Jewish LGBT charity withdraws from London Pride over safety fears

Jewish LGBT charity withdraws from London Pride over safety fears

Jewish LGBT campaign group Keshet UK has withdrawn from the London Pride march on Saturday, June 29th June over safety fears.

The charity, which champions the inclusion of LGBTQI people in all areas of Jewish life in the UK, has in recent years partnered at the annual event with West London Synagogue, (WLS) Gay Jews In London and Parents of Jewish Gays and Lesbians.

Pride in London, whose theme for this year is ‘We Are Everywhere’ issued a statement on Instagram on June 12th accusing Israel of a “devastating war and genocide in Gaza”, adding that it stands with “all the innocent civilians in both Israel and Palestine who have been subjected to terror and violence in this humanitarian crisis and all Muslims and Jews worldwide who are facing rising hate and discrimination here in London and around the world.

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It added: “We are also deeply concerned about all those facing human rights violations all over the globe, including in other wars and conflicts , and remain committed to supporting communities worldwide while serving our LGBTQ+ community here in London.”

In a joint statement with WLS, KeshetUK said: “LGBT+ Jews need safe spaces for celebration, joy and to feel pride in who we are. With this especially in mind, we have long valued our Jewish presence at Pride in London. We understand the importance of visibility.

“Against the background of what has been a challenging, and at times a complex year for many Jews in the UK, including LGBT+ Jews, some of our friends and congregants have said that they do not feel as safe marching in the Pride in London event as they have felt in previous years. We have listened very carefully to those concerns expressed about the event. Our primary duty is to create a safe space where we can all feel joy, pride and community.”

The organisations added that “unfortunately against this background”, instead of taking part in the parade they will be hosting a Pride picnic and “whilst we fully appreciate that this is not the outcome some would have wanted, we hope that you will understand this change of plan. In light of this change, we’d be very happy to speak directly to anyone who would like to do so.”

Pride in London partners for the 2024 march include Tesco, Lidl, Transport for London; food delivery service Deliveroo is its partner for the parade’s after party.

Jewish News has contacted Pride in London for comment.

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