This weekend’s Montreal Gay pride Parade will proceed with a new, colourful twist: anti-Israeli protesters will join the throngs of gays and lesbians marching to be seen and heard. Not that anti-Israel demonstrators don’t take advantage of every opportunity to avail themselves of any available venue; Christ, the United Church of Canada has even stooped to embrace their biased, vitriolic, anti-Semitic sentiment at their 40th general meeting in Kelowna, B.C. under the umbrella of a misguided ” peace and justice” campaign. This years adjunct to the Pride Parade though is particularly peculiar.
Leila Pourtavas, an Iranian-Canadian lesbian contends that the group Q-team is ” bringing a political issue to the table”. Never mind Leila, that the issue that you ‘bring to the table’ is completely void of fact, fairness and historical accuracy; not to mention at it’s root, is heaped with multiple decades of anti-Semitism. Never mind Leila that those who seek boycotts against Israel and their constant vilification of the sovereign state would, as sure as the sky is blue, haul you and your Q-team out to the common ground of Evin Prison in Tehran, tie your wrists and ankles together with chord and lash you, if not execute you for being gay. Remind yourself Leila, that eating where the Ayatollah shits may not be a good idea.
The following article is from the Montreal Gazette.
‘Anti-Israel agitators’ trying to ‘hijack’ gay pride parade: B’nai Brith
Q-Team to march ‘against Israel apartheid’ in Gay Village on Sunday
By Andrew Halfnight, The Gazette
Revellers dance during Montreal’s gay pride parade in 2002.
Photograph by: Gordon Beck, The Gazette
MONTREAL – A Jewish advocacy group butted heads with gay activists critical of Israel this week, sparking a debate about what views are kosher at Montreal’s gay pride parade.
B’nai Brith issued a press release Tuesday warning that “anti-Israel agitators” were planning to “hijack the agenda” of Sunday’s procession through the Gay Village.
But a member of Q-Team, which is leading the contingent “against Israeli apartheid,” disagreed.
“We’re bringing a political issue to the table. I don’t think that’s hijacking,” said Leila Pourtavas, an Iranian-Canadian lesbian and member of the anti-oppression group that works with gay rights activists in the Middle East.
“The point of Fiesta! (the gay pride festival), as far as I understand it, is not to have a single agenda. It’s to show the diversity of the queer community,” Pourtavas said.
Frank Dimant, executive vice-president of B’nai Brith Canada, argued the parade was no place for politics.
“They’re not political marches. They’re not people demanding things. … These are not the marches of years ago,” he said.
Pourtavas retorted, “Queerness is inherently political.
“The occupation is not good for Palestinian gay people,” she added. “It’s harder for them to fight for gay rights when they have to fight for basic survival.”
Pourtavas said the group will carry signs reading “Queers Against Israeli apartheid” and similar slogans.
This year’s gay pride festivities mark the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, violent demonstrations that kicked off the gay rights movement in the United States.
Q-Team applied and was granted permission to join the parade alongside hundreds of sports teams, political parties, corporations and religious groups.
Dimant charged that the contingent’s focus on Israel instead of the plight of gays in Arab countries is proof of anti-Semitism.
A spokesperson for Pride Montreal said Wednesday night the executive was “weighing the pros and cons” of each position, but declined to take a stance.
A similar row unfolded in Toronto this spring after B’nai Brith got wind that Queers Against Israeli Apartheid would participate in Pride Week 2009. At that time, B’nai Brith issued a release similar to this week’s.
In the end, Pride Toronto said it would not pick sides, but would not ban anyone from marching in the parade either.