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Palestinian anti-racist struggle against Zionism and Black anti-racist struggle against White supremacy are crucial to building a just world

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The International Jewish anti-Zionist Network strongly embraces the entire Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) platform, and we affirm its support for the Palestinian struggle and efforts to Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Israel.

In the United States and internationally, racism has been central to how power works and money flows. Both the Palestinian anti-racist struggle against Zionism and the Black anti-racist struggle against White supremacy are crucial to peoples’ efforts to build a just world. For that reason, the Black Power movement both past and present is one of our key reference points in all fights for justice. Since the 1960s, there has been a tradition of Jewish support for the Black liberation struggle. Jews were important participants in the Freedom Rides and their work to desegregate the South. In the late 1960s some of that political and financial aid disappeared as the Black Power movement became increasingly vocal in its anti-Zionism. Much of the financial contributions from Jewish donors for the revolutionaries of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee evaporated when SNCC started to speak out strongly in favor of liberation not just for Blacks but also for Palestinians.

Now, in response to the statement, we see certain elements of US Jewry, self-appointed “Jewish leaders,” again attacking and rejecting the Black anti-racist struggle for its support for Palestine.

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) has responded most strongly to the statement. It writes of the “co-opting and manipulation of a movement for addressing concerns about racial disparities in criminal justice.” First, JCRC misrepresents the movement. The M4BL’s platform speaks of “collective liberation,” and condemns “patriarchy, exploitative capitalism, militarism, and white supremacy.”

JCRC accuses the M4BL of manipulation, yet closes its eyes to the self-defined goals of the Black liberation movement. It erases the long history of Black internationalism and support for the Palestinian liberation struggle, including the Black Panthers. It also erases the history of Palestinian support for Third World liberation, and the long-standing solidarity between the struggles against South African apartheid and Israeli apartheid. So, who is doing the manipulating?

On this basis, the JCRC states, it “cannot and will not align ourselves with organizations that falsely and maliciously assert that Israel is committing ‘genocide.’” It goes on to say, “[while we] dissociate ourselves from the Black Lives Matter platform and those BLM organizations that embrace it, we recommit ourselves unequivocally to the pursuit of justice for all Americans.” With these words, it actually dissociates itself from much of the Black liberation movement. On its website, the JCRC claims that its “purpose is to define and advance the values, interests and priorities of the organized Jewish community of Greater Boston.” It seems that one of those purposes is to define and limit the scope of the Black movement in the United States. Furthermore, like so many who fear the end of racial inequalities in the United States and globally, it denies the specificity of the struggle of those who are in a daily fight for their lives and existence as a result of racism.

We reject the JCRC’s attempt to define our “values” or “interests,” or to suggest that Jews have no interest in a free Palestine. They may reject our history of revolutionary organizing, struggle with the oppressed, and being oppressed, but we do not. They do not speak for us and they do not define our interests, which lie with the liberation struggles of Blacks, Palestinians, and other oppressed people, not in setting limits to those struggles.

The statement from the JCRC, which has previously attacked Arab community organizations, is not a surprise. The Combined Jewish Philanthropies, funded by millionaires or billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Seth Klarman, is one of the JCRC’s major funders. The Klarman Foundation is invested in oil and weapons firms which profit from constant war in the Middle East, to which Israel contributes. For that reason the repression of Palestine is a major “interest” of the Klarman Foundation and those, like the JCRC, whom it supports.

The cover of the IJAN report "The Business of Backlash"

The cover of the IJAN report “The Business of Backlash”

The Klarman Foundation, in addition to its charitable support for the JCRC, supports “People-Centered Economic Development,” which seeks to destroy the state welfare system and replace it with private business. This is a racist agenda which disproportionately hurts poor Black communities, and is part of a broader economic war on Black people.

The connection between the struggle in Palestine against the Israeli military and state and the struggle against anti-Black and other racism in the United States is not just one of solidarity. Local, state, and national police forces and surveillance agencies contract with Israeli military personnel, and security and weapon firms, to provide “anti-terrorist” (aka: anti-movement repression) and population control training. Zionist organizations like the Anti-Defamation League – which claim to be Jewish organizations – bring local police forces to Israel to train with the Israeli military. And Israel and the United States buy and sell weapons and security technology to further each countries’ historic and current racist policing and attacks on Black, Brown, and Palestinian/Arab communities.

(Photo: IJAN)

(Photo: IJAN)

For that reason, IJAN has partnered with Palestinian and Arab, Black liberation, immigrant justice, indigenous, and anti-policing and anti-prison organizations to kick out the policing and paramilitary expo, Urban Shield, from the San Francisco Bay Area. We have also participated in campaigns against G4S, a multinational corporation specializing in private prison and security services. We work to expose and stop these collaborations between the United States and Israeli governments, corporations, and non-profits facilitating brutal repression and slow-motion genocide and ethnic cleansing.

As Dream Defenders writes, “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.” We could not agree more, and stand fully by the struggle of Black people for their lives, and for justice and freedom.

The statement appears on the International Jewish anti-Zionist Network website here

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23 Responses

  1. gamal
    gamal
    August 16, 2016, 2:21 pm

    should like to ‘second’ all of that if I may and International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, the name alone connotes your wit and brazen courage.

    bravo, bravissimo

    • mcohen.
      mcohen.
      August 17, 2016, 8:00 am

      Gamal says “bravo”

      For once I have to agree with you.unbelievable…..like mushrooms sprouting after the summer rains.not that I mind.i like mushrooms.

  2. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    August 16, 2016, 4:29 pm

    Great statement, well made. We cannot have social justice without justice for all.

    All means all. Ask people who pretend to seek justice for all what part of “all” they don’t understand.

    • silamcuz
      silamcuz
      August 16, 2016, 9:57 pm

      We cannot have social justice without justice for all

      Well said. It’s time people realize that we can’t look at this struggle against Anti-Zionism as merely a political engagement with a distasteful foreign country. This is much more than that, this is a fight for justice beyond the scope of petty politics and ideological games.

      Zionism has always been a offshoot of global white supremacy, that has established its base on Palestine, not unlike how the USA and Canada established white supremacy on North America/Turtle Island and how NZ and Australia established white supremacy in Oceania. If you don’t acknowledge this, then you need to check why your in this field of activism in the first place.

      The fight against Zionism is merely a small battle in the greater war humanity had valiantly fought against white supremacy all across the world. Starting from the first crusade to colonialism to neocolonialism and imperialism to the current capitalist Westphalian nation-state system of divide and rule by the white powers, humanity never yielded to its evil intentions and have always fought back. Despite the innumerable lives lost and ways of lives destroyed, humanity is winning this war.

      So to white people out there, be that in Tel Aviv, California, London, Sydney or Toronto, you need to make a choice. Are you in the side of humanity or are you in the side of your pride and arrogance?

  3. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    August 17, 2016, 12:21 am

    RE: “Zionist organizations like the Anti-Defamation League – which claim to be Jewish organizations – bring local police forces to Israel to train with the Israeli military. And Israel and the United States buy and sell weapons and security technology to further each countries’ historic and current racist policing and attacks on Black, Brown, and Palestinian/Arab communities.” ~ International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

    MY BRILLIANT PROPOSAL (IF I DO SAY SO MYSELF): Instead of flying all those U.S. police over to Israel, why don’t we give Israel the under-utilized Camp David. Israel can then train U.S. police at Israel’s new Camp David outpost, and save all the jet fuel (and resulting pollution) associated with flying all those U.S. policemen halfway around the world to be trained in Israel.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      August 17, 2016, 12:57 am

      Not so brilliant, JLD. What kind of hands-on training could the cops get in a place like Camp David?
      Your proposal would become pure genius, though, if the instructors were flown to the cops’ favorite hunting grounds, like, say, Ferguson or Oakland or Chicago etc., where there is plenty of demonstration material, with a more than sufficient population of lesser-race Palestin… pardon Blacks.

      Think of it, they are probably already doing that. They’d be stupid not to. After all, most of those Israelian pigs must be US citizens.

  4. Marco
    Marco
    August 17, 2016, 12:23 am

    “Palestinian anti-racist struggle against Zionism and Black anti-racist struggle against White supremacy are crucial to building a just world”

    Notice the incongruity here. On the one hand, BLM and their allies are engaged in a battle against White supremacy. On the other hand, Palestinian anti-racists are resisting Zionism. The fair comparison would be between a Palestinian anti-racist struggle against Jewish supremacy and a black anti-racist struggle against White supremacy. Meanwhile, the article doesn’t mince words in describing specifically Jewish support historically for civil rights for African Americans.

    You can’t credibly claim credit as a group for your contributions to society and then recoil from accepting blame for the harms you’ve inflicted.

    • silamcuz
      silamcuz
      August 17, 2016, 9:11 pm

      Marco

      Notice the incongruity here. On the one hand, BLM and their allies are engaged in a battle against White supremacy. On the other hand, Palestinian anti-racists are resisting Zionism

      No incongruity here at all. Zionism is White Supremacy.

  5. Marnie
    Marnie
    August 17, 2016, 12:44 am

    @pabelmont

    That’s it, straightforward, to the point and what’s right.

  6. yourstruly
    yourstruly
    August 17, 2016, 3:25 am

    Many if not most people who have felt the sting of discrimination, be it based on race, ethnicity, religion, sex, age or class, come to understand that until the last chain is broken none of us will be free. This explains how it is that there are Africans supporting Palestinian liberation., Palestinians supporting African liberation and Jews supporting both liberation movements as well as their own liberation, if by that one means freeing an individual from the moral dilemma that Zionism inflicts on its adherents. A dilemma that precludes the Zionist Jew from identifying with the plight of the Palestinian. – “But how can one identify with an inferior human being?” By discarding, if but for a moment, that facade of superiority and imagining instead what being a Palestinian in Gaza would be like., thereby allowing previously forbidden connections between two peoples to take shape. Once seriously undertaken, moral dilemma resolved. Simple as that!

  7. Boo
    Boo
    August 17, 2016, 5:10 pm

    “On this basis, the JCRC states, it ‘cannot and will not align ourselves with organizations that falsely and maliciously assert that Israel is committing ‘genocide’.”

    JCRC. you say that as if you expect someone to care. Go ahead, take your dreidel and go on home.

    Although my preferred term isn’t ‘genocide’ but rather ‘slowlocaust’.

  8. Scott
    Scott
    August 18, 2016, 7:09 am

    OK. But can we please acknowledge that if Palestinians had the same legal rights, opportunities, (not to mention affirmative action benefits) as African-Americans, their life would be comparatively paradise?

  9. MRW
    MRW
    August 18, 2016, 1:59 pm

    I don’t buy this bullshit statement: “Black anti-racist struggle against White supremacy are crucial to building a just world.”

    That’s a ridick postulate I don’t have the time or energy to explain. But White Supremacy is not the problem. It’s a tired 20th C argument that succumbs to their jailers, like the current “white privilege” horseshit.

    I fault the popular now-maudlin American creation myth for Blacks. They weren’t slaves. They were an enslaved people. They were brought over in chains. Formerly free people with a history and with magnificent pre-1500 AD accomplishments that drown any in the the entire history of the world, given the 700-800 years they did it in . . .if you bothered to read. (But you would have to read early 20th C accounts. Fat chance.)

    Why do you think Blacks were denied the right to learn how to read and write for their first 400 years in this country?

    Because they might discover who they were. And what they contributed to the history of mankind, now lost, now claimed (stolen) as white Christian European history.

    Whatever. Black Muslim Africans created European culture, and that is too much for 99% of Americans to bear hearing.

  10. Atlantaiconoclast
    Atlantaiconoclast
    August 19, 2016, 12:01 am

    I have noticed that a number of my responses here are not being published. Yet you regularly post Hophmi’s responses. Why are you so threatened by my pointing out the double standard of discussing White supremacism, but never Jewish supremacism?

    Good luck ending the Israeli occupation by ignoring reality. You will need it. I also find it odd that you are obsessed with BLM but not so interested in the lawsuit being brought to stop aid to Israel. It is as if you guys only support actions that will never change a damn thing for the Palestinian people.

    • silamcuz
      silamcuz
      August 19, 2016, 9:24 am

      Because Jewish supremacism is not a thing, end of story.

      • annie
        annie
        August 19, 2016, 11:18 am

        and jewish ethnocentrism — is that also something you don’t recognize? when you say Jewish supremacism is not a thing do you also mean you do not recognize any of the authority of the jewish state’s occupation over palestine as being jewish? or do you not recognize it as supremacism?

        and while i don’t think colonialism, regardless of where it’s taking place, as ‘jewish’, i do recognize many of the people administrating it in palestine are doing it because they think they have a right to the land due to their jewishness.

      • silamcuz
        silamcuz
        August 19, 2016, 11:54 am

        I am unsure what constitutes as Jewish ethnocentrism, though I doubt it is an actual thing. Jews come from various different ethnicities, not just globally but even locally in countries with large Jewish populations. Not sure how ethnocentrism would work when Iranian Jews will have one view of other cultures, while Polish Jews will have another. And I’m certain no Arab Jew would view his own culture in equal contempt as an Ashkenazi possibly would.

        I do acknowledge that within the framework of Zionism, there might be something akin to Jewish ethnocentrism but I simply think it is just a form of Orientalism since it consistently derides Eastern cultural practices and beliefs, while praising European ideals and way of life. This despite the fact Jews existed in large numbers on both sides.

      • MRW
        MRW
        August 20, 2016, 3:12 am

        silamcuz,

        Weasel answer. You didn’t answer Annie’s questions.

      • silamcuz
        silamcuz
        August 20, 2016, 9:41 am

        MRW,

        At the risk of being too blunt, you have to a special kind of stupid to believe that the Israel’s existence is about establishing a Jewish authority over Palestine, especially today in 2016 where we have unparalleled access to information on all aspect of the conflict.

        Israel is a racist, European settler-colonialism project founded on secular ideals by people with zero affinity to the greater Jewish ethno-religious identity. All settler-colonial projects require some sort of myth to legitimize their often illegal foundation. In Israel’s case, the myth is setting up a Jewish homeland.

        It’s a deliberate lie, like Trickle Down economics, or the American Dream, or Thanksgiving, that we should know way better than to even entertain let alone ponder on its legitimacy.

      • annie
        annie
        August 20, 2016, 11:03 am

        I doubt it is an actual thing.

        Who are you again? Why do you need to get it?

        divert divert divert. supremacy is not merely a matter of the will of the oppressor, it is something in the mind of people who yield, submit or defer to that authority. this is one reason the accusation of anti semitism is used so liberally by supporters of israel, because people are programmed/manipulated to fear being accused of being an anti semite. and yet when a jew does it to another jew people defer and don’t call it out for what it is. it’s why a person like Leibovitz can suggest another jew is “monstrous vermin” — because the reader will mentally defer and not call him out for it as they would a non jew. you can’t will that kind of reality away by saying “end of story”. not when we’re programmed as a society to defer or yield to jewish judgement on certain matters of import.

        Not sure how ethnocentrism would work when Iranian Jews will have one view of other cultures, while Polish Jews will have another.

        you not understanding how something works doesn’t mean it not a “thing”, nor does it mean it follows some kind of uniformity. every individual perceives their culture individually anyway.

        you have to a special kind of stupid to believe that the Israel’s existence is about establishing a Jewish authority over Palestine

        nothing to see here folks, moving right along. divert divert divert.

      • silamcuz
        silamcuz
        August 21, 2016, 1:15 am

        Annie,

        So it’s obvious to you that there are multitudes of Jews with varying degree of opinion towards the state of Israel, some fervent in support of it (these are almost always white males) and likewise, some fervently opposed to it. A vast majority of young Jews in America hold negative views of Israel and the number is only growing by each day.

        The shift in Jewish attitudes towards Israel is a clear indicator that Israel does not represent Jewish identity nor does it honor it. It never has.

        Why is so hard for you to accept that the Jewish part of Israel was merely a smokescreen, to cloak the true nature of the country as an Eurocentric, white-supremacist settler-colonial regime in the Middle East?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 22, 2016, 4:13 pm

        “Why are you so threatened by my pointing out the double standard of discussing White supremacism”

        Don’t worry “Atlantaiconoclast”, I’m with you! And I agree, the Zionists are just as entitled to Jewish supremacism as you are to white supremacism!

        Remember, “Atlanta”, every blow struck for white supremacism is a blow for Zionism, and vice versa.

  11. MRW
    MRW
    August 20, 2016, 12:35 pm

    At the risk of being too blunt, you have to a special kind of stupid to believe that the Israel’s existence is about establishing a Jewish authority over Palestine

    I’d have to be a special kind of stupid to believe otherwise. Then what the fuck are you doing to Palestinians?

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