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Black Lives Matter Endorses BDS, Says Israel Perpetuates "Genocide"

posted on: Aug 5, 2016

BY: Alexa George/Contributing Writer

On Monday, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement staged a protest in New York and its platform announced that it is endorsing the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. With over 50 black-led organizations in its network, Black Lives Matter is now advocating that Palestinians should receive the same rights as the rest of humankind.

The latest movement provides an abrasive, yet accurate, criticism of Israel. Black Lives Matter is now calling Israel an “apartheid” state; ultimately, claiming that it promotes genocide against the Palestinian people. The platform specifically addresses a section on foreign policy and the U.S aid to Israel, noting that each day, Palestinians are required to uncomfortably walk near the U.S. funded separation wall. Even more in depth, the platform criticizes the “special relationship” between the U.S. and Israel, including the amount of aid Israel receives and how it’s allocated.

A more detailed request from BLM calls for the federal government to build campaigns specifically aimed to end U.S. aid to Israel’s military, and any other government with human rights violations.

Before the recent protests, BLM has sent a number of delegations to Palestine to combat human right violations. This week, there were reports that BLM protestors joined Palestinian protests in the West Bank village of Bilin against Israeli settlement encroachment.

The recent endorsement of BDS by BLM most likely sprang from a shared struggle: a lack of accurate recognition. While African Americans have made progress throughout the years in civil rights movements, the rights of the Palestinian people have yet to be acknowledged by Israel. The endorsement legitimizes the agenda and draws attention to an important and underreported issue in today’s society. It not only helps bring attention to the mistreatment to Palestinian people, but also to the increasing abuse of African Americans by the U.S. justice system. The recently released statements also highlight the disparity between brown/black and white as a result of when unchecked authorities act negligently.

In response to the statement made by BLM, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Boston announced they would be disassociating themselves from the Black Lives Matter movement and anyone who supports it. The JCRC stated, “We are deeply dismayed by elements of this platform, specifically the co-opting and manipulation of a movement addressing concerns about racial disparities in criminal justice in the United States in order to advance a biased and false narrative about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.”

The JCRC perpetuated the viewpoint that anyone who possesses compassion for Palestinian lives is biased and wrong.

While pro-Israelis do not see the killings and false imprisonments of Palestinians as wrong, more global leaders and scholars are embracing the term “genocide” to describe the reality in Israel-Palestine. With two oppressed groups joining together, the support and attention for the cause will only spread. Since mainstream media does not report on BLM and BDS from the perspectives of the participants, it is imperative that these movements gain momentum through each other.