When the unrest that has been striking so many American cities hit Kenosha, Wisconsin, someone spray painted “Free Palestine” on the driveway of Beth Hillel Temple. Jonathan Tobin observes:
Stacked up against the toll of dead and injured, the businesses and homes that have been destroyed along with the savings and lifetimes of hard work they represented, as well as the concerns about the shooting [by police of Jacob] Blake, a slogan scrawled on a sidewalk or even on the walls of synagogues or other Jewish institutions—as happened in Los Angeles during the post-George Floyd riots there three months ago—doesn’t amount to much.
But it is still important to ask why, with so much else going on, there seems almost always to be both time and effort available to lash out at symbols of the Jews.
[T]here is also no escaping the fact that the driving force behind the justifications for the Black Lives Matter protests and some of those protesting is a belief in “intersectionalism.” Intersectional ideology holds that, among other causes, the Palestinian war to eliminate Israel is a struggle of “indigenous people of color” against white colonialists [and thus] somehow analogous to the struggle for civil rights in the United States.
That this claim is a lie in every respect doesn’t make the notion any less toxic. Far-left groups that are loud and increasingly influential voices in American politics have promoted such ideas. That creates a national constituency for the demonization of Israel on college campuses, as well as in minority communities. Add to that the way it is amplified by sympathizers of the Nation of Islam, whose leader, Louis Farrakhan, is the leading purveyor of anti-Semitism in the African-American community, and you have a growing audience for claims that saying “free Palestine” is the moral equivalent of uttering slogans like “black lives matter.”