the apologist for Hamas murderers, should love this: The Hamas children’s program “Tomorrow’s Pioneers” continues to incite hatred and violence. In a show broadcast in September, the show’s costumed character, Nassur the Bear, tells the show’s child host, “There won't be any Jews or Zionists, if Allah wills. They'll be erased...We want to slaughter them, so they will be expelled from our land, right?...And if they don't want [to go] peacefully, by words or talking, we'll have to [do it] by slaughter.”
Perhaps next season the Hamas show will have Nassur the Bear telling little Palestinian children how to spot and slaughter LGBT people for Allah.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 29, 2010 2:51 AM

Not the truth. "Bill Perdue, the apologist for Hamas murderers..."

The truth. "All attacks on civilians should be condemned." and "We can only hope that the colonists accommodate the same way the Afrikaners' did..."

The number of IDF thugs and civilians killed by Palestinians is miniscule compared to sixty years of violence and ethnic cleansing by zionists who abandoned European Jews to their fate at the hands of the Nazis to colonize Palestine.

Prove I'm wrong.

And instead of kiddie TV, heres the truth.

"We must expel Arabs and take their places."
-- David Ben Gurion
, 1937, Ben Gurion and the Palestine Arabs, Oxford University Press, 1985.

"Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves ... politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves... The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country." - David Ben Gurion, quoted on pp 91-2 of Chomsky's Fateful Triangle, which appears in Simha Flapan's "Zionism and the Palestinians pp 141-2 citing a 1938 speech.

"There is no such thing as a Palestinian people... It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn't exist." - Golda Meir, statement to The Sunday Times, 15 June, 1969.

"We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, What is to be done with the Palestinian population?' Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said 'Drive them out!" - Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979.

"[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs." - Menachem Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, "Begin and the 'Beasts,"' New Statesman, June 25, 1982.

"(The Palestinians) would be crushed like grasshoppers ... heads smashed against the boulders and walls." - Yitzhak Shamir in a speech to Jewish settlers New York Times April 1, 1988

"If we thought that instead of 200 Palestinian fatalities, 2,000 dead would put an end to the fighting at a stroke, we would use much more force...." - Ehud Barak, quoted in Associated Press, November 16, 2000.

"It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonialization, or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands." - Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of right-wing Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.

not all Palestinians are right wing Islamists (historically the PLO/Fatah was socialist and secular).

not all Israelis are right wing Zionist Jews (historically Zionism was founded as secular).

so let the grand sweeping statements about one ethnicity or the other stop. just saying, the way yall comment is similar to crazy right wing Christians who say all gay people are child molesters. nice work...

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 28, 2010 10:37 PM

I can see taht it makes you feel comfortably neutral and self-satisfied Conrad, but your comments are uninformed. Who, for instance, said that "all Israelis are right wing Zionist Jews..." Your analogy with "right wing christians" has no bearing on this discussion.

Perhaps you confuse naming the IDF 'thugs' with some sort of "grand sweeping statements about one ethnicity"? It's not the same. We can only hope that the colonists accommodate the same way the Afrikaners' did but recognizing the 'legitimacy' of their colony is unprincipled.

As for your other comments it is true that Fatah is secular. But it's not socialist, not by a long shot. Fatah is mainly a nationalist group and the largest group in the PLO. It's true that Fatah, the Palestinian National Liberation Movement has some leftists in its executive Central Committee its legislative Revolutionary Council but it's mainly a nationalist group. Arafat was never a socialist.

The Palestinian left is in flux. It includes remnants of the Maoist PDFLP or Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine PFLP and the more centrist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine DFLP as well as other groups who have some socialist content in their program. The problem is that most of that content originated from their connections with Ba'ath religious socialists and stalinists, both unhealthy centrist groups.

The situation remains fluid as the right wing islamists of Hamas use hamfisted military means to suppress the Palestinian left and as leftwing breakaways from Hamas and Fatah continue.

bill- my point was, the simplicity with which many of the commentators here paint the other side is not productive when discussing the israeli/palestinian conflict.

i am not digging out neutral ground, i hardly believe such a stance is possible here. i am simply suggesting to avoid making broad generalizations about an entire ethnicity, palestinian or israeli.

and also, i would reccomend avoiding the argument that everyone is uneducated/uninformed unless they agree with you.

lastly, Fatah/PLO/and the fedayeen were all historically socialist. keyword, historically.

so settle down. you might start alienating the few people that actually agree with most of the things you write...

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 29, 2010 10:17 AM

Zionists are a political, not an ethnic grouping. Jews are an ethnic grouping and sometimes a religious grouping as well. They are not coequal with zionists. Large and growing numbers of Jews oppose zionist apartheid and ethnic cleansing policies and describe them in the same terms I do. No one should have any difficulty with an ethnic grouping but religions, especially the abrahamic religions, are fair game.

It's accurate, as opposed to 'too broad or sweeping' to describe political zionists as terrorists and colonial land thieves who use ethnic cleansing and apartheid to accomplish their goals.

In fact, they say so themselves. Look at the quotes in that 251AM comment.

Fatah and the PLO have always been more nationalist than socialist as has the DFLP. Habash's PFLP and the maoist PDFLP have parts of a socialist program.

Ba'ath 'socialists' 'respect' private property because the koran does. They intermingle socialist, nationalist and islamist ideology in a rightwing fusion that produces 'leaders; like Sadaam Hussein and the al-Asad dynasty in Syria.

I'm very settled. And I reject the idea that my comments are simplistic or out of line in terms of ethnicity. That's just a rehash of the 'anti-semite' charge thrown at all critics and enemies of zionist colonialism.

I don't try to please everyone. If you think the politics are right then personal questions are irrelevant.

I think you are all missing the issue here entirely.
This is not a matter of supporting Israel or Palestine at the exclusion and persecution of the other.

This is merely about censorship.
The issue is: Should Pride Toronto BAN a political phrase in their parade.

Pride Toronto does not explcitly endorse either view.
Pride Toronto is just accepting the communities overall wishes: Do not censor anyone. Do not oppress. Do not smite a point of view.

Thank you for proving my point. Eleven posts since my last post. Not a single mention of GLBT persons or issues. A thread of comments hijacked to discuss Israel/Palestine, with NO mention of GLBT persons, issues or rights. A patronizing tone and a flood of irrelevant factoids do not change the fact that you have not answered how this group is relevant to our community or if we would be welcomed at their rallies and parades/events. Maybe the third time asking is the charm.

I don’t see this group being allowed to march as “the LGBT movement reject[ing] the anti-democratic voices of Zionists”. I see it as a group that allowed itself to be shouted down and manipulated into a decision that does not reflect their mission. Not every issue is a GLBT issue. Putting queer in your name and having some GLBT members does not make your issue a GLBT issue. If you are going to try and hijack GLBT events you could have the decency to try and make your message relevant to the community. I even pointed out ways for this group, as an example, could make their message relevant. Which has been ignored by their supporters in this thread. This simply goes to prove my point. This group (or its partisans) are not interested in GLBT issues or causes; they are simply looking to commander the work of others for their own benefit.

If you think hijacking events for your own agenda gets you support (or whatever other benefit you have decided you get out of doing so) you have little or no understanding of either psychology or communications. How successful do you think a DADT group at Palestine rally would be? Or would they just be told they were (at best) a distraction from the real reason for the rally?

I will be honest, when I go to Pride, I don't give a F**K about Israel, or Palestine, or Darfur, or whatever other cause you want to name. I am there to for GLBT reasons. Actually I am there to party and celebrate. If you want to get me to get politicized, give me an issue relevant to myself and to my paradigm for the day, which - imagine that - is GLBT Pride. There are so many issues going on in the world today, and so much information, that I CAN NOT care about all of them. There are just too many, and I do not have the time or the energy. So I use GLBT as a filter. But that is just me. But I doubt I am the only one.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 30, 2010 1:05 AM

Finally. The truth: "Actually I am there to party and celebrate."

Eat, drink and be merry, and never mind all the dead and maimed in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Thats a very pinched way to live.

Marc Paige | June 29, 2010 11:21 PM

Article from JTA which suggests Pride Toronto organizers said one thing, got the $$, then reversed itself!

Gay pride parade used ruse to include anti-Israel group, critics charge
By Ron Csillag · June 29, 2010

TORONTO (JTA) – 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.

[see link for rest of article]

Note from Bil: I edited this comment so it didn't include the entire news story since that would be copyright violation. Please remember to only copy over the pertinent portion and give us a link to read the rest. Thanks.

Yep, I take that one day a year to party with my friends, celebrate our advances and reflect on our set backs. I am such a horrible person. I will repent my evil ways and spend every day in agony over only those issues Bill has decided are appropriate.

Ad hominem arguments seem to be the only responses I will receive to my concerns.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 4, 2010 3:47 PM

Maybe your problem is that you don't get out enough.