Jon Green | America Blog | January 20, 2016
A Wider Bridge, a group that focuses on connecting LGBTQ Americans and Israelis, has been rescheduled to host a reception following Shabbat services at Creating Change, one of the largest conferences of LGBTQ activists in the country. Pressure from activists critical of Israel and the Israeli government had led the National LGBTQ Task Force, which organizes the conference, to revoke A Wider Bridge’s invitation. Pressure from Jewish and LGBT groups, along with Congressman Jared Polis (who is both Jewish and gay), led to the organization being reinstated.
Arthur Slepian, founder and executive director of A Wider Bridge, told Haaretz that he received a call from the conference’s organizer explaining that the group’s event was being canceled for safety and security reasons, but that those reasons were never specified. There was, however, a social media campaign opposing A Wider Bridge’s involvement in the conference, citing its efforts to “pinkwash” Israel and make it seem better on human rights issues than it actually is.