August 5, 2016 — New York, New York
AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organization, strongly condemns the antisemitic and anti-Israel views expressed in the platform issued this week by the Movement for Black Lives (MBL).
In doing so, MBL draws a false link to -- and, in our view, disserves the worthy cause of -- addressing racial disparities in the nation’s criminal justice system.
AJC has a proud, century-long history of championing civil rights. A great deal has been achieved in our nation, even as more work awaits.
But the need to deal with the current, pressing issues is undermined by those activists seeking to hijack the movement and advocate for a platform that evinces contempt and bigotry toward Jews.
Moreover, it is a platform that describes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in terms sharply at odds with reality, and which draws totally misleading parallels between that conflict and the situation in the United States.
In asserting that U.S. support for Israel makes it "complicit in the genocide committed against the Palestinian people," and labeling Israel as "an apartheid state," the MBL libels Israel, while diluting the moral seriousness of those terms.
Further, in linking the platform to the campaign for boycott of and divestment from Israel, MBL identifies itself with a cause that, beyond undermining the effort to advance peace between Israelis and Palestinians, is fundamentally grounded in denial of the very legitimacy of the Jewish state.
The platform’s conflation of the need to address racial disparities in law enforcement with the moral and political challenges presented by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict confuses a civil rights cause with the struggle between two peoples with national aspirations, a conflict that can only be resolved by negotiation and mutual recognition between the parties.
For more than a century, the American Black and Jewish communities have worked in partnership, and often at great risk, to seek justice and equality. Sadly, the MBL platform, as it deals with Jews and Israel, is profoundly at odds with that history of shared purpose and mutually reinforcing solidarity. We look forward to moving beyond it, and to continued cooperation with dedicated partners in the African-American community.