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Black Lives Matter Statement Stuns Secular-Liberal Jews

Black Lives Matter Protesters
Black Lives Matter protesters attempted, unsuccessfully, to disrupt the Republican National Convention last month. A new "platform" for the organization has drawn the ire of some of its closest supporters: liberal Jews. (Reuters photo)

The Black Lives Movement shocked their allies in the liberal-secular Jewish community with its recent Invest-Divest policy paper.

The document is a wide-ranging rant against the United States in general. But in particular, this section of the document related to military spending was perhaps an eye-opener for the liberal Jews who had been supporting the movement:

The US justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in 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. Everyday, Palestinians are forced to walk through military checkpoints along the US-funded apartheid wall.

Liberal Jewish leaders say they were "blindsided" by the statement. Even Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, despite past criticisms of BLM, said he was shocked. He has now written a scathing rebuke of the anti-Israel language contained in the manifesto.

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"It is a real tragedy that Black Lives Matter—which has done so much good in raising awareness of police abuses—has now moved away from its central mission and has declared war against the nation state of the Jewish people," he wrote. "To be sure, Black Lives Matter is not a monolithic organization. It is a movement comprising numerous groups. Many of its supporters have no idea what the platform says. They cannot be faulted for supporting the movement or its basic mission.

"But the platform is the closest thing to a formal declaration of principles by Black Lives Matter. The genocide paragraph may well have been injected by radicals who are not representative of the mainstream. But now that it has officially been published, all decent supporters of Black Lives Matter—and there are many—must demand its removal.

"Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic. Like other democracies, including our own, it has faults. Criticizing Israel's settlement and occupation policies is fair game. But singling Israel out and falsely accusing it of "genocide" can be explained in no other way than blatant hatred of Jews and their state."

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