The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) released the following statement:
During an interview about the frightening recent spike in antisemitic assaults throughout the U.S. and the world, top officials of the 52-member Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CoP) acknowledged and condemned the horrific antisemitism and anti-Israelism emanating from the left and the Black Lives Matter organization (BLM). (See “U.S. Antisemitism Far Worse Than Reported, Say Conference of Presidents Leaders,” by Lazar Berman, Times of Israel, May 31, 2021.)
CoP CEO William Daroff explained that “Black Lives Matter and others have been turned through intersectionality into anti-Israel movements, which have strong anti-Semitic components.”
Similarly, CoP Chair Dianne Lob confirmed that “much of the recent rise in antisemitism comes from the discourse on the left wing of the US political spectrum,” and stated: “I think we can’t underestimate the intersectionality piece. The language is very parallel to the Black Lives Matter language.” CoP Vice Chair Malcolm Hoenlein agreed with Chairperson Lob’s statements.
The CoP leaders have joined ZOA and ZOA President Morton Klein in criticizing and warning about the frightening Jew-hatred and Israel-hatred spread by the BLM organization, its parent organization Movement 4 Black Lives (M4BL), and their leaders. ZOA documented BLM’s antisemitic libels defaming Israel and promotion of antisemitic anti-Israel boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) in the still-existing BLM/M4BL platform, social media, anti-Israel “days of rage,” and in attacks such as the pogrom in Los Angeles. See ZOA’s The BLM Organization Files.
The BLM group falsely accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “brutal” conduct, conducting a “Gaza massacre,” “apartheid,” “theft,” and “one-sided slaughter.” BLM also “wholeheartedly endorses” anti-Israel, antisemitic boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS)—in social media and elsewhere, and in the M4BL platform, which has never been abrogated.
Liberal Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz correctly blasted BLM and its parent group’s platforms’ antisemitism, saying:
“Until and unless Black Lives Matter removes this blood libel [accusing Israel of committing genocide] from its platform and renounces it, no decent person—black, white or of any other racial or ethnic background—should have anything to do with it. . . . To give Black Lives Matter a pass on its anti-Jewish bigotry would be to engage in racism. Black antisemitism is as inexcusable as white antisemitism or white racism. There can be no double standard when it comes to bigotry.” (“Alan Dershowitz: Black Lives Matter Must Rescind Its Anti-Israel Declaration,” Algemeiner, Aug. 16, 2016.)
BLM-Los Angeles leaders incited the BLM pogrom against Jews over Shavuot weekend 2020, in which BLM rioters burned and looted Jewish stores and businesses, carried Hezbollah signs, and burned and defaced synagogues and Jewish schools, while screaming “Kill the Jews.”
At BLM-Palestinian joint “days of rage” last July, BLM and Palestinian marchers called for Israel’s destruction “from the river to the sea” in multiple U.S. cities, and falsely chanted: “Israel, we know you, you murder children, too.”
Notably, ZOA and Morton Klein have always made it clear that we oppose anti-Black racism, and that we agree with the slogan “Black lives matter”—just as all lives matter. ZOA and Mort Klein moreover have a long history of fighting for Black civil rights. We simply condemn the BLM organization’s Jew-hatred, Israel-hatred, promotion of BDS, Marxism, and bigoted policies.
Yet, following ZOA’s early warnings and reports about the BLM organization’s dangerous antisemitism and Israel-hatred, 16 left-leaning CoP member organizations’ leaders falsely accused ZOA’s President of “divisive bigotry.” (See, e.g. “FrontPageMag: Jewish Groups Wrongly Attack ZOA’s Mort Klein for Exposing BLM’s Antisemitism,” July 6, 2020.) In addition, ZOA’s accurate reports prompted certain far-left groups—most of whom are not CoP members—to falsely malign ZOA and ZOA’s president as “racist,” and to unsuccessfully attempt to expel ZOA from the Boston-JCRC. It is of course not divisive, bigoted, or racist to call out antisemitic organizations’ threats to the Jewish community.
Now that the CoP’s leaders have acknowledged that BLM is an antisemitic, anti-Israel movement, ZOA urges the CoP’s leaders to insist that the 16 CoP organizational leaders that maligned ZOA and Morton Klein for essentially saying the very same thing must finally apologize to ZOA and Mort Klein. (See “ZOA Demands Apology from URJ’s Rick Jacobs & Others for Denouncing ZOA’s Condemnation of BLM Org’s Antisemitic Israel-Hating Platform,” June 29, 2020.) One such leader previously apologized to Mr. Klein.
The remaining leaders who need to apologize to ZOA and Morton Klein are:
- Kenneth Bob, President, Ameinu (Bob also serves as J Street’s Treasurer);
- Hadar Susskind, President and CEO, Americans for Peace Now (APN also openly promotes partial anti-Israel BDS);
- Rabbi Bennett Miller, National Chair, ARZA;
- Rabbi Hara Person, Chief Executive, Central Conference of American Rabbis;
- Robert Aronson, Chair, HIAS;
- Meredith Jacobs, CEO, Jewish Women International;
- Janet Gurvitch, President, Na’amat USA;
- Marilyn Wind, President, MERCAZ USA;
- Sheila Katz, CEO, National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) (However, Ms. Katz states that her name was added to the letter without her consent. If true, no apology is needed.);
- Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal, Chief Executive, Rabbinical Assembly;
- Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President, Union of Reform Judaism (URJ);
- Ann Toback, CEO, The Workers Circle;
- Leslie Lichter, Interim CEO, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism;
- Rabbi Marla Feldman, Executive Director, Women of Reform Judaism;
- Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields, Executive Director, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism; and
- The far-left petitioners who unsuccessfully attempted to expel ZOA from the Boston-JCRC.
The most recent increase in BLM’s anti-Israel, antisemitic actions again show that it’s time for all in the Jewish community and all decent Americans to come together to honestly face the BLM organization’s threats to our safety here in the U.S. and to the Jewish homeland. For instance:
- BLM co-founder and co-leader Patrisse Cullors recently called, on behalf of BLM, for action to eliminate Israel, by urging everyone to “step up boldly and courageously to end the imperialist colonialist apartheid project called Israel.” In the same speech, Cullors falsely likened human-rights-loving Israel to South African apartheid, stating that “Palestine is our generation’s South Africa.” (“Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Calls for the Elimination of Israel” – Video, June 1, 2021)
- At the pro-Hamas, pro-Hezbollah ANSWER Coalition’s May 21, 2021 anti-Israel demonstration, BLM leaders called pro-Israel Jews “racist Zionists”; absurdly accused AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups of “oppressing” and “silencing” opponents; falsely called Israel an “apartheid state”; falsely accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” – saying “BLM says no to the ethnic cleansing of east Jerusalem”; falsely condemned Israel protecting her citizens from 4,340 Hamas rockets, saying “BLM says no to the siege of Gaza,” and saying, “BLM says no to the bombing of innocent men, women, and children in Gaza”; again falsely accused Israel of racism and apartheid, saying “BLM says no to racist nationalist rhetoric that enables an apartheid state”; promoted defunding Israel; promoted antisemitic anti-Israel BDS, saying “BLM supports the BDS movement to divest from their corporations and institutions”; said that “BLM supports the end of U.S. and western hegemony across the globe and . . . bombings across the Middle East that have only delivered the destruction and murder of millions of Arab, Muslim, Persian, black and brownpeople fighting for self-determination against white supremacy, imperialism and colonialism”; and more. (Video of BLM political director’s speech at anti-Israel demonstration on May 21, 2021, in front of sign calling Israel’s creation the “Nakba” – catastrophe.)
- On February 6, 2021, BLM leader and anti-Israel activist Marc Lamont Hill stated that BLM supports “dismantling the Zionist project” – a euphemism for destroying Israel. Lamont Hill was speaking to the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)’s BDS/Palestine Solidarity National Working Group, National Political Education Committee, the DSA Muslim Caucus, and the Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus (AFROSOC).
U.S. Jews need to unite and publicly condemn the Black Lives Matter organization and do all we can to address this dangerous threat.