Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Jewish watchdog calls out Black Lives Matter for anti-Israel tweets

A major UK Jewish watchdog has called out the UK chapter of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement for antisemitism after a series of anti-Israel tweets criticizing the planned Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank next month.
"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. FREE PALESTINE," BLM tweeted. The group tweeted several tweets on Sunday solely regarding Israel's planned annexation, which could happen as early as Tuesday, July 1.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) responded to the tweet, writing that “The Black Lives Matter movement should embrace solidarity from Jews. There have been calls for violence against us from prominent BLM supporters with no official condemnation. Now from the official UK BLM account, we hear the lie that fighting antisemitism has ‘gagged’ legitimate debate.
“Zionism is the movement for the self-determination of Jews. The right to the ‘self-determination of peoples’ is universal and enshrined in Article 1 of the UN charter. So-called ‘anti-Zionism’ exclusively denies Jews that universal right and is therefore antisemitic.
“BLM should aspire to be a movement against racism that unifies people and achieves lasting change, not a movement that spreads hatred and achieves lasting division.

“Educate yourselves. You cannot fight prejudice with prejudice.”

BLM UK also called several times for parliamentarians and governments to implement "sanctions, effective measures and an end to Israel's impunity."
The CAA compared the suggestions of BLM to previous attempts to use anti-Israel rhetoric as antisemitism. The watchdog wrote on its website: "BLM is treading a well-worn path walked by many extremists and abhorred by real civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who once told a student in Boston who had made a comment attacking ‘Zionists’: 'When people criticize ‘Zionists’ they mean ‘Jews.’ You’re talking antisemitism!'"
Over the weekend, the leadership of UK Labour also called for a ban on imported goods from settlements if Israel applies its sovereignty to parts of the West Bank as a response to the Jewish state's planned implementation of sovereignty.

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