American LGBTQ organization reverses cancellation of event with Israeli group

Tel Aviv's gay pride parade on June 7, 2013. Credit: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv.

( The U.S.-based National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Task Force on Tuesday reversed its cancellation of a Shabbat reception with leaders from an Israeli LGBTQ organization, the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance. The initial nixing of the event came after pressure to do so from anti-Israel activists.

The reception is scheduled for a Jan. 20-22 national event in Chicago dubbed the “Creating Change” conference.

"We are very pleased that the Task Force has reversed course and taken responsibility for their deeply misguided decision to cancel this reception," Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said Tuesday. "We were surprised and disappointed with the initial choice to cancel an event that had been designed to celebrate and embrace ties with Israel’s diverse LGBTQ community. That initial decision was unworthy of an organization committed to justice and equality."

Arthur Slepian—executive director of A Wider Bridge, the Israeli group sponsoring the reception—thanked the Task Force for its reversal and said, "We look forward to bringing our important work, and the work of Jerusalem Open House, to Creating Change in Chicago. Our goal is to always engage in constructive dialogue that will further our cause, and now we can continue our important work for our worldwide community. We look forward to working more closely with the Task Force’s leadership in the days ahead. These past few days demonstrate we have much more work to do building bridges and strengthening the LGBTQ communities of North America and Israel."

Posted on January 19, 2016 .