Pro-Palestinian Activists’ Dangerous Attempt to Co-opt the Black Lives Matter Movement

June 11 2020

A cartoon has been circulating on social media that shows an American policeman crushing a black man’s throat with his knee while embracing an Israeli soldier doing the same to a Palestinian man; atop the picture is a caption reading “Black lives matter.” Such an attempt to link the Palestinian cause to that of the protests taking place across the U.S. is neither an outlier nor something new. Tracing the history of African American leaders’ embrace of anti-Zionism, Joshua Washington sees as a turning point the 1967 decision of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)—a prominent civil-rights organization in which Jews once played a prominent role—to adopt not just a pro-Palestinian platform, but an anti-Semitic one. In his view, this move was not only wrongheaded, but highly detrimental, allowing Arab leaders to “hijack” the civil-rights movement in order “to legitimize their own cause.”

Such a propaganda campaign is only effective among [those Martin Luther King, in a related context, called] the “color consumed.” If one is color consumed, all Israel’s enemies must do is to get him to see Israel as a country of white Europeans. . . . It’s why Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, calls Israel an “apartheid state,” though nothing in Israel resembles apartheid. To the black South African with unresolved hurt and bitterness from apartheid, not much else needs to be said.

Fast-forward to the present day: the Movement for Black Lives is one of the major partners of Black Lives Matter (BLM). In its policy platforms, it has an “invest-divest” section that, under “cut military expenditures,” mentions Israel as an apartheid, genocidal regime that routinely arrest four-year-old Palestinians. All lies, taken straight out of the SNCC playbook—a playbook [based on] unverified libels and anti-Semitic stereotypes.

From its beginning, BLM had an anti-Israel bias. “From Ferguson to Palestine, occupation is a crime” was a slogan taken up immediately following Michael Brown’s killing by officer Darren Wilson [in 2014]. This feigned support is nothing more than a calculated effort by Palestinian leaders to divert attention away their oppression of their own people. And we know now that this is nothing new.

Blacks and Jews have much more history that binds us than we could ever have with the likes of the PLO, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or Mahmoud Abbas. I will concede, however, that we [African Americans] share a common struggle with the Palestinian people, and that is the struggle of many manipulative leaders who claim to be our saviors.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Anti-Semitism, Black Lives Matter, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Mahmoud Abbas, Martin Luther King

UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon Risk Their Lives, but Still May Do More Harm Than Good

Jan. 27 2023

Last month an Irish member of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was killed by Hizballah guerrillas who opened fire on his vehicle. To David Schenker, it is likely the peacekeeper was “assassinated” to send “a clear message of Hizballah’s growing hostility toward UNIFIL.” The peacekeeping force has had a presence in south Lebanon since 1978, serving first to maintain calm between Israel and the PLO, and later between Israel and Hizballah. But, Schenker explains, it seems to be accomplishing little in that regard:

In its biannual reports to the Security Council, UNIFIL openly concedes its failure to interdict weapons destined for Hizballah. While the contingent acknowledges allegations of “arms transfers to non-state actors” in Lebanon, i.e., Hizballah, UNIFIL says it’s “not in a position to substantiate” them. Given how ubiquitous UN peacekeepers are in the Hizballah heartland, this perennial failure to observe—let alone appropriate—even a single weapons delivery is a fair measure of the utter failure of UNIFIL’s mission. Regardless, Washington continues to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into this failed enterprise, and its local partner, the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Since 2006, UNIFIL patrols have periodically been subjected to Hizballah roadside bombs in what quickly proved to be a successful effort to discourage the organization proactively from executing its charge. In recent years, though, UN peacekeepers have increasingly been targeted by the terror organization that runs Lebanon, and which tightly controls the region that UNIFIL was set up to secure. The latest UN reports tell a harrowing story of a spike in the pattern of harassment and assaults on the force. . . .

Four decades on, UNIFIL’s mission has clearly become untenable. Not only is the organization ineffective, its deployment serves as a key driver of the economy in south Lebanon, employing and sustaining Hizballah’s supporters and constituents. At $500 million a year—$125 million of which is paid by Washington—the deployment is also expensive. Already, the force is in harm’s way, and during the inevitable next war between Israel and Hizballah, this 10,000-strong contingent will provide the militia with an impressive human shield.

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Lebanon, Peacekeepers, U.S. Foreign policy