Photo Credit: Twitter courtesy
There’s no shortage of hypocrisy when it comes to anti-Israel activists and the selective outrage over Israel’s actions. For as long as there’s been an Israel, there has been an obsessive focus on critiquing the state’s every move while more recently, turning a blind eye to human rights atrocities around the world, including human rights violations of Palestinians by Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
With the tragedy in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of US troops, so-called “woke” activists who previously were concerned with “joint struggles for liberation” now seem to be largely silent on the issue. These activists and groups are ignoring the crisis in Afghanistan at the hands of Taliban and instead are choosing to demonize Israel to further their own political agendas, throwing their allegiance to “intersectionality” out the window.
As the Taliban has swiftly taken control of Afghanistan, the world watches in horror as we can only forecast what the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” will mean for women, minorities, the LGBT community, and more, who are already being stripped of whatever rights they had obtained in the past 20 years. Does a shared intersectional struggle only matter when it comes to Palestinians? Do Afghani lives not matter to these activists and groups?
There are numerous anti-Israel organizations who pride themselves on intersectionality and have championed the term in their advocacy: for example, the BDS-supporting Jewish Voice for Peace which claims to be an ally of the black community against police brutality, as well as other minority groups. JVP hasn’t even tweeted once from its own account about what’s happening in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, every day they have put out anti-Israel content.
Another organization, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), has also included intersectionality in its advocacy. AMP actively takes part in Black-Palestinian solidarity initiatives – yet like JVP, AMP has been silent about the Taliban takeover.
The infamous National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP), an anti-Israel umbrella organization for Palestinian student groups on campuses across the US, has made intersectionality a core aspect of its work over the past few years on campus. It claims that “all pursuits of freedom, justice, and equality are materially connected.” But we haven’t heard anything from it on the freedom, justice or equality for Afghanis.
In 2012, Dream Defenders was established in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting to “confront systemic inequality” through community empowerment and training youth in nonviolent civil disobedience, civic engagement and direct action. Dream Defenders has also led multiple anti-Israel activities, as part of its intersectional philosophy. Yet just like the other anti-Israel groups, Dream Defenders hasn’t said a word about the Taliban’s atrocities.
As it turns out these organizations are in good company. On the day that Kabul fell to the Taliban last week, the “progressive” members of the US Congress known as the “Squad” consisting of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Cori Bush, and Ayanna Pressley hadn’t said anything (with the exception of Ilhan Omar who retweeted others criticizing the United States) about Afghanistan at all. This is especially shameful given that they used the House floor to accuse Israel of all manner of crimes against humanity during Israel’s last operation in Gaza, and drew comparisons to police brutality against the black community in the US. Once again, the concept of a shared struggle no longer matters when it doesn’t suit their political agenda.
These anti-Israel groups, and members of Congress, have made it clear that the only time they come together in a “joint struggle” is when it’s against Israel. The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan specifically for women, can only mean returning to a dark time in their history where women were erased, both literally and figuratively. Despite this looming human catastrophe, there has been no word about intersectional freedom for Afghani women, or marches and protests planned by these anti-Israel groups.
The crisis in Afghanistan is so severe that women are literally throwing their babies over the wall of the airport in hopes the US will rescue them from the Taliban. If this is not a call for freedom and liberation – what is? When it comes to these anti-Israel activists, their response to Afghanistan has made it abundantly clear that the only intersectionality that exists here is when it’s against Israel.