This article by Dr.Gerstenfeld was first published by BESA (The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies) and republished here with the author’s consent.
Repair the World by Embracing Antisemites: American Jews Supporting Black Lives Matter
Six hundred American Jewish organizations signed on to a full-page advertisement in the New York Times (NYT) identifying with the antisemitic Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement on August 28.1 It was a new low for part of American Jewry. In the meantime, NCSY, one of the groups listed has stated that its name on the advert was mistaken.2
On June 25, the same letter as the NYT one was already published. It contains many distortions and manipulations. The choice of the NYT for the advert is almost symbolic: a leader in slanted reporting on the Middle East. One could excuse the earlier publication of the letter somewhat by considering that events had developed so rapidly that the signatories lacked the time to think through the consequences of their support for BLM. It was still somewhat difficult to fully understand that the praiseworthy coming out against discrimination of blacks and other minorities in the US was something very different from supporting BLM.
BLM, a decentralized movement, is supported both by some blacks and whites. Yet in essence it is a black racist, anti-capitalist and anti-democratic movement that should be exposed and fought. One of its goals, to defund the police – rather than to reform certain elements of it – in particular undermines American democracy.
What sounded naive on June 25th, became inexcusable by the time the advert appeared in the NYT at the end of August. The advertisement states: “We speak with one voice when we say, unequivocally: Black Lives Matter. We support the black-led movement in this country that is calling for accountability and transparency from the government and law enforcement. We know that freedom of safety for any of us depends on the freedom and safety of all of us.” Yet BLM’s policy of defunding the police would greatly reduce the safety of all Americans. That construct is just a lie.
The advert claimed: “Black Lives Matter is the current day civil rights movement in this country and it is our best chance at equity and justice. By supporting this movement we can build a country that fulfills the promise of freedom, unity and safety for all of us – no exceptions.”
The comparison of BLM to the civil rights movement is an insult to the memory of the latter and its revered leader, Martin Luther King. He indeed fought against discrimination and for freedom and unity. The text also made a gratuitous remark: “When black movements are undermined, it leads to more violence against black people, including black Jews.”
One should keep in mind that the leading extreme antisemite in the US is Louis Farrakhan, leader of the African-American Nation of Islam. Farrakhan and his associates should be undermined and it is doubtful whether that would lead to more violence. What is certain is that several of the BLM protests have been accompanied by violence, including against Jewish businesses in some places.3
The original platform of BLM contained extreme anti-Israeli incitement.4 It stated: “The US justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and complicity with the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people. The US requires Israel to use 75 percent of all the military aid it receives to buy US-made arms. Consequently, every year billions of dollars are funneled from US taxpayers to hundreds of arms corporations, who then wage lobbying campaigns pushing for even more foreign military aid. The results of this policy are twofold: it not only diverts much needed funding from domestic education and social programs, but it makes US citizens complicit in the abuses committed by the Israeli government. Israel is an apartheid state with over 50 laws on the books that sanction discrimination against the Palestinian people. Palestinian homes and land are routinely bulldozed to make way for illegal Israeli settlements. Israeli soldiers also regularly arrest and detain Palestinians as young as 4 years old without due process. Every day, Palestinians are forced to walk through military checkpoints along the US-funded apartheid wall.”5
One might recall that one of the three founders of the BLM network Patrisse Cullors visited Israel in 2015 and said afterwards: “This is an apartheid state. We can’t deny that and if we do deny it, we are a part of the Zionist violence. There are two different systems here in occupied Palestine. Two completely different systems. Folks are unable to go to parts of their own country. Folks are barred from their own country.” 6
In a recently surfaced video from 2015, Cullors said that she is a trained Marxist organizer. She also said that was true for the BLM co-founder, Alicia Garza. Cullors mentioned that her mentor was Eric Mann. He is a former agitator of the Weather Underground domestic terror organization.7
The Australian Jewish Association has produced a Youtube video of 10 minutes filled with extreme BLM anti-Israel and antisemitic hate mongers.8 One should not claim that all BLM adherents are antisemites. Yet the movement is permeated by antisemitism. The original platform has recently been taken down on its website and replaced by a shorter statement where Israel is not mentioned.9
The harm has however been done. That became even clearer when BLM in the UK posted an anti-Israel statement: “As Israel moves forward with the annexation of the West Bank, and mainstream British politics is gagged of the right to critique Zionism, and Israel’s settler colonial pursuits, we loudly and clearly stand beside our Palestinian comrades.” The group hailed their supposed brothers-in-struggle with terminology commonly if not exclusively used among the far left and unreconstructed communists — and adding an emphatic “FREE PALESTINE.” 10
Among the signatories of the NYT advert are: the Movement for Reform Judaism, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the ADL, the Hadassah Foundation, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Americans for Peace Now, and almost of course the leading Jewish US masochist organization, J-Street. The even more extreme Jewish Voice for Peace is not only represented by the organization itself but by 19 of its chapters.
Among the more liberal Jewish currents, the idea has been promoted that Judaism’s goal is about repairing the world. This idea has some roots in Judaism but has no central place in 3000 years of Jewish history and religion.
There is much to be said that the “repairing the world” statement is typical for movements where liberalism is dominant combined with a variety of Jewish rituals. Repairing the world is a rather vague concept. Yet the letter in the NYT now indirectly explains what many Jewish organizations mean by it: repair the world by embracing antisemites, repair the world by being Jewish masochists, repair the world by presenting Jewish-black relations in a partly untrue way, repair the world by foregoing Jewish dignity. And most absurd: repair the world by defunding the police.
The advert also manipulates justice by saying “Jewish tradition teaches us that justice is not something that will be bestowed upon us. It is something that we need to pursue, and that the pursuit itself is sacred work.” From this text we can conclude the gross lie that Jewish tradition leads to the sacred support of BLM incitement.
The silent majority in a liberal democracy is often sleepy and lazy. Yet it is not stupid. The more it sees of BLM, the more it understands that it is a destructive black racist, Marxist anti-capitalist movement and as such is radically opposed to democracy. The silent majority will gradually comprehend that BLM should be exposed and fought. That silent majority also includes many members of ethnic minorities who are not radicals.
The signatories of the NYT advertisement have maneuvered part of American Jewry into a highly undesirable position: identifying with a revolutionary movement permeated with antisemitism. Nothing good for Jews is to be expected from BLM and its antisemites. Nor is anything good to come from the slowly awakening silent majority for those Jews who have identified with BLM.
The signatories of this advert have also managed to create huge confusion about Jewish-black relations. Studies by the ADL –admittedly many years back — show that the overall level of antisemitism among African Americans by far exceeds that among white Americans.11
A new detailed study of the relationship between Jews and blacks is overdue. This should cover all characteristics in detail and not limit itself to the claim that Jews and blacks have always marched together.