Editorial | LGBT anti-Israel bigotry part of ugly bigger picture

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The National LGBTQ Task Force is being praised for reversing its decision to cancel an event sponsored by a pro-Israel organization. Does it deserve credit for undoing a boneheaded mistake that never should have been made in the first place?

It’s hard to applaud an organization that capitulates so readily to anti-Israel hysteria.

Activists pressured the task force to scrap a Friday night reception at its Creating Change Conference in Chicago. The planned reception is sponsored by A Wider Bridge, a San Francisco pro-Israel LGBT organization that has done much good work strengthening ties to Israel’s gay community.

That relationship was enough to rally anti-Israel troops, who persuaded the task force to cancel. This was an utter betrayal of the tolerance and inclusivity the group purportedly champions.

Thankfully, a furious pushback from A Wider Bridge and Israel supporters knocked some sense into task force leaders, who reversed their decision and issued an apology.

We’re glad the incident ended this way. But too often, the forces of bigotry and intolerance win out.

This week, the largest supermarket chain in Slovenia caved in to pressure, removing Israeli fruits and vegetables from its stores. In November, a major British department store pulled Israeli products, as did a grocery chain in Luxembourg.

Such boycotts lie on a continuum that can lead to incendiary behavior. At Kings College in London this week, a speaking engagement by Ami Ayalon, Israel’s former head of Shin Bet, devolved into a riot when anti-Israel hooligans smashed windows and set off fire alarms.

Every incremental step to isolate Israel or punish its supporters is a step backward for fairness, a step backward for a just solution to a complex problem. It’s time the world snapped out of its politically correct somnambulism and perceived anti-Israel foment for what it is.

This week saw more random stabbings of civilians in Israel. On Jan. 17, a Palestinian teen stabbed Israeli Dafna Meir to death right in front of her daughter. A pregnant woman was stabbed and wounded the next day. Since this mayhem started in September, 27 Israelis have been murdered and 289 injured, according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

Such depravity is the end stage of the intolerance we see on a London college campus or on an empty shelf in a European grocery store.

We take victories where we can, and thankfully the Wider Bridge reception will go on as planned. We hope the win-loss record when it comes to the Israel-Palestine debate continues to move closer to the side of sanity.