Liberal Jews Trapped in ‘Terrifying’ New World of Uncompromising anti-Israel Views

From Haaretz:  http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/.premium-1.699452

Violent protests at a Jewish LGBTQ event in Chicago spotlight how growing emphasis on intersectionality is drowning out the nuances of debate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Debra Nussbaum Cohen
Jan 25, 2016

NEW YORK – The violent shut down of a Jerusalem-based LGBTQ forum by pro-Palestinian protesters in Chicago on Friday highlighted the growing influence of intersectionality in movements representing minorities and the increasing militancy of their anti-Israel views.

Gay Jews wanting to hear about the work of Jerusalem Open House were unwittingly caught in the middle of the protest at the Creating Change conference Friday night, which is the country’s largest LGBTQ gathering. They were sandwiched between anti-Israel activists and a reception intended to highlight the Israeli organization’s efforts. The protest at moments turned violent and threatened to become more so before being dispersed by police and staff at the Chicago Hilton, where the conference took place last week.

About 200 protesters crammed into a hotel hallway chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

The conference is organized by the National LGBTQ Task Force. The reception, designed to introduce JOH’s work in one of the most fraught cities anywhere for queer people, was hosted by A Wider Bridge, an American group that works to create relationships between LGBTQ people in America and Israel.

Steven Rosenberg, a psychiatric social worker in Chicago, went to Shabbat services at the conference and tried to go to the reception. He and a friend got caught in the crowd.

“It was a mob scene,” he said Sunday, still very shaken up. “I have no problem with there being a protest. I have a problem with people calling us murderers and racists. It was loud and they were chanting and hostile, and it felt like a very unsafe situation.”

“It was a mob scene,” he said Sunday, still very shaken up. “I have no problem with there being a protest. I have a problem with people calling us murderers and racists. It was loud and they were chanting and hostile, and it felt like a very unsafe situation.”

Complete article at:  http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/.premium-1.699452

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