Watchdog: Anti-Israel Groups, Black Lives Matter Share ‘Pro-Palestinian Agendas’ That Feed Antisemitism (INTERVIEW)
The alliance between an anti-Israel group and the Black Lives Matter movement reveal a shared pro-Palestinian strategy that borders on antisemitism, the president of a major watchdog organization told The Algemeiner on Thursday.
Professor Gerald Steinberg, president of Israel-based NGO Monitor, was responding to the recent publication of the Black Lives Matter platform, which declared Israel an “apartheid state” that “practices systematic discrimination” and “genocide” against Palestinians. A member of the notorious anti-Israel legal group Adalah — which Steinberg called “one of the most effective Israel-based NGOs promoting demonization and a clear contributor to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement” — was named as a co-author of the document.
“The relationship between Adalah and Black Lives Matter reflects the long-standing alliance between radical anti-democratic groups who often espouse antisemitic themes,” Steinberg told The Algemeiner. “Similar pro-Palestinian agendas were seen in the activities of the Black Panthers, Louis Farrakhan and, on the Jewish radical side, through the extremists at Jewish Voice for Peace.”
The presidential campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders “also tapped into this extremism and ‘intersectionality’ in which hate for Israel was clear,” he said.
In its document, Black Lives Matter advocated for ending US military aid to Israel, arguing that US citizens would be “complicit in the abuses committed by the Israeli government.” In addition, the group came out against congressional legislation aimed at combating BDS.
According to a statement released by NGO Monitor, “The fingerprints of several biased and politicized NGOs — particularly the legal group Adalah — are clearly visible in this publication.”
“Nadia Ben-Youssef, Adalah’s US representative, is listed as an ‘author and contributor.’ Moreover, the reference to Israeli laws that ‘sanction discrimination against the Palestinian people,’ is based on Adalah’s ‘discriminatory laws’ database,” the watchdog group said.
More recently, a delegation of Black Lives Matter activists visited Israel, where they spent most of their time in East Jerusalem and Palestinian areas of Judea and Samaria, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Shanelle Matthews, the communications officer for Black Lives Matter, told the newspaper that they “met with folks leading the BDS movement to talk about organizing strategies” and that they “unequivocally” support BDS.
The convergence of Black Lives Matter and the anti-Israel movement has great implications, Steinberg said.
“While the historic civil rights movement in the US was based on the alliance between Jewish and black leaders like Rev. Martin Luther King, ‘progressive’ Jews today — particularly linked to the the New Israel Fund and J Street — simplistically confuse the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the US in the 1950s and 1960s, although the two situations are entirely different,” he said.
This confusion, Steinberg contends, “opens the door and gives legitimacy to the Adalah-Black Lives Matter mutual support system, and the antisemitism that this feeds.”
As The Algemeiner reported last month, a comprehensive study released by the Institute for Zionist Strategies refuted Adalah’s list of Israeli laws the NGO claims discriminate against Arab citizens of the Jewish state.