For 6 years Black Lives Matter Were Attacked as ‘anti-Semites’ by the Zionists – Today they suffer from amnesia
For 6 years Black Lives Matter Were Attacked as ‘anti-Semites’ by the Zionists – Today they suffer from amnesia
For 6 years Black Lives Matter Were Attacked as ‘anti-Semites’ by the Zionists – Today they suffer from amnesia
Since BLM describe Israel as a Genocidal Apartheid State and Support BDS – is Starmer is going to expel them for ‘anti-Semitism’
When I saw ‘Sir’ Keir, the pin-up of George Osborne and the British Establishment take the knee I could not help but smell the sulphurous stench of hypocrisy. Black Lives Matter are, according to the IHRA and the 10 Commandments anti-Semitic.
By supporting BDS they single out Israel from all other countries. In addition they call it a genocidal, apartheid state. Starmer should be giving BLM the boot not offering them his carefully tailored knee.
Leaving to one side whether you can have ‘extreme’ as opposed to ‘moderate’ anti-Semitism, what it is saying is that its definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ (anti-Zionism) is a form of anti-racism! I agree but that’s why it’s not anti-Semitism!
Please Spare a Thought for the Zionists’ Dilemma!
It’s not often that I ask readers of this blog to put themselves in the shoes of the Zionists. However I am going to ask you to make the effort in the case of BLM. I am asking you to empathise with them. As Ali Abunimah says
‘Israel lobby groups have long seen the Black Lives Matter movement as a threat and have tried both to disrupt and co-opt it.’
In 2018, Al Jazeera’s leaked undercover documentary The Lobby–USA revealed how the Israeli government and its lobby worked to disrupt the BLM movement. Undercover footage showed an Israeli official complaining about the BLM “problem.”
It also revealed how The Israel Project, a now defunct organization, pulled strings behind the scenes to get a BLM fundraiser in a New York City nightclub cancelled.
The problem that the Zionists face is how to deal with the threat that BLM represents. For some Zionists BLM should be confronted head on. However those Zionists who are not head bangers realise that if they do this, whilst they may win the plaudits of the White Supermacists they will lose the majority of Jewish youth and the Democratic Party. They are caught on the horns of a dilemma and it is interesting to see how they are wriggling!
For nearly 6 years all wings of the Zionist movement criticised and attacked BLM. Liberal Zionists said that they supported the demands of BLM but they were pained by their description of Israel, the world’s only Jewish state, as a genocidal, Apartheid state.
Sure Israel provided training in the latest techniques of repression for most US police forces. And yes it’s true that the neck hold is an Israeli invention. However they wish that BLM wouldn’t involve itself in international matters and confine itself to the United States.
Aipac, ADL and Police Training
Right-wing Zionists never liked BLM, regardless of its attitude to Israel. Zionism and anti-racism made strange bedfellows to the Zionist Organisation of America and its Chairman Mort Klein.
Even AIPAC, the pro-Republican Israel lobby group must have found it painful to have to condemn George Floyd’s murder writing that:
On the eve of George Floyd’s funeral, we join with millions of Americans who continue to mourn his murder. His death is a shattering reminder of the injustice & inequities that Black Americans still endure in our society. The scourge of racism, intolerance & inequality must end.
Of course if George Floyd had been a Palestinian then AIPAC would have been calling him a ‘terrorist’. Naturally Sussex Friends of Israel, which was founded by Fiona Sharpe of Labour Against Anti-Semitism,attacked BLM as ‘anti-Semitic’. To SFI any form of anti-racism is ‘anti-Semitism’.
Between 5 and 13 September 2015 the ADL held a National Counter-Terrorism Seminar in Israel. ADL plays a key role in the relationship between Israeli and US police whilst, at the same time, decrying police violence in the US. No one is suggesting that US police racism is a consequence of this training, but the fact that ADL is involved in training and refining their techniques of oppression, should give the lie to the ADL’s profession of support to the Black struggle.
“good for the heart of the nation in a certain way, because people want protection, and a wall protects. All you’ve got to do is ask Israel. They were having a total disaster coming across, and they had a wall. It’s 99.9 percent stoppage.
‘Jewish voices from across the U.S. political spectrum came out in opposition to the platform of the Movement for Black Lives, which claimed that U.S. military aid to Israel makes the U.S. complicit in “the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people.” Many progressive Jewish organizations denounced only this section and endorsed the rest of the platform, calling for an end to mass incarceration, demilitarization of the police, etc.
However other, more conservative Zionists, used this as an excuse to ‘distance themselves from Black Lives Matter as a whole.’ The description of Israel as an Apartheid state proved BLM was ‘a threat to the assimilation of Jews into undifferentiated American whiteness.’
This debate took on a heightened form with the current upsurge in BLM over the murder of George Floyd. It was clear to all except the atavistic Zionist Organisation of America that they were facing a mass movement of millions. It was simply not possible for the Zionists, much as they wanted to, to attack BLM as ‘anti-Semitic’.
Thousands of young Jewish kids, who are already skeptical towards an Israel that is admired by white supremacists and anti-Semites identify with BLM. They realize that the racism that lay behind Derek Chauvin’s murder of George Floyd is the same racism that led to the murder of 11 Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Zionist Organisation of America and HIAS
It was only two months ago that the ZOA objected vehemently to nomination of Dianne Lob, as the next Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations [CPMAJO]. Why? Because she was a past Chair of the Hebrew Immigrant Advisory Society.
‘ZOA charged that HIAS was part of an “unholy consortium of Jewish and anti-Israel groups” fighting Trump’s immigration policies.’
Historically HIAS provided support for Jewish refugees from Europe but today Jews are not refugees. So it is mainly Black and Muslim people who receive its aid. In the eyes of ZOA that is a crime.
Dianne Lob is as committed a Zionist as the rest of the 50 strong Committee. She described herself
“as someone deeply devoted to Jewish values and to the importance of safeguarding the special U.S.-Israel relationship”.
What the Zionist right mean when they called her ‘anti-Zionist’ is anyone who is that she isn’t a 100% racist. Lob is a corporate Democrat and head of global business development for international investment management firm AllianceBernstein.
The objections of the ZOA were partly successful. Instead of taking over as Chair at the beginning of June 2020, she will have to wait until April 2021. Even this compromise was only agreed after a 31-8 vote with 5 abstentions. As the Times of Israel reported
‘Leading the charge was Morton Klein’s Zionist Organization of America, which has strongly opposed efforts to resettle Muslim refugees from Arab countries in the United States and Europe — something that has topped the HIAS agenda in recent years because of unrest in the Muslim world.
In other words the objections were based on pure racism. The ZOA is the oldest Zionist organisation in America, being founded in 1897, the year of the first Zionist Congress. It is funded by Trump backer, Sheldon Adelson and fiercely supports his White Supremacist agenda.
The target of HIAS is interesting itself. Robert Bowers, the fascist who murdered worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue was obsessed with HIAS and the supposed role of Jews in bringing immigrants into the USA. This was at the time of the Congressional elections and Trump was lambasting the refugee caravan in Central America and threatening to set the military on them.
Bowers subscribed to the far-right theme that ‘the Jews’ were working to subvert the White nations by welcoming Black people into their country. That is what lay behind the slogan of Trump’s ‘fine people’ at Charlottesville who chanted ‘the Jews will not replace us’.
The Tree of Life was a liberal synagogue that had agreed to help fundraise for HIAS. Like the majority of American Jews they were the most liberal section of the White population (unlike Britain where Jews are the most reactionary section!).
This enraged Bowers. He posted on social media, just hours before opening fire that:
‘“HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”
Two and a half weeks earlier, he had written,
“Why hello there HIAS! You like to bring in hostile invaders to dwell among us?”Another post read,“Open you Eyes! It’s the filthy EVIL jews Bringing the Filthy EVIL Muslims into the Country!!”
The Zionist Organisation of America
If the CPMAJO had any morals or scruples then the ZOA and its racist supporters would have been kicked out years ago.
The ZOA, like most Zionist groups, love to accuse anti-Zionists of ‘anti-Semitism’ and even liberal Zionists of the same sin. The reality however is that they are guilty of what they accuse others of.
In 2016, after Trump’s election who did they invite as a guest of honour to address their annual Gala dinner? None other than Steve Bannon, who was Trump’s Strategic Advisor. The same Bannon whose wife testified in their 2007 divorce that
‘the biggest problem he had with Archer [an elite private school for girls] is the number of Jews that attend.’
Bannon did a no show because of a large demonstration by Jewish groups, IfnotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace.
The ZOA invited him again in 2017 and this time they also invited Sebastian Gorka, a fully paid–up fascist nut. At Trump’s inauguration ball he decided to wear the Vitezi Rend, a medal issued by the Hungarian Order of Heroes, which collaborated with Hungary’s Nazi government during the World War II
Up till now the ZOA has been a member of the CPMAJO. Their anti-Muslim bigotry, their dalliance with anti-Semites, their love of Trump and their mutual hostility to HIAS, were of no consequence.
Yet when the ZOA decided to attack Black Lives Matter there were loud calls for their removal. The Jerusalem Post reported that
Progressive Jewish groups have accused Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America of ‘bigotry’ and ‘hatred’ for his opposition of Black Lives Matter.
The statement was issued by the New Israel Fund and other ‘liberal’ Zionists. Why now? According to their statement:
“The continued presence of Klein and the ZOA in important umbrella groups is an affront to Jews of color and all people of color, and to the overwhelming majority of all American Jews. It undermines any pro-Israel, pro-peace advocacy and damages the collective reputation of our community.” (my emphasis)
The Murder of Iyad Hallak
The clue lies in the last sentence. These hypocrites, who have never once spoken out about Zionist racism, Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians or even the murder 5 days after George Floyd of Iyad Hallak, an autistic Palestinian, are worried that a full frontal attack by Zionists on BLM will backfire and undermine their ‘pro-Israel, pro-peace advocacy’.
If there was even an ounce of sincerity amongst these liberal Zionists then they would have condemned the murder of Iyad. Already wounded, trapped in a garbage hut and with his carer screaming that he was autistic they pumped the final 3 bullets into his body.
Unlike in Minneapolis no Policemen have been arrested, still less charged. There is an ‘investigation’ but Israeli police investigations never result in charges of murder. Netanyahu could not even bring himself to condemn the murder because Israel’s finest thought they were dealing with a ‘terrorist’ and since Iyad was a Palestinian they had every right to think that.
Mort Klein’s offence is to say what Zionist liberals believe but won’t say openly, namely that Black Lives Matter
is a Jew hating, White hating, Israel hating, conservative Black hating, violence promoting, dangerous Soros funded extremist group of haters,”
Mort Klein has no tactical sense. He doesn’t know when to shut up. His colleagues know that now is not the time to attack BLM, not least because it will damage the reputation of Israel in the eyes of Jewish youth who are already cynical about Israel, witness the growth of groups like Jewish Voice for Peace and Ifnotnow.
That and only that is the reason why other Zionist groups have called for the expulsion of the ZOA from the CPMAJO. The Times of Israel reported that the
Tweet by Mort Klein vilifying Black Lives Matter seen as galvanizing liberal support to remove Zionist Organization of America from Conference of Presidents
We should be under no illusions that there is any major difference of principle between Mort Klein and Diane Lob and her supporters.
Israel Hayom and Conspiracy Theories
The Zionists have been working overtime to blunt and subvert the message of BLM. According to Sheldon Adelson’s Israel Hayom what is happening is Co-opting Black Lives Matter to target Israel. This is up with all those other conspiracy theories. We are told that
‘Efforts to link police brutality in the United States with the Israel Defense Forces maintaining security against Palestinian attacks have flooded the internet.
If it wasn’t for White people manipulating Black Lives Matter they would never have worked out for themselves that Israel has been training US police forces into becoming even more deadly than they already are. This kind of conspiracy theory is strangely reminiscent of the theory that Jews manipulate Blacks and Muslims in order to destroy the White nations. It goes by the name Replacement Theory.
Groups on the far-Right and far-Left, including pro-Palestinian organizations with links to terrorism, have been engaged in a campaign to co-opt the Black Lives Matter movement to target and delegitimize Israel.”
The cynical use of the Black Lives Matter by groups backed and controlled by foreign terror movements is nothing less than a repeat of the many other times that terror groups have used human shields to push their violence and hate,” Mark Greendorfer, president of the Zachor Legal Group, told JNS.
A “civil-rights movement (Black Lives Matter) has been hijacked by extremists to push an agenda focused on promoting hate, in the form of anti-Semitism, rather than seeking justice,” he said.
Exchanging Support for Israel for Support for BLM
Back in April 2016 Sam Kestenbaum explained that the problem was ‘a ‘new platform’ [the link doesn’t work now!]of BLM ‘that describes Israel as an “apartheid state” committing “genocide” against the Palestinian people’.’ Kestenbaum explained that since the beginning of BLM in 2013, in the wake of the Police murder of Michael Brown
‘Jewish groups across the country have struggled to strike the right tone in their responses to the movement. Activists aligned with Black Lives Matter have frequently visited the occupied Palestinian West Bank in what some call “solidarity tours,” as recently as July 30
Henn Mazzig in When Jews Attack Black Lives Matter, It Only Fuels Anti-Semitism wrote that Zionists who believe that they can trade off support for Israel in exchange for support for BLM is not working:
The message black people are getting today from some in the Jewish community is that they think black lives don’t matter. Would you think otherwise if a video emerged of a Jew being choked to death by a cop and non-Jews said they couldn’t support our movement because, say, the Anti-Defamation League said something they don’t like? …
Why were these (3) women able to impart their anti-Israel policies on the Black Lives Matter platform? They were deeply committed to the movement. Pro-Israel voices, like the ones in my replies, were not.
Attacking Black Lives Matter only fuels anti-Semitism [i.e. anti-Zionism], making it easier to paint Jews as racists…
Although countless Jews and Zionists support Black Lives Matter… these voices railing against the movement undo some of that unifying work. Another was Rachel Gilmer of Dream Defenders, a Jewish anti-Zionist.
If you want to change Black Lives Matter Israel agenda, you need to show up for them. Because by showing up for racial justice, we are actually showing up for ourselves….
When I posted Black Lives Matter online, the responses from Jews in America were shocking.
Some started bombarding me with replies that Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an anti-Israel cabal. That they are not protestors but looters and criminals. … A few people claimed it was all “George Soros’s doing.” I pointed out that anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists like former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke were employing the same rhetoric. One American Jew replied, “Well, he is right about Soros.”
There is a serious debate taking place in the Zionist movement in the United States which sees the antics of those like Mort Klein as damaging support for Israel. Behind closed doors they agree with most of what he says. Their disagreement is with the way he says it.
Rabbi Ari Hart, of the Bayit Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, wrote on his public Facebook page that he was “struggling with #BlackLivesMatter but I believe black lives matter,”
Boston’s Jewish Community Relations Council issued a statement
“We cannot and will not align ourselves with organizations that falsely and maliciously assert that Israel is committing ‘genocide.We reject participation in any coalition that seeks to isolate and demonize Israel.”
The platform of the “Movement for Black Lives,” was BLM’s “first comprehensive document”. The section on foreign policy (“Invest-Divest”) criticizes American military aid to Israel. Israel is
“a state that practices systematic discrimination and has maintained a military occupation of Palestine for decades,”
It calls on activists to “build invest/divestment campaigns” to end “US Aid to Israel’s military industrial complex” and credits Adalah, an advocacy group for Arab rights, among its “authors & contributors.”
‘Right-wing Jewish groups, including the Zionist Organization of America have condemned Black Lives Matter since the movement’s early days.’
The Anti-Defamation League
Ha’aretz quotes the ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt as saying that racial justice for African Americans is one of “the struggles of our time.”
This is the purest hypocrisy. It is a wonder that Greenblatt’s nose isn’t six foot long! In August 2016 the Tablet quoted Greenblatt as saying of BLM’s Platform that:
it’s repellent and completely inaccurate to label Israel’s policy as “genocide.” (it) completely ignores incitement and violence perpetrated against Israelis by some Palestinians, including terror inside the country and rocket attacks lobbed from Gaza.
The article also informed readers that ‘The ADL’s extensive material on Black Lives Matter, including school lesson plans, has now been quietly removed from its website.
Liberal Zionist Peter Beinart described BLM’s Platform as ‘stupid’ for talking of Israeli genocide. BLM’s Platform did not go over well with the what The Tablet called ‘some of Black Lives Matter’s hitherto staunch progressive allies.’
Greenblatt tweeted that ‘We need justice for everyone who has been a victim of racist policing & violence.’ Which sounds very much like ‘All Lives Matter’ the racist response to the specific violence against Black people.
‘An influx of millions of Palestinians into Israel would pose a threat to its national security and upset the country’s demographic makeup.’
Isn’t that Trump’s agenda? Sure he puts it a bit more crudely, in terms of Mexican rapists and shithole countries in Africa, but isn’t he too trying to preserve American culture and demographic make-up?
The Tablet had nothing to say about the Occupation, land confiscation, the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem etc. Even liberal Zionist groups are PEPs – Progressive Except for Palestine.
The Tablet may lambast the ‘bigotry’ of BLM but it’s not above indulging in some of its own. Quite amazingly in its current issue it contains a full length interview with Professor Kevin MacDonald, the foremost academic supporter of White nationalism and Holocaust denial in the USA. As the introduction to the interview explains:
The specifics of the Jewish [evolutionary] strategy on American soil… include encouraging mass immigration and promoting cultural relativism and multiculturalism—which he describes as ideological tools that Jews use to fracture the organic cohesion of their white Christian host culture. MacDonald’s theories and writing inspired the slogan “the Jews will not replace us” which energized the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.
In other words Jews act as one and their behaviour is genetically and biologically programmed. Stripped of its academic jargon this rhetoric is part of the old Nazi idea that Jews subvert the Gentile nations in order to rule over them. Yet a prominent Zionist journal prints an interview with an open neo-Nazi.
The ADL and Spying for Apartheid South Africa
We should not forget the lawsuit begun in 1992 accusing the ADL of spying on behalf of the Apartheid regime in South Africa (not Israel!). It was settled for $178,000.
Israel was then an ally of South Africa’s white- supremacist government, and the ADL’s chief intelligence-gatherer in the Bay Area, Roy Bullock, later admitted he was being paid by South Africa.
The suit claimed that the ADL was working to suppress domestic criticism of Israel by compiling dossiers that it shared with police, the Israeli government and its own supporters. The ADL said it was legally monitoring hate groups and political extremists.
After Bullock and a San Francisco police inspector were seen talking to South African agents in 1992 police seized more than 10,000 files from the two men and ADL offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. See: Jewish defense group settles S.F. spying suit
ADL and Starbucks
The balancing act that ADL perform, training the US Police whilst professing horror at the death of Black men at their hands fools noone. When Starbucks staff called the Police because two Black men were ‘loitering’ in their coffee house it provoked national outrage.
Starbucks set aside a day when their premises were closed for ‘anti-bias training. Who was called upon to provide it? The ADL! This caused an uproar among Black and left-wing activists. As a result Starbucks were forced to drop the ADL from their training plans.
Considering the fact that Jews are, by far, the most prominent targets of hate crimes in America these days, giving in to anti-Semites and removing the ADL from a diversity training initiative of a major American corporation is particularly heinous.
America’s Jews are obviously not the ‘most prominent targets’ of racist attacks. Secondly calling BLM ‘anti-Semites’ betrays the real agenda.
Leibovitz blamed the decision on Tamika Mallory, ‘a leader of the Women’s March and vocal supporter of Louis Farrakhan’ who tweeted that the ADL was an organization dedicated to “constantly attacking black and brown people.” Another example of Zionist guilt-by-association which avoids what she said. Whether Tamika is or is not a member of the Nation of Islam is neither here nor there.
ADL and Police Training
US police forces have been trained courtesy of the ADL in the latest techniques of repression, including neck holds. Israel’s police have so much more ‘on hands’ or ‘on neck’ experience of repression. In Partnering with Law Enforcement the ADL boast that
ADL works with every major federal, state and local law enforcement agency, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to major city police departments, state police, highway patrol and sheriffs’ departments. Over the past decade, we have trained 150,000 law enforcement personnel—at no cost to taxpayers. This work is designed to protect people and communities from hate, extremism and terrorism.
The ‘problem’ that the Zionists faced was described in 2017 in a leaked report written by the ADL and the Reut Institute. It bemoaned how campaigners had successfully been able
to frame the Palestinian struggle against Israel as part of the struggle of other disempowered minorities, such as African Americans.
The report warned that intersectionality “undermines Jewish communities’ agendas, including support for the State of Israel.” The Israel lobby and Zionist hasbara were happy with identity politics because it was simple to define Jewishness in terms of Zionism and Israel. Jews were just one more equally oppressed group.
But intersectionality asked more difficult questions such as where the source of inequality comes from. Intersectionality argued that oppression is not one dimensional. American Jews don’t suffer from police violence, disproportionate imprisonment or economic discrimination. To say that being Jewish is equivalent of being Black is to negate the oppression of the latter. Oppression has many causes – economic, class, race, imperialism etc.
Starmer’s Racist Hypocrisy
Was there anything more sickening than seeing Starmer and Rayner taking a knee in an empty conference room, on a plush carpet? This is the same Starmer who is busy expelling anyone ‘guilty’ of opposing Israeli Apartheid or Zionism.
Starmer’s racist witch-hunt is netting hundreds of Black and Jewish members of the Labour Party. All in the service of Tel Aviv and Netanyahu’s coalition with the Israeli Labor Party. Because the organisation driving the witch-hunt is none other than the British wing of the almost dead ILP, the Jewish Labour Movement.
Instead of taking the knee, Keir Starmer should be expelling BLM members for supporting BDS and calling Israel a Genocidal, Apartheid State!
Black members of the Labour Party understand Starmer’s hypocrisy which is why he is expelling so many of them. Most are not collaborators like the David Lammy, who abstained in the vote on the ‘hostile environment’ 2014 Immigration Act, as did all but one of Labour’s useless Black MPs. Lammy is a paid up supporter of Labour Friends of Israel.
In Black lives do not matter in Israel David Sheen wrote of how, on March 17, one of Israel’s two chief rabbis, Yitzhak Yosef, called black people “monkeys” and the Hebrew equivalent of the N-word in his weekly sermon. He said the same two years previously that all non-Jews – Africans, Arabs, or otherwise – could only live in Israel if they agree to serve the country’s Jewish population.
Israel’s other chief rabbi, Yisrael Lau, used the N-word to describe Black athletes on his very first day in office in July 2013. In 2010 dozens of Israeli rabbis, led by Safed’s Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, a paid official of the Israeli state, issued an edict forbidding Jews to rent their homes to non-Jews. As Ha’aretz explained:
Dozens of Israel’s municipal chief rabbis have signed on to a new religious ruling that would forbid the rental of homes to gentiles in a move particularly aimed against Arabs
When Lammy and Starmer support Israel and demonise its opponents as ‘anti-Semitic’ they are actively supporting this racism. Below are extracts from an important article by Ramzy Baroud on the role of Israel in militarizing the United States police.
The militarization of the US police and its use of deadly violence against suspected petty criminals, or even non criminals, is a relatively new phenomenon that has been largely imported from Israel.
Israeli torture tactics, including the infamous ‘Palestinian Chair’, became the crown jewel of the American military’s systematic violence used in America’s immoral wars from Iraq to Afghanistan, to elsewhere.
Writing in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz in 2016, Rachel Stroumsa argued that the ‘Palestinian Chair’ is “but one of many examples of ties and seepages between the security practices of Israel and America,” adding that “the CIA explicitly justified its use of torture in depositions to the Senate Intelligence Committee by citing High Court of Justice rulings.”
The fact that thousands of American police officers have been trained by Israelis, thus the burgeoning of violent military-like tactics used against ordinary Americans, is only one link in a long chain of ‘deadly exchanges’ between the two countries.
The US-Israel Military Relationship and the US-Mexico Border
The horrific impacts of border militarization and the practices of racist agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) on border communities, immigrants, and people of color across the US have been well documented for years.
Feeding into US imperialist policy, Israel has been an important partner and supporter of the militarization of the border and border agencies in a number of ways:
The growing Israeli role in shaping the American security state allowed Israel to push its political priorities past its traditional stronghold over the US Congress to individual states and, eventually, to city councils across the country
NEW YORK (JTA) — The co-author of the Black Lives Matter platform passage accusing Israel of “genocide” defended the term, saying Israel’s actions fit in its wider definition.
Ben Ndugga-Kabuye co-authored the statement along with Rachel Gilmer, the former board member of a Zionist youth group. Ndugga-Kabuye told JTA he understood why Jewish groups disagree with the statement, but was perplexed that it has received so much attention.
He compared it with the accusations of genocide that black activists have leveled at the United States and called the Israeli-Palestinian conflict one of many international conflicts US black activists feel connected to.
“The way we look at it is, we take strong stances,” Ndugga-Kabuye, a New York City organizer for the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, told JTA.
“The demand we’re making is we’re against the US continuing funding and military aid to the government of Israel. These are all things that are going to be in debate.”
The platform, released August 2 by The Movement for Black Lives coalition, is largely a statement of the goals of a movement that coalesced around police violence directed against black people in the United States, mass incarceration of African-Americans and other domestic issues.
But it also calls for ending US military aid to Israel and accuses Israel of being an apartheid state. The platform includes a link to a website promoting the movement to boycott, divest and sanction Israel called BDS.
“The US justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people” reads the “Invest/Divest” section of “A Vision for Black Lives.”
A string of Jewish organizations, from the Anti-Defamation League to the Reform movement and National Council of Jewish Women, has condemned the genocide and apartheid language as well as the BDS endorsement. T’ruah, a rabbis’ human rights group that opposes Israel’s West Bank occupation, also criticized the document.
Most of the organizations took pains to note that they are sympathetic to other parts of the platform, many of which jibe with liberal Jewish positions on the criminal justice system, economic justice and immigration.
“While we are deeply concerned about the ongoing violence and the human rights violations directed at both Israelis and Palestinians, we believe the terms genocide and apartheid are inaccurate and inappropriate to describe the situation,”
NCJW wrote in a statement. “Further, BDS is too often used to de-legitimize Israel’s right to exist.”
Jewish Voice for Peace, which supports BDS, was the rare Jewish group that endorsed the platform in its entirety.#
Ndugga-Kabuye said state actions don’t need to rise to the level of the Holocaust or other historical genocides to deserve the term, which he said could connote unjust state killing of a disadvantaged group. He compared his usage of the word to We Charge Genocide, a group that opposes police violence in Chicago.
“We’re talking about a structure of violent deaths that are state sanctioned, that are without accountability, and that are ongoing,”
he told JTA.
“We can say this is what’s happening in Palestine and not equate it with what’s happening in South America. It doesn’t say it’s the same number of people being killed or the [same] manner of people being killed.”