The Black Lives Matters Movement's criticism of Israel's treatment of Palestinians and its continued occupation of Palestinian lands has challenged the legacy of support by many American Jews for the current struggles of American Americans for civil rights and social justice in our country.
Today's Jewish community leaders may be unable or unwilling to acknowledge and face some "inconvenient truths" affecting the historic coalition of mutual past support between the Jewish and African communities.
The new young generational leaders of the Black Lives Matters Movement are less concerned about the past goodwill and mutual support and participation of Jewish communities in our earlier civil rights movement. They interpret any inaction, silence or equivocation by American Jews and their organizations to the repeated shootings by police of black men as being harmful to their pleas for police to stop killing black men.. This is especially so when they occur under circumstances where lethal force should of have been the last option, not the first option, in effecting what may have otherwise been a lawful pursuit or arrest.
In those instances, where prominent American Jews or their organizations have spoken or supported non-violent protest against the repeated shootings by police of Black men, Black Lives Matters Movement leaders have publicly acknowledged their gratitude and encouragement for this support.
The new generational inconvenient truth today is that many young African American men and women see or believe that there is parallel between the way in which police in their communities treat them and the way Israel treats Palestinians. Most of these same African-American men and women do not know, accurately, and understand the Adolph Hitler Nazi regime's national State policy of genocide toward Jews. Consequently, some members of Black Lives Matters Movement published a so-called "Platform Statement" characterizing Israel's treatment of Palestinians as today's new form of "Genocide".
We too are critical of Israel's continued occupation of Palestinian lands. We also believe such occupation has involved some instances of unfair and unlawful actions by Israel toward Palestinians. However, under no circumstances do we believe such actions can rationally be characterized as Israel conducting a policy of "genocide" toward Palestinian people.
In an earlier blog, we recited parts of the new Platform by some leaders of the Black Lives Matter Movement including a quotation of that part of the Platform describing and characterizing Israel's actions as "genocide". We did this without, at that time, stating our unequivocal disagreement and disassociation with that absurdity which can only be hurtful reference to most American Jews.For this we apologize.
It was Professor Alan Derschowitz, whom I have known and respect for many years, (although, sometimes I have not agreed with him) to help me better understand the importance and need of persons who have had a history of working with the American Jewish Community to publicly speak out against this accusation of "genocide" by Israel toward Palestinians. Accordingly, we take heed of Professor Derschowitz's recommendation and join him and others who have publicly criticized this part of the Black Lives Matter statement of "Platform Principles".
In our earlier blogs on this issue, and in this blog, we again repeat: THE current challenge confronting both the African American and Jewish communities is how to we best restore the historic shared legacies of coalition between our two communities, especially on the issue of successive shootings by police of black men across our nation. Because, Black lives today, really do matter.