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Dream Defenders statement on the condemnation of Movement for Black Lives platform by some pro-Israel groups

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This statement originally appeared on the Dream Defenders website here. To learn more about the Dream Defenders visit www.dreamdefenders.org.

On Monday, the Dream Defenders along with 50 other organizations, representing hundreds of Black people across the country launched A Vision for Black Lives, an agenda that clearly defines policies, organizing tactics and resources to advance Black liberation. The platform included a call for the US government to divest from military expenditures and US aid to the State of Israel and instead, invest this war-making money towards building infrastructure to support Black and Brown communities in the US. Since our launch, some Zionist organizations have condemned the platform and have announced that they will cut all ties with the Movement for Black Live, going so far as to label some in the BLM movement anti-semitic.

Their response has made it all the more clear why we stand in solidarity with Palestine and with Black and Brown people around the world fighting for justice.

Those who have previously claimed to be allies of the Black lives matter movement have shown us that they are comfortable with our resistance so long as it fits within particular confines and restrictions. It is convenient to endorse black lives matter when it benefits you. And as long as we stay silent about Israeli apartheid, they will “stand” with Black liberation in the US. Now that our movement has taken a stand against all forms of white supremacy and oppression, Black lives no longer matter. We want no part in this quid pro quo form of politics. True solidarity does not come with strings attached.

We’ve been dealing with this type of hypocrisy with our supposed “allies” for generations. On the American left, there are many wolves in sheeps clothing. You have revealed yourselves. And now that we know who you are, we will not forget.

We remain steadfast in our condemnation of the State of Israel and their illegal occupation of the Palestinian people’s homeland no matter the consequence. Solidarity with Palestine is not a requirement, it is a choice” and is rooted in the basic understanding that the state violence we experience is directly tied to the violence facing Black and Brown communities in Palestine and around the world. While our struggles are not identical, we recognize that we are up against the same systems. What is happening in Palestine is a genocide and we will not allow anyone to bully us into sanitizing our words. In 1948, the State of Israel created a Jewish majority by destroying approximately 500 Palestinian towns and driving over 700,000 Palestinians out of their homeland.  Ethnic cleansing continues today in the form of expulsions, Jewish-only settlements, massive attacks in Gaza and across Palestine, in addition to over 50 Israeli laws that sanction discrimination and apartheid.

As Black and Brown people living in the US, the heart of global empire, we bear a particular responsibility for global liberation. It is our taxpayer dollars that are funding Israeli apartheid and a military industrial complex that is devastating entire peoples and communities throughout the world.  Having an international analysis, means we must call for the divestment of our support of Israeli apartheid and to the wars being waged in Africa, Latin America and throughout the Middle East, just like we are calling for a divestment from the policing of our neighborhoods and incarceration of our people. This is both an ideological and a strategic decision. Resources are needed to advance the Vision for Black Lives platform and there are plenty of resources to be distributed, they are just being spent on waging war against, rather than stabilizing, our peoples.This is why the Dream Defenders believe in Black and Brown solidarity and why we fight for the liberation of Palestine.

We have more work to do now than ever before. In moments like these, we must double down and fight on. Check out A Vision for Black Lives – it is full of information about potential legislative action at the local, state and federal level and campaigns to support our efforts to advance global liberation. Launch a Campaign in support of the Boycott Divest and Sanctions Movement to show the State of Israel that we do not support their oppression of the Palestinian people. If you want to see it for yourself, look to organizations who run delegations with a principled stance that would allow for a real look at the situation on the ground, not a manicured one. Read more about what Black Palestinian solidarity means and looks like here. Do not stay silent. We applaud Jewish organizations like, Jewish Voices for Peace, If Not Now and the Jews of Color Caucus  that have spoken out in this moment in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives and have called upon others to do the same.

The Dream Defenders remain committed to a world in which ALL people are free. As Black people fighting for our freedom, we are not thugs and our Palestinian brothers and sisters are not terrorists. For the children who are met with tear gas and rubber bullets as they walk home from school, for the families of those we have lost to police violence, for the communities devastated by economic violence and apartheid walls, we fight. To all those who believe in a world in which all people are free, join us. For those who no longer stand with Black people because of this belief, goodbye. We do not need nor want you in our movement.

About Dream Defenders

Dream Defenders is an uprising of communities in struggle, shifting culture through transformational organizing. The Dream Defenders develop the next generation of radical leaders to realize and exercise our independent collective power.

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32 Responses

  1. annie
    annie
    August 7, 2016, 3:07 pm

    What is happening in Palestine is a genocide and we will not allow anyone to bully us into sanitizing our words.

    awesome response!

    • Tal
      Tal
      August 11, 2016, 7:14 am

      Genocide?
      The Israeli 1967 census reported the population of the West Bank at 661,700 inhabitants. It is now at 1.715 million – i.e. almost tripled.

      Has language entirely lost its meaning?

      • Mr.T
        Mr.T
        August 11, 2016, 1:48 pm

        “The Israeli 1967 census reported the population of the West Bank at 661,700 inhabitants. It is now at 1.715 million – i.e. almost tripled.”

        What would the population have been without the evil foreign occupation?

        Genocide includes imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group if done with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.

        Given the statements of Zionists and Israelis in the past — up to and including the denial that the Palestinians exist as a people at all — there can be no question that it has been, within the policy of the Zionists and Israeli state, an intent to destroy, in whole or part, the Palestinian people. Those villains are on record desiring the land but not the Palestinian people whose land it is (or, at least to reduce the Palestinians numbers so as not to be a threat to the ethno-religious rule of the Zionists.)

        Further, many of the policies which JSIL has inflicted upon its victims has had the result of interrupting family life and, predictably, births, within the community which the Apartheid state is victimizing.

        Now, the question remains whether the latter policies were inflicted on the Palestinians specifically in order to accomplish the reduction in births and therefore Palestinian populations in the West Bank and Gaza. But if yes, then they would be acts of genocide.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 12, 2016, 3:34 am

        How about “attempted genocide”, for actions which are performed with genocidal intent, but which don’t actually succeed?

  2. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer
    August 7, 2016, 3:30 pm

    Such a great moral stand. Such courage. The racist zionists will no doubt continue their immoral attacks to defend their privilege. As will white supremacists. B9th if them partners in oppressing others.

  3. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    August 7, 2016, 8:07 pm

    Some of the Jewish supporters of BLM are vociferous opponents of the settlement enterprise and although those who condemn Israel root and branch will not accept them, i feel that whatever complaints those individuals have against this manifesto should be respected.

    Because I feel that the Trump candidacy is the primary issue at this moment, I feel that the exact way of handling this attack on Israel root and branch, can be delayed by myself for the present. I am not a leader. I would wonder how Peter Beinart would react to this.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 8, 2016, 11:48 am

      ” I feel that the exact way of handling this attack on Israel root and branch, can be delayed by myself for the present.”

      No, this can’t wait for the election.

      “Yonah” you do not have the luxury of waiting to handle “this attack on Israel root and branch”! Have you seen this? What about this?
      Get in there and start” handling this attack on Israel, root and branch”.

      Me, of course, I think think they are barking up the wrong tree at the branch office,and should turn over a new leaf. Lettuce leave now, he said crisply.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 8, 2016, 3:59 pm

        He is a feeling guy, our Mr Fredman. Says “I feel” 3 times in 6 lines of text.
        When it comes to justice, though, he’s a stone.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      August 9, 2016, 12:10 pm

      Justice delayed is justice denied.

    • Mr.T
      Mr.T
      August 9, 2016, 12:46 pm

      “Some of the Jewish supporters of BLM are vociferous opponents of the settlement enterprise and although those who condemn Israel root and branch will not accept them”

      Then those Jewish supporters should have no problem with this statement, if they are opponents of the settlement enterprise. Unless you mean that there are Jewish people who claim to be opponents of the settlement enterprise but who are unwilling to do anything at all to oppose Israel on account of it, but simply want credit for their feelings, while the Palestinian people’s lives are destroyed. Those people are craven and cowardly. Why should we give a damn what they think?

      “i feel that whatever complaints those individuals have against this manifesto should be respected.”

      Why, other than the fact that they’re Jews and you seem to think that should be enough for “respect” to be given them? If someone isn’t willing to damn Israel for what it does to the Palestinians on both sides of the green line, then they should be damned as immoral abettors of evil.

      “I feel that the Trump candidacy is the primary issue at this moment”

      Yeah, “who gives a crap about all the Palestinians whose lives are being destroyed every day, FFS, we have to worry about a guy who has next to no chance to win the Presidency!!!” Because clearly your overblown fears are more important than the actual destruction of the lives of the Palestinians.

      “I would wonder how Peter Beinart would react to this.”

      Who gives a damn what that racist reactionary bigot thinks. He’s stated he’d favor Jewish-supremacist Apartheid over democracy if the latter meant that Palestinians might have power in Palestine/Israel, which disqualifies him from mattering in the least.

    • annie
      annie
      August 9, 2016, 1:07 pm

      vociferous opponents of the settlement enterprise

      vociferousness doesn’t impress me if it’s not backed up by action. like the state department issuing condemnations while shoveling money at israel hand over fist. unwillingness to sanction with no concrete alternative to pressure israel — why should i or anyone respect this method of coercion especially after decades of ‘talks’, carrots and no sticks?

      Because I feel that the Trump candidacy is the primary issue at this moment, I feel that the exact way of handling this attack on Israel … can be delayed by myself for the present

      and after november? you’d be willing to support bds at that time? i didn’t think so.

      • Mr.T
        Mr.T
        August 9, 2016, 2:35 pm

        “King David’s Descendents Making Case to Reclaim Ownership of Temple Mount”

        Stealing someone else’s land by claiming ownership by descent from a fictional character out of religious myth… it’s a creative bit of theft justification, I’ll give them that.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        August 9, 2016, 5:19 pm

        No, not delayed until November, just delayed a few hours. I do not support BDS. I do not attack BDS as antisemitic, but I do not support it. The gap that has widened between my position and the position of Herzog for example compared to my support for Rabin, is what I study and analyze and wonder about and I wonder about the future. I do not stop reading Haaretz because a couple historians express their views and I went to hear Gideon Levy speak, maybe 6 years ago, not sure when, I agreed with everything he said, but I was “impressed” by his Israeli-ness, no real attempt to speak to anyone who does not agree with him, very Israeli compared to Beinart for example who is quite american.

        I understand that this site is dedicated to BDS and I sit on the sidelines and watch while Bibi continues to lead the country. My cause right now is Gaza. Let Israel reach a modus vivendi with Gaza, despite Hamas, because Hamas is going to be in charge for the foreseeable future and I say, negotiate a modus vivendi with Gaza as represented by Hamas. I fear that it is domestic politics which holds Bibi back rather than principle or pragmatics on the issue of Gaza.

        The political horizon vis a vis Jerusalem and the West Bank is far murkier than the clarity I have regarding Gaza.

        It is really possible to hold hands with Black Lives Matter and disagree on Zionism. I won’t be holding hands with them anytime soon. Now, if BLM wishes to refuse to hold hands with Zionists, that’s their business. I’m an old fogey and my experience is different from yours and from the young people of color at BLM and that’s just the way the world is. The lack of realism on the part of Bibi and the right wing coalition that he sits atop is rather staggering. And I can dig the impulse that you have in favor of BDS and I accept most of the rhetoric of Shmuel regarding BDS, but i am of a different generation, with a different history than yours.

        I cannot wish that the Jews never got into the territory/army business. (I have four branches of family and two were sawed off by the Nazis, one reached America and one reached Palestine. Those who oppose Zionism, in effect wish that three of the branches had been sawed off instead of only two.) It is great to imagine a world in which the Jews had remained a wondering people with portable nationality and it is a bit of a shame that martial arts became the organizing principle of Jewish nationality. But I cannot approve Zionism circa 1935 and reject Zionism circa 2016, not to the extent of BDS, I can’t. Because I approve of Zionism and disapprove of the settlement enterprise I am a spectator in comparison with those who either approve of BDS or approve of the settlements.

        The goal of BDS is for some army to take over Lod Airport and remove the Israeli soldiers from Lod Airport and put it under the UN or something. I can’t support that. I don’t support that. And if BLM cannot hold hands with people who agree with me, well, they’ll find other people to hold hands with and people who agree with me, will have to figure out a way to work for peace in America (while opposing the removal of Israeli soldiers from Lod Airport.)

      • Mr.T
        Mr.T
        August 9, 2016, 6:54 pm

        “Those who oppose Zionism, in effect wish that three of the branches had been sawed off instead of only two.”

        Yonah, go jump in a lake (as what I want to write won’t make it past the mods.)

        The alternative to “the Jews in Palestine oppress the Palestinians and create an Apartheid system” is not and has never been limited to “all the Jews get killed,” and it’s a horrible slander to suggest otherwise. You’re a moral and intellectual coward because you use that lie as a way of excusing yourself from considering all of the other alternatives because, at the end of the day, you and your black soul just don’t give a damn about all the Palestinians branches that have been sawed off in making your Apartheid state.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        August 9, 2016, 7:01 pm

        @yonah

        Your characterization of those who opposed to zionism as wishing the Nazis had done more is a lower blow than that made when zionists are called nazis. At least in the latter case a reference is made to similar beliefs and actiobs while you rely on some magical(fictional) mindreading of their desires.

        As to the lod crap Israel is here and isnt going away. Hopefuy it can learn to live with some form of decency and legailty. As with the first claim you rely on pure invented fiction.

        Go ahead and support Israel and not BDS but at least be honest about why and not pretend that you have a moral logical or principled basis for doing so.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 9, 2016, 7:06 pm

        “The goal of BDS is for some army to take over Lod Airport and remove the Israeli soldiers from Lod Airport and put it under the UN or something.”

        Somebody call 911, please. We’ve got a man who took a handful of pilpuls, and he’s hallucinating badly.
        I think “Yonah” is having a “bum voyage“. I hope he doesn’t try to take his pants off over his head.

        “and it is a bit of a shame that martial arts became the organizing principle of Jewish nationality.”

        Yeah, everybody in Israel is Kung-Fu fighting, with kicks as fast as lightening. It’s a little bit frightening!

        Gosh, I hope the EMTs get here soon.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 9, 2016, 7:26 pm

        “I have four branches of family and two were sawed off by the Nazis.”

        Wow, “Yonah” I’ve heard there was a lot of tragedy during the Nazi era for the Jews, but I never knew who it happened to.
        I guess your family was the one. I’m very sorry.

      • eljay
        eljay
        August 9, 2016, 9:19 pm

        || oldgeezer: @yonah

        Your characterization of those who opposed to zionism as wishing the Nazis had done more is a lower blow than that made when zionists are called nazis. … ||

        Like all Zio-supremacists, y.f. is a hateful and immoral hypocrite who believes that Jews are entitled to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

        His vile comment – truly a lower blow – makes him feel better about his decision to support and justify his preferred brand of evil. It helps him sleep at night.

      • annie
        annie
        August 9, 2016, 9:44 pm

        No, not delayed until November, just delayed a few hours.

        ok, it’s been a few hours. do you support bds now?

        Those who oppose Zionism, in effect wish that three of the branches had been sawed off instead of only two

        can you hold on a minute, i left my violin in the car. i hope these entertain you til i get back:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Qs-Suk42dY

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JF2z2h0LVk

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 10, 2016, 12:32 am

        Annie,

        Hurrah for Bollywood!

        (If you’ve got a dance troupe that outnumbers the Russian Army, why not make the most of it?)

        But I think what Yonah really needs is this:

      • annie
        annie
        August 10, 2016, 12:44 am

        oh heavens no! i’m sure he’d relate much more to this:

      • annie
        annie
        August 10, 2016, 12:47 am

        on second thought …

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 10, 2016, 1:45 am

        Seriously, Yonah, you seem to be coming unhinged. I think it is time for you to stop thinking about Jews, Jewishness, and anti-Semitism.

        There are so many things to do that are much more fun, much more worthwhile, much more socially valuable, and much more nourishing for your soul. For example: poring over grammar rules by candlelight, eating TimTams and drinking Chateau d’Cardboard*, ice-skating, re-reading The Great Learning (大學), or stroking a cat whose fur is warm from the sun.

        Try some of that, instead.

        (*Berri Estates Traditional Dry Red, 5l cask, 3 for A$33 when it is on special.)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 10, 2016, 4:38 pm

        “His vile comment – truly a lower blow…”

        I think we must understand “Yoinah’s” feelings.
        Is it fair that the entire horror of the Holocaust should fall on one innocent family?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 10, 2016, 7:45 pm

        “Yoinah’s” feelings.”

        And my mistake. Sorry, “Yonah”. An unintentional misspelling.

  4. Mooser
    Mooser
    August 7, 2016, 9:32 pm

    ” I feel that the exact way of handling this attack on Israel root and branch, can be delayed by myself for the present “

    Shorter “Yonah”: ‘I’m buggin’ out. I have a “problem” with those people!’

    Oh, BTW “Yonah” what is the “attack on Israel root and branch” you are referring to? Who is “attacking us root and branch”? Or do you have too much of a “problem” to say?

  5. Marnie
    Marnie
    August 7, 2016, 11:50 pm

    “Since our launch, some Zionist organizations have condemned the platform and have announced that they will cut all ties with the Movement for Black Live, going so far as to label some in the BLM movement anti-semitic. ”

    OMG, anything but that!

    They weren’t supporting you in the first place as their so called support was contingent on you knowing your place and keeping quiet about Palestine. How can anyone strive for the freedom and equality of one group, and do everything they can to undermine the freedom and equality of another? Justice for all, or justice for none. Simple. They (zionists) aren’t giving you anything. “Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it. ” Malcolm X

    “To all those who believe in a world in which all people are free, join us. For those who no longer stand with Black people because of this belief, goodbye. We do not need nor want you in our movement.” AMEN!

    I feel proud of all the men, women and children of this movement. God bless you all and continue to strengthen your resolve.

  6. inbound39
    inbound39
    August 8, 2016, 3:30 am

    Pulling up and confronting Israel cannot be delayed. It has been delayed for seventy plus years already. What Israel is doing is legally wrong,morally wrong,spiritually wrong. It is a threat to the entire World to let such a Nation as Israel have the unfettered impunity it has. They could do anything at present. Decapitate a hundred Palestinian children in the street and all the State Department would say is …..We deplore it at the deepest level and consider that this action in no way fits into the Two State policy we endorse nor does this action assist the peace process.

  7. oneangrycomic
    oneangrycomic
    August 8, 2016, 2:28 pm

    Wow! Really sucks to be a Zionist these days! What a strong partnership against hate, racism and Apartheid! BLM, BDS, JVP +++ Add to all this the fact that many of the younger generation of Jews would slap Netanyahu’s ugly puss, and my-my-my! Man, I’ve never been more optimistic!

    How long did the Berlin Wall last? ;<)

  8. Michael Lesher
    Michael Lesher
    August 10, 2016, 7:24 pm

    Amen!

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