Is Black Lives Matter an antisemitic hate group?

Logo often used in the Black Lives Matter movement
Logo often used in the Black Lives Matter movement

By Civis Americanus

Black Lives Matter is clearly antisemitic according to the standards of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), both of which define denial of Israel’s right to exist as antisemitic.  Whether it is an actual hate group depends on how one defines a hate group.

The IHRA cites, as antisemitic, “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”  The ADL says in part, “Anti-Zionism is antisemitic, in intent or effect, as it invokes anti-Jewish tropes … or renders Jews less worthy of nationhood and self-determination than other peoples.” Patrisse Cullors said, while representing BLM in her capacity as co-founder, to “step up boldly and courageously to end the imperialist project that’s called Israel.”  Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill added, “They don’t want to just nation-build, but they want to world-make, and so Black Lives Matter, very explicitly is talking about the dismantling of the Zionist project, dismantling of the settler-colonialist project, and very explicitly embracing BDS on those grounds.”  These are but two examples of not just denial of the right of Israel to exist, but also statements that Israel is a racist endeavor.

BLM has also expressed support for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, of which ADL says, “ADL believes that many of the founding goals of the BDS movement, which effectively reject or ignore the Jewish people’s right of self-determination, or that, if implemented, would result in the eradication of the world’s only Jewish state, are antisemitic.”  Support for BDS also puts the American Studies Association, the Middle East Studies AssociationPSC-CUNY, and the Seattle Education Association squarely into this category.

ADL adds, “Anti-Israel bias is inaccurate, inordinate or hyperbolic criticism of Israel.  It can take various forms, including false and vilifying accusations directed against Israel, often with the aim of delegitimizing the State of Israel.”  Here are BLM demonstrators, and it’s the whole group, not just a handful, chanting, “Israel, we know you, you murder children, too.”  This is technically not a blood libel because it doesn’t say that the Jews then make the children’s blood into matzos, but it comes pretty close.

Accusations that Israel commits genocide, or otherwise equates Israel to Nazism, also are antisemitic. CAMERA reports, “In August 2016, the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), a coalition of members from the Black Lives Matter network as well as other organizations representing black communities in the U.S., put out a lengthy political platform[.] … One section, headlined ‘Invest-Divest,’ accused the US, through its alignment with Israel, of complicity in what the authors called the ‘genocide that is taking place against the Palestinian people’ and Israeli ‘apartheid.'”

IHRA adds that antisemitism includes “calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.”  Black Lives Matter’s support for convicted terrorist bomber Rasmea Odeh, who murdered two Jews with a bomb and tried to murder emergency responders with another, comes across as justification of the killing or harming of Jews.  Jewish Voice for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine, and Bears for Palestine also expressed support for this PFLP terrorist, who is no better than Timothy McVeigh, the Tsarnaev brothers, or the Unabomber.  If somebody expressed support for church shooter Dylann Roof, or (allegedly until proven guilty) supermarket shooter Payton Gendron, we could argue reasonably that that individual believes it’s OK to kill people for praying or shopping while Black.  It is equally reasonable to infer that anybody who supports Rasmea Odeh, and this includes Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) as well as BLM, believes it’s OK to kill people for shopping while Jewish.  That is my inference, anyway; others are free to agree or disagree.

All of this demonstrates that Black Lives Matter is antisemitic, noting that this behavior comes from the top as opposed to a handful of rogue individuals whose hate speech could be dismissed as not representative of the organization.  The next question is as to whether this makes BLM a hate group.

What is a hate group?

One would be hard pressed to find an organization whose primary purpose is to hate other people.  The idea of a group whose mission is to gather every month or every week to make derogatory remarks about Black people, Caucasians as a whole, Jews in particular, Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans, LGBT people, and so on is clearly ridiculous.  Hate is almost universally a means to an end, such as keeping the leaders in power by giving the rank and file a real or imaginary enemy to blame for its troubles.  The Two Minutes Hate in George Orwell’s 1984 was directed at an enemy of the people, who may have even been a fabrication of the Ministry of Truth, and its obvious purpose was to distract people from the fact that (as an example) their chocolate ration had been “increased” from 25 to 20 grams.  The Nazi Party’s chief purpose was to consolidate and expand its own power.  Its promotion of hatred of Jews, Romany, LGBT people, and Slavs was simply a means to that end.  Jean-Paul Sartre said of this, “If the Jew did not exist, the antisemite would invent him.”

ADL defines a hate group as “an organization whose goals and activities are primarily or substantially based on a shared antipathy” and adds that the mere presence of some bigots in the rank and file does not meet this bar.  Patrisse Cullors, Mark Lamont Hill, and so on are not, however, the rank and file.  Black Lives Matter’s use of antisemitism to achieve its real goals, therefore, appears to make it a hate group, at least as I interpret this.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which is certainly no friend to conservative political views, defines a hate group as “an organization or collection of individuals that, based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities, has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people.”  The official statements of BLM and its leaders, and also activities such as chanting, “Israel, we know you, you murder children, too,” seem to fall squarely into this definition.

If this is not bad enough, a BLM mural also honored not only convicted cop-killer Assata Shakur, but also the New Black Panther Party.  The Washington Post reports that the New Black Panther Party “has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a ‘virulently racist and antisemitic organization’ whose leaders encourage violence against White people, Jewish people and law enforcers.”  The Anti-Defamation League elaborates: “The New Black Panther Party for Self Defense (not related to the original Black Panther Party) is the most extreme organized racist and antisemitic African-American group in the United States.”

Whether BLM is actually a hate group is up to the opinion of each person, to be evaluated solely in accordance with (1) generally accepted definitions of hate groups and (2) BLM’s proven as opposed to not merely alleged antisemitic behavior and also promotion of hatred of law enforcement professionals.  It’s meanwhile past time for New York City to paint over “Black Lives Matter” on its streets, and for Cornell’s Law School, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple, and other organizations to pull their support from this organization.  We don’t need to line up with something like BLM to be against civil rights violations, discrimination, and false arrests.

Civis Americanus is the pen name of a contributor who remembers the lessons of history and wants to ensure that our country never needs to learn those lessons again the hard way.  The author is remaining anonymous due to the likely prospect of being subjected to “cancel culture” for exposing the Big Lie behind Black Lives Matter.

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