Black Lives Matter to Jews in both America and Israel. That’s why from the start, Jews have been notably active in the civil rights movement, and leaders of various social justice organizations. That’s why through Operation Moses, Israel airlifted thousands of black Ethiopian Jews to Israel to save them from Moslem oppression. Justice is color bind. That is why the symbol of justice wears a blindfold.
In a previous blog I commented on the mistake of the Black Lives Matter movement aligning themselves with the supporters of a Palestinian state that is based on the elimination of the Jewish nation – a non-two state solution. The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) preach a message of intolerance and thinly disguised hate, based on a false history. The seek to replace Israel with a nation where Jews would not be welcome. They gloss over what is to happen to the millions of Jews living there. This does a disservice to the struggle of the American black civil rights movement and the legacy of Dr. King.
In the case of the struggle for civil rights in America, and where we are right now, I continue to believe and continue to write that we need cool heads to come together with open minds, and open ears to listen to each other, and respect each other’s histories and points of view. Shouting, accusing, finger-pointing, judging, and a shutting of the ears and mind only harm chances for a better outcome. Sorting out propaganda from truth is imperative – hence the importance of a knowledge of history. Understanding each other’s current mindset and the road that brought us to it is another necessary tool for conflict resolution. None of this is present in the case of SJP. In fact, their entire approach to conflict resolution is the opposite on every point.
In honoring the decades long, unbroken line of support for the civil rights movement among the vast majority of Jewish students on college campuses across America (including campses they were once excluded from because they were not Christian), it is painful to see those outside this particular struggle successfully driving a wedge between these two natural allies. The number of examples are growing. Read here for only one of the very recent examples. My hope is that those truly interested in social justice for America’s black community will remember those who have been, and who continue to be their real friends – those with no ulterior motives.