True Solidarity does not come with Strings Attached


Darializa Avila Chevalier and Khury Petersen-Smith have gone and done it. They have called out the US Zionists for what they are – truth denying racists. Support for Black Lives Matter must not come on the condition that we all stay quiet about Palestine.

Mainstream Zionist organisations in the United States – the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Community Relations Council among others – have drawn a line in the sand when it comes to their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Naturally the line is drawn at any show of solidarity for Palestine. The publication of the Vision for Black Lives, which is concerned firstly with the objectives of the anti-racist movement, stated its unconditional solidarity with the people of Palestine who are the victims of state-sanctioned racism and oppression in their own country. Its use of the language of “Apartheid” and “genocide” brought it no shortage of criticism from a number of US Zionist groups. In an article written for Electronic Intifada Darializa Avila Chevalier and Khury Petersen-Smith had this to say:

That Zionist organizations are willing to reject the current battle for Black lives raging in the United States when its activists find common ground and solidarity with Palestinians simply reaffirms what we already knew: Zionism is racism.
– Chevalier and Petersen-Smith (19 August 2016), Black Activists owe no Apology for Charging Israel with Genocide.

Much to the credit of anti-racist activism in the United States we have arrived at a place where the N-word has suffered an almost complete damnatio memoriae, and not before time. Thanks to the powerful Zionist lobby in the United States much the same can be said of the G-word in reference to Israel’s behaviour towards Palestine. “It can’t be genocide. Genocide somehow has to involve cattle wagons and extermination centres, no?” No. Actually what Israel has been doing in Palestine since 1948 is the dictionary definition of genocide; according to the United Nations’ Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948), Article 2, genocide is:

…any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Thanks to the success of the Zionist lobby and the complete subversion of the Holocaust for the purposes of Israeli state propaganda to merely suggest that Israel meets the definition is tantamount to antisemitism. Once again the leading US Zionist organisations have employed this perversion so as to remain aligned with white supremacist power in the United States. They have shown that their commitment to solidarity against real racism is on the condition that the truth is never spoken.

They have shown that their support for our liberation is conditional; that so long as we, as Black people, remain silent or reserved in the face of ethnic cleansing, we may have a right to live free of fear and oppression.
– Chevalier and Petersen-Smith

It is good to be reminded that I am not a voice calling out in the wilderness. Black Activists owe no Apology for Charging Israel with Genocide is a tremendous read. It calls out the racism at the heart of this ideology that is incapable of acknowledging the disgraceful behaviour of the State of Israel, and it reminds us of that fundamental truth of Liberation – that we are all in chains so long as one is in chains.


Do Black Lives Matter In Israel?

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