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Black Lives Matter’s Shameful Response to the Attacks on Israel

A Palestinian flag at a Black Lives Matter march in Cleveland, Ohio in 2020. (Adrees Latif/Reuters)

Meanwhile, the silence of companies such as Ben and Jerry’s that claim to support injustice is deafening. Clearly, when the issue of state-sponsored violence against the nation of Israel is in question, silence is an option…”

Is Black Lives Matter (BLM) a political and social movement that seeks to address racism, discrimination, and racial inequality experienced by black people in the United States (and around the world), or is it an extremist organization that makes excuses for—and even endorses—terrorism? Corporate America, nearly every institution in the West, and many Americans had believed the former in the time since the movement catapulted to the center of Western discourse during the tumultuous summer of 2020, though support for BLM has been falling ever since. Following the murder of George Floyd in May of 2020, companies such as Ben and Jerry’s rushed to lavish BLM with donations to help to advance the group’s aims. The company’s founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, for instance, put forward a four-step plan to help BLM’s goals come to fruition. Predictably, when describing step one, the company accused then-President Donald Trump of using Twitter to promote and normalize the agendas of white supremacist groups. As such, Cohen and Greenfield called upon President Trump to disavow them. Second, they demanded federal legislation to study the effects of slavery and discrimination, as well as recommend remedies. The third order of business was establishing a national task force to draft bipartisan legislation to end racial violence and increase police accountability. Fourth, the Department of Justice was to reinvigorate its Civil Rights Division as a staunch defender of the rights of black and brown people, who paid an “immeasurable price” for the ravages of white supremacy. 

All the while, for “allies” such as Ben and Jerry’s, delivering justice for all victims of state-sponsored violence was paramount, and silence was not an option. And while some of those proposals may have seemed reasonable at the time, upon closer examination, there was more going on than met the eye.

When I first visited the BLM website around this same time, I noticed that there was no information about how the group planned to combat discrimination, as well as a noticeable lack of transparency. And then, upon closer examination, many of the group’s other stated aims were either head scratching or chilling. In 2023, the situation is, unfortunately, much the same. Merion West, however, was among the first news and commentary platforms to seek to understand the organization’s true nature, the hysteria behind its rise, and the advent of the activist-corporate alliance, which was unprecedented in the history of the United States. In a prescient essay, my Merion West colleague Alexander Zubatov, for instance, bravely challenged the prevailing narrative that BLM was a force for good. At a time when cancellations and public denunciations were running amok, there were vanishingly few writers willing to take positions such as these. 

In the early morning hours of Saturday, October 7th, Hamas fired 2,200-5,000 rockets into southern and central Israel in a surprise attack. On that day, the world inched closer to World War III, and, as another Merion West colleague, Henry George, noted, “the fulcrum on which the world turns is at war again.” Most importantly, it also became clear, in the days that followed, that Black Lives Matter is an extremist, violent organization that bears many similarities to Hamas. From this point on, the corporations and individuals supporting this group are also, in effect, backing state-sponsored terrorism, with an end goal of genocide. Shortly after the attack on Israel, BLM praised Hamas and stood in solidarity with its Palestinian “family,” who is currently resisting what BLM asserts is 57 years of settler colonialism and apartheid. Although those charges are clearly incorrect, it is true that for 75 years, lasting peace between Israel and Palestine culminating in a two-state solution was a worthy and desirable goal for the greatest statesmen (and women) the world has ever known. After this attack, however, those hopes are off the table, and the true nature of all parties involved in the conflict has been revealed: Hamas brutally attacked Israeli women, kidnapping them and parading their stripped in the streets, slaughtered children, and bombed ambulances

For BLM, this is justified because “when a people have been subject to decades of apartheid and unimaginable violence, their resistance must not be condemned but understood as a desperate act of self-defense.” When Adolf Hitler implemented the Nuremberg Laws in 1935, he hoped for a new German society based on racial purity and prominently featuring anti-Semitism. This was summarily rejected by much of the rest of the world, and a devastating war was fought to prevent this madness from taking hold, but not without catastrophic loss of life, totaling in the tens of millions. It is disheartening to realize that the worst ideas conceived by evil people never die. They go into remission and are repackaged by the left-wing news media, college professors, and activist organizations like BLM to a younger audience unaware of the lessons of history—or to an older audience who seems to have forgotten them. Although it appeared that anti-Semitism was on the decline in countries such as the United States, in particular, it is now experiencing a global resurgence. BLM has contributed to this by doing as Martin Luther King has suggested, though in a different context: to “cloth an obvious wrong in the beautiful garments of righteousness” by standing in solidarity with a terrorist organization.

Meanwhile, the silence of companies such as Ben and Jerry’s that claim to support injustice is deafening. Clearly, when the issue of state-sponsored violence against the nation of Israel is in question, silence is an option for Ben and Jerry’s and the so-called champions of social justice. As terrible as this is for those innocent people in Israel and Palestine who earnestly seek peace, the resulting clarity provides value. BLM has shown itself clearly to be an extremist organization, and if corporate America continues to support this group, it is aiding and abetting terrorists hell-bent on genocide. And regardless of one’s religion (or lack thereof), he ought to immediately reject BLM and similar anti-capitalist groups inspired by a communist ideology that does not have the United States’ or the world’s best interests at heart. 

The veil has been ripped off for all to see, and even my most progressive friends and colleagues are aghast and have conveyed to me that they are sincerely reexamining their views on the political candidates they have supported, as well as the groups and causes they backed during that feverish summer of 2020. In light of current events, the six hundred Jewish organizations and synagogues that offered their unwavering support to BLM in the past have blood on their hands and should do some serious reflection. 

My prayers are with the good people of Israel and Palestine today—and every day. I have little faith that my country, the United States, can help to resolve this crisis prudently and expediently. We, in the United States, indeed bear some of the blame for allowing a cabal of left-wing lunatics to hijack Washington, D.C. and our national dialogue, bringing front and center their ridiculous ideas on open borders; on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement; and on Israel. We must give Israel, a nation that was founded following the slaughter of approximately six million Jews throughout Europe, leeway to defend itself in the days and weeks to come. I am confident that Israel will do what it, as a nation, does best: survive through great adversity.

Tony D. Senatore is a graduate of Columbia University, and, in addition to contributing periodically to Merion West, he maintains a blog at The Times of Israel

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