Leaders of the “Black Lives Matter” grassroots organization in the United States are teaming up with pro-Palestinian Authority groups to blame Israel for perceived racial issues in the country.
The trend dates back in part to a simple statement made by Reverend Graylan Scott Hagler, senior minister of the Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington DC, at a Students for Justice in Palestine gathering last November (2015) at the University of Maryland college campus in Baltimore, Maryland.
“The systems of oppression, they’re always very similar to each other,” he said. “They may be tweaked, they may be changed just a little bit, but we find out that the paradign is the same, it looks the same, it feels the same, it is the same.”
Hagler based his point on the concept of intersectionality; the ways various systems intersect and overlap. For his purposes, he described how various systems of oppression folded in various forms of discrimination interwoven between each other.
“We need to respect and honor the dignity of all people,” he told the gathering that day, according to an article by Anna Isaacs published in the March-April 2016 issue of Moment Magazine.
“Sisters and brothers, black lives matter. Palestinian lives matter.”
Pro-Palestinian Authority groups have increasingly been taking advantage of anti-police protests, especial those that turn into violent disturbances, as they sweep across the United States.
This week, they are claiming that “genocide” of African Americans is taking place as the result of the “inhuman treatment and genocide of Palestinians” by Israeli-trained American cops.
The NYU Students for Justice in Palestine organization this week posted an accusation linking Israeli counter-terror training of American police officers with the “genocide of black people in America.” The group said the Israelis are training U.S. police to use “the same murderous and racist tactics used by Israelis against Palestinians,” warning that American cops were being taught by their Israeli counterparts to “oppress” Black Americans.
In a subsequent statement on its Facebook page, the group issued a statement of clarification which, if anything, further reinforced the point.
The statement said, in part:
The IDF assists the NYPD and other American police departments in their oppression and murder of black people. These groups share a common logic that manifests in several types of oppression, white supremacist racism among them. If we in SJP and in the Palestine solidarity movement more generally are serious about ending Israeli oppression then we must stand with black americans. We need to be in the streets with them and we need to organize against police brutality. The Black struggle and the Palestinian struggle are not the same. Still, Palestinian liberation and Black liberation are linked. That is why Palestinians must be there for Black people, and Black People must be there for Palestinians. (sic) This sense of mutual responsibility has been present in our movements.
A group called the ‘Dream Defenders’ meanwhile is among the pro-Arab groups also heavily involved in trying to entangle America’s racial issues with the unrelated chaos in the Middle East. The group, associated with the grassroots Black Lives Matter organization, was founded by three young men.
One of the founders is Ahmad Abuznaid, described by CounterPunch.org by “born in East Jerusalem, Palestine” and who defines himself as a “Palestinian American social justice lawyer.”
Abuznaid, who says he is “all about justice,” moved to the U.S. when he was a year old with his parents, who both received their U.S. citizenship. The family lived in the country until Abuznaid was age seven; at that point they returned to the Palestinian Authority territories for a five-year stint.
Hana Levi Julian