Black Lives Matter Has an Israel Problem

Having coalesced in 2014 to protest shootings of unarmed black men by police officers, the Black Lives Matter movement now has a formal platform that includes opinions on a variety of political issues, including the Jewish state. This week, one of the movement’s leaders made clear on social media that he is unwilling to read, let alone engage, any criticism of his stance on Israel. Jason D. Hill writes that the Black Lives Matters’ attitude toward Israel is one of its “unpardonable sins.”

The leaders of Black Lives Matter have written a profoundly anti-Israel (and anti-American) manifesto in which they accuse Israel of “genocide” and “apartheid.” The manifesto endorses the “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” (BDS) movement and takes the view that the United States justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliances with Israel. This, according to Black Lives Matter, makes the U.S. complicit in a supposed genocidal massacre of the Palestinian people. . . .

With its accusations against Israeli Jews, Black Lives Matter suggests that in their support of Israel, such Jews are complicit in the unproven [Israeli] crimes of genocide and apartheid. We must remember that even amid the daily onslaughts of war and terror that Palestinians inflict on Jews, the Israelis, in a spirit of almost irrational altruism, take great pains to limit civilian casualties and to ensure that those caught in a war they did not personally initiate are spared as much harm as possible.

Black Lives Matter is not only being unjust toward Israel; its anti-Israel stance betrays Jews in America, to whom blacks in this country are enormously indebted. If there are any unsung heroes of the civil-rights movement, it is those Jews who played an enormous but largely unacknowledged role in the liberation of blacks from racial oppression. American Jews undertook monumental efforts to found and fund some of the most important civil-rights organizations in the U.S. . . .

The anti-Israeli platform of Black Lives Matters has understandably alienated some progressive Jews in America who had initially aligned themselves with the movement. And it has alienated this black American as well. . . . Israel is good. So, too, is America. And the achievements of both countries demonstrate, above all, the virtues of self-realization and persistence.

Get unlimited access to Mosaic: Subscribe now

Welcome to Mosaic

Register now to get two more stories FREE.

Register Now

Get unlimited access to Mosaic: Subscribe now

Welcome to Mosaic

Register now to get two more stories FREE.

Register Now

Read more at Commentary

More about: Anti-Semitism, Black Lives Matter, Civil rights movement, Israel & Zionism

With Talk of Annexation, Benny Gantz Sends a Message to the U.S.

Jan. 24 2020

On Tuesday, the former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, who is campaigning for a third time to oust Benjamin Netanyahu from the Israeli premiership, announced that if elected he will seek to annex the Jordan Valley. He added the important caveat that he wants to do so “in coordination with the international community”—a promise that, as many have pointed out, is nearly impossible to fulfill. While it is easy to speculate about the political calculations behind this pledge, Jonathan Tobin suggests that it is also intended as a message to American liberals:

Sign up to read more.

You've read all your free articles for this month. Sign up now for unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture and politics.

Register Now

Sign up to read more.

You've read all your free articles for this month. Sign up now for unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture and politics.

Register Now

Read more at JNS

More about: Benny Gantz, Democrats, Israeli Election 2020, Jordan Valley, U.S. Politics