Tag Archives: BLM

If It’s Not Genocide, What Word Should We Use? By Dorothy Zellner on Jewish Currents

Please TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW and send your letter to the UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the International Criminal Court Prosecutor.

Some of your readers may know that the Black community has had a long and tormented relationship with this word, “genocide.” In 1946, a year after the end of World War II, the National Negro Congress petitioned the United Nations for help in dealing with systemic racial discrimination in the U.S.  The NAACP followed suit in 1947, with its “Appeal to the World,” similarly urging redress, written by Dr. W. E. B. DuBois and two other Black scholars and lawyers. The UN did not respond.

… In 1951, Paul Robeson and William L. Patterson, head of the Civil Rights Congress, presented the 100-page, flawlessly documented petition, “We Charge Genocide,” to the UN, seeking justice for African Americans using the convention it had so recently approved (as pictured at the top of this article)…

… It should come as no surprise that the Movement for Black Lives would choose to apply this particular word, since it has lived in the DNA of the Black community for nearly sixty-six years… Now to the merits of the case. Can the word be used by Black people to describe themselves?  Can the word be used by Black people to describe others? Is the word accurate?

… To sum up: Echoing Dr. James, if the situation of the Palestinians under Israeli control is not genocide, what is it? We have to begin having some serious conversations, everybody.


Continue reading at http://jewishcurrents.org/if-its-not-genocide-what-word-should-we-use/

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Black-Jewish Relations Intensified And Tested By Current Political Climate by Akinyi Ochieng on NPR

Please TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW and send your letter to the UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the International Criminal Court Prosecutor.

Today, Israel continues to be a flashpoint of conflict between blacks and Jews. In August 2016, the Movement for Black Lives, a national umbrella organization encompassing over 50 organizations, released a policy platform titled “A Vision for Black Lives.” The document, which touches on issues including criminal justice and education reform, also includes a statement on Israel and Palestine:

“The US justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people… Israel is an apartheid state with over 50 laws on the books that sanction discrimination against the Palestinian people.”

Although this position occupies only a bullet point in a brief section of the document, its inclusion has been the source of significant backlash from conservative and progressive Jewish groups alike.

Continue reading at http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/04/23/494790016/black-jewish-relations-intensified-and-tested-by-current-political-climate

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Letter: Counter argument by Peter Shanley on Jamaica Plain Gazette

Please TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW and send your letter to the UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the International Criminal Court Prosecutor.

In the Oct. 28 Jamaica Plain Gazette, Allen Spivack attacks the movement for Black Lives Matter statement for containing “virulently anti-Semitic language.” Apparently, he is referring to the terms “apartheid” and “genocide” used to describe Israeli policy and practice toward Palestinians. These terms have been used by many, including Palestinians, Israelis, and Jews to indict Israeli actions towards Palestinians… Spivack has decided that because he disagrees with the use of certain words, he is now liberated from supporting the basic anti-racist statement, “Black Lives Matter.” He will not enter a religious institution that displays this sentiment. He is essentially placing himself in the company of those who refuse to recognize the unique and horrendous experience that people of color have had and continue to have in this country. If he can call those who object to Israeli policy towards Palestinians “virulently anti-Semitic,” then I call him and his supporters “virulently racist.”

Continue reading at http://jamaicaplaingazette.com/2016/11/11/counter-argument/

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#BlackLivesMatter and the Question of Genocide in Palestine by Katherine Franke

Click to TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW and join over 4000 people from around the world who have already sent a letter to the UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the International Criminal Court Prosecutor.

Zionist critics of the Platform portrayed the use of the term “genocide” as somehow out of bounds, leaving the impression that M4BL had crossed a line in raising concerns about the human rights record of the state of Israel in such harsh terms. They labeled the Platform and its supporters anti-Semitic on account of the supposedly jaw-dropping audacity of the Platform’s authors to use the “g” word with respect to Israel. The intensity of the outrage directed at the M4BL Platform’s assertion that the treatment of Palestinians by Israel could be described as “a genocide” leaves the impression that this kind of charge had never been leveled before, or that no reasonable person (and thus only an anti-Semite) could frame Israel’s policies this way.

Continue reading at http://nakbafiles.org/2016/11/01/blacklivesmatter-and-the-question-of-genocide-in-palestine/

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Annie Baker, Kathleen Chalfant, Tonya Pinkins Sign Black Lives Matter Protest Letter by Playbill

Please TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW and send your letter to the UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the International Criminal Court Prosecutor.

“Opposition to Israeli government policies is not anti-semitism, and the conflation of those two things has terrible consequences,” Tony nominee Kathleen Chalfant said in a statement. “It impedes, perhaps fatally, the search for just and humane solutions in Israel/Palestine and is now interfering in the search for social justice here in America. We have a moral obligation to stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and the Palestinian rights movement in their struggle for freedom, justice and equality.”

In addition to Chalfant and Pinkins, signees include Justin Vivian Bond, Wallace Shawn, Alice Walker, Naomi Wallace, Annie Baker and Sarah Ruhl.

The letter reads:

We, the undersigned, are deeply disturbed and disappointed by Feinstein’s/54 Below’s decision to cancel a scheduled benefit concert for Black Lives Matter. This decision, ostensibly due to “a recent addition to the BLM platform that accuses Israel of genocide and endorses a range of boycott and sanction actions,” both undermines the visionary leadership of the Movement for Black Lives and contributes to the institutionalized silencing of advocates for Palestinian human rights.

Continue reading at http://www.playbill.com/article/annie-baker-kathleen-chalfant-tonya-pinkins-sign-black-lives-matter-protest-letter

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We’re Jewish Student Activists and We Don’t Need To Be Protected From BDS by Julia Berkman-Hill and Joshua Leifer

Please TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW and send your letter to the UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the International Criminal Court Prosecutor.

Kogen also makes the argument that Jews should put support for Israel before support for groups that are critical of Israel, most notably Black Lives Matter. But we cannot shirk our obligation to fight for racial justice because of objections to the words “genocide” and “apartheid.” Though we should have a conversation about those words, we must demonstrate our commitment to black and brown lives, Jewish or not. Arguing that Jews should inherently choose Israel over other issues, such as racial justice, erases the lived experience of black Jews for whom supporting and participating in Black Lives Matter is a matter of survival.

What’s more, we will not be able to participate in social justice work with our full selves until we address the injustice that our own community perpetuates. If we are silent, or perceived as silent, about the time and money our community spends justifying the destruction of Palestinian lives, why should anyone take us seriously when we say black lives matter?

Continue reading at http://forward.com/opinion/349628/were-jewish-student-activists-and-we-dont-need-to-be-protected-from-bds/

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Beyond Apartheid and Genocide—Justice for BLM and Palestine by Noura Khouri

Please TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW and send your letter to the UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the International Criminal Court Prosecutor.

The irony should not be lost on us that the same people opposed to the use of “genocide” and “apartheid” are the same people justifying, therefore perpetuating and complicit in, the crimes in Palestine.

Similarly in the U.S., police are not held accountable and their supporters are in deep denial of the state violence and countless crimes against Black people taking place in their name. All those making justifications and denunciations, who are outraged—not at the violence itself—but at those like Colin Kaepernick and others that choose to no longer stand for symbols of this centuries-old and ongoing oppression, are too directly complicit.

When generalities are made, distinctions are muddled, and even those with the best intentions are left to interpret meanings or are completely confused by the insidious details of the system at work.

Continue reading at http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Beyond-Apartheid-and-GenocideJustice-for-BLM-and-Palestine-20160904-0015.html

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‘Israel Genocide?’ Support Statement for the Movement For Black Lives

“Israel Genocide?” is joining the growing chorus of support [1,2,3,4,5,6,7] for the Movement For Black Lives (M4BL) and its inspiring Policy Platform

M4BL has been under fire for a section in the platform that addresses US billions of dollars military funding to Israel, in which it charged Israel with the crime of genocide against the Palestinian people. Not only do we support M4BL’s inspiring vision of social justice, but we also support their use of the term ‘genocide’.

The Crime of Genocide is defined in the declaration made by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 96 (I) dated 11 December 1946:

Article 1

The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.

Article 2

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article 3

The following acts shall be punishable:

(a) Genocide;

(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;

(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;

(d) Attempt to commit genocide;

(e) Complicity in genocide.

Article 4

Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.

We are people from all around the world who fear that we are witnessing the genocide of the Palestinian people by the State of Israel. We watch in horror as Israel’s daily violations of Palestinian human rights are systematised in practice, law, and social acceptance: Military take-over of land, house demolitions, colony construction, economic strangulation, restriction of movement, restrictions on basic foodstuff, mass arbitrary arrests of both adults and children, torture, extra judicial executions, large-scale massacres of whole families, and openly calling for genocide and extermination by law makers and other public figures, to name some.

Our aim is to raise awareness on the matter of Israel in the context of genocide, by archiving studies about the issue, and statements like those of M4BL. We hope that in identifying the crime of genocide as it is being committed and publicising our assesment, we will embolden those entrusted with collection of information and analysis- the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide- and those entrusted with indictment and enforcement- the International Criminal Court- to take action against the “crime of crimes”- Genocide.

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Black activists slam Israel lobby attack on Movement for Black Lives by Rania Khalek

Please TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW and send your letter to the UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the International Criminal Court Prosecutor.

In a section titled “Invest/Divest,” the MBL platform accuses the US of complicity “in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people,” refers to Israel as “an apartheid state” and calls for ending US military and financial aid to Israel, arguing that it “diverts much needed funding from domestic education and social programs” in the US.

The backlash from pro-Israel groups and media outlets was swift, with the most scathing coming from the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) in Boston, a member of a national network of communal organizations that lobby for Israel, including by supporting anti-BDS laws in state legislatures around the country… “JCRC cannot and will not align ourselves with organizations that falsely and maliciously assert that Israel is committing ‘genocide,’” the group said in a statement published two days after the MBL platform’s release.

… Such dismissiveness and condescension ignores the growing chorus of scholars, including University of Exeter historian Ilan Pappe and the late Michael Ratner, long-time president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who have argued that Israel’s conduct towards Palestinians since 1948 constitutes a systematic process of “incremental genocide” as defined by international law.

Continue reading at https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/black-activists-slam-israel-lobby-attack-movement-black-lives

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