Black Lives Matter & BDS: Separated at birth?

, Alex Nitzberg, 5 Comments

The Movement for Black Lives (a conglomeration comprised of Black Lives Matter and many other groups) recently garnered media attention for releasing an incendiary manifesto. This manifesto includes references to Israel as an “apartheid state” and “ … a state that practices systematic discrimination … ”

A post on Black Lives Matter’s Facebook page describes The Movement for Black Lives’ belief that Palestinians represent a distinct, historical group ravaged by a vicious Jewish state:

“ … the Movement for Black Lives is committed to the global shared struggle of oppressed people, namely the people of occupied Palestine and other indigenous communities who for decades have resisted the occupation of their land, the ethnic cleansing of their people, and the erasure of their history and experiences.”

In one fell swoop, Black Lives Matter’s Facebook post denounces capitalism and derides the United States and the Israeli Defense Forces.

“In this violent, political climate, it is urgent that we make clear the connection between violence inflicted on Black people globally that is encouraged and permitted by the state and the profiling, harm, and genocide funded by the United States and perpetrated by Zionists[sic] vigilantes and the Israeli Defense Forces on Palestinian people. Our collective oppression mandates that we work together across geography, language and culture to decry and organize an end to capitalistic, imperialist regimes.”

The final paragraph of the post concludes with a pledge to support the anti-Israel BDS movement:

“We commit to global struggle, solidarity, and support of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement to fight for freedom, justice and equality for Palestinian people and to end international support of the occupation.”

While the second and third paragraphs of the post use the term “we,” the paragraphs do not distinguish whether the “we” refers to Black Lives Matter, The Movement for Black Lives or both.  Regardless, Black Lives Matter’s decision to post this on its Facebook page and its participation in The Movement for Black Lives serve as clear endorsements of the fervid anti-Israel sentiments this post conveys.

[Editor’s note: By the way, the AMCHA Initiative at the University of California at Santa Cruz found a direct link between heightened BDS lobbying on campus and anti-Semitism in colleges and universities.]

Alex Nitzberg is an intern at the American Journalism Center at Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.