A group from the “Black Lives Matter” movement in the US came to “Palestine” to show their solidarity with their Palestinian sisters. Here are excerpts from the article in The Jerusalem Post (http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Making-Palestinians-matter-463288) describing their visit: “Making Palestinians ‘matter’”
Two years ago, rockets were flying to and from Gaza as the IDF and Hamas engaged in a war. And an ocean away, the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked a series of protests – both violent and peaceful – across the city, against the backdrop of excessive use of force and police brutality against the African- American community.
As the war in Gaza raged and the streets of Ferguson burned, two movements – Black Lives Matter and the movement for Palestinian liberation – converged in a passionate fight against oppression. Posters emblazoned with phrases such as “From Ferguson to Palestine” were waved at both BLM and pro-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions protests.
For BLM, the Palestinian people are brothers (and sisters) in arms against a force that has done nothing but subjugate and oppress people of color, according to one of its leaders, Ash-Lee Henderson. …………………………………
“I don’t think anyone’s arguing that everyone should be packaged up and moved away. I think what we’re saying is there needs to be a democratic process where Palestinians’ needs are centered, because they’re the ones that are under attack,” she said.
“I don’t think we can accept that for Zionism just because we know the long history and struggle of Jewish people. We need to recognize that if the Jewish people want to be free, then they need to free themselves from Zionism, too,” said Ahmad Abuznaid, an activist affiliated with Dream Defenders, a grassroots advocacy group for people of color.
The east Jerusalem-born Abuznaid, who now lives in Miami, accused some Israelis of “continuing Hitler’s work,” a statement from which neither Matthews nor Henderson distanced themselves during our conversation.
“We’re looking to struggle with those left-leaning Jews that understand that in order for us to all be liberated… we need to be real about the issue. And settler colonialism is wrong, no matter who’s doing it,” he added.
BLM actively encourages the BDS movement, from which it sees implications for its own work in the US.
“We hope to take some of the same strategies and implement them in the United States,” Matthews said.
“We work off the black radical tradition and we work intergenerationally, and it’s like civil rights activists and organizers of civil rights past,” said Henderson, who’s been involved in an array of humanitarian causes. “They advise us, they support us, they heal us, they check us when we’re wrong.”
Right or wrong, these activists are determined to bring their brand of social justice to America and beyond.
Here is my response: I was struck by the utter inconsistency in the arguments of the “Black Lives Matter” group in their foray into Israeli-Palestinian politics (Making Palestinians ‘matter’, Post, Aug. 5). They are described as a “female-led social justice movement aimed at putting an end to police brutality and enforcing protection for the LGBT community.” Do they not realize that women and LGBT people have full human rights in Israel, while they have no human rights throughout the Arab/Muslim world, including so-called Palestine.
Do they not realize that Muslim homosexuals are being murdered in such places as Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Islamic State, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere and that Palestinian homosexuals escape to Israel to save their lives? They should participate in a LGBT parade in one of Israel’s major cities, but could never find such a parade anywhere throughout the Muslim Middle East.
And what about the treatment of women, do they not realize that women in Palestinian society and throughout the Muslim Middle East where Sharia law is practiced are considered as chattel. In Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to drive and cannot go out without a male escort and wives can be divorced on a whim and they have no legal protection. Also, female genital mutilation is endemic in some Muslim societies.
They claim to be for human rights, but fail to see that there are none in the Palestinian areas where both Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank murder each other’s adherents without due process and without mercy. This is real “police brutality.” By comparison Israel is a haven of human rights and independent courts. Their views are so far from reality that they are blinded by their politically correct bias, which apparently concludes that “Israeli lives don’t matter.”