By Daniel Koren
B’nai Brith Canada
B’nai Brith Canada is lauding the Halifax Pride Society after its members voted to defeat a resolution aiming to oust a pro-Israel campaign from a Halifax Pride event at its annual general meeting Wednesday. The resolution to remove Size Doesn’t Matter, which promotes LGBTQ life in Israel and tourism in Tel Aviv, was defeated by a majority vote of 210 to 106, with five abstentions.
“Frankly, it’s hypocritical that Halifax Pride would even consider a resolution that targets a specific group,” said B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn. “Furthermore, this is yet another example of anti-Israel divisionist policy being defeated in Canada in recent weeks. This is a positive sign for our community.”
The motion was brought forward by the group Queer Arabs of Halifax, which said that its members would feel “isolated” and “marginalized” if Size Doesn’t Matter had a presence at the Halifax Pride Society’s upcoming community fair.
But Naomi Rosenfeld, Executive Director of the Atlantic Jewish Council, said the resolution would deny Jews their right to freedom of expression.
“We choose to talk about Israel because Israel is a core part of our Jewish identity,” she told the Canadian Press. “This is not about what’s going on in the Middle East. This is about why we want to be at Pride and why we want to express ourselves and why this [resolution] is against our freedom of expression.”
The Halifax Pride board did not take a position on the resolution.
This is not the first time a Jewish LGBTQ organization has been targeted over its support of Israel. Earlier this year at a gay rights conference in Chicago, hundreds of protesters arrived to block members of Jerusalem Open House, a gay rights group from Israel, from speaking.