The Black Lives Matter movement is the most recent expression of longstanding antisemitism in the US black community that began during the era of Malcolm X, a study published on Wednesday by the INSS think tank at Tel Aviv University says.
The study, called Black Antisemitism in America: Past and Present, by University of North Texas history and Jewish studies professor Eunice G. Pollack, adds that US Jewish organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish Council for Public Affairs, downplay the extent of the BLM’s antisemitism.
One example the study cites is that following the BLM’s posted policy platform in 2016 claiming that the US is complicit “in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people” and calling for support for the BDS movement, the head of ADL, Jonathan Greenblatt, said it was only “some individuals and organizations associated with the Black Lives Matter movement [that] have engaged in antisemitic rhetoric.”
Additionally, over 600 Jewish groups signed a letter in 2020 denying the presence of antisemitism in the BLM movement that appeared in a full-page New York Times ad, with the letter stating that claims of antisemitism are utilized by “politicians and political movements in this country who build power by deliberately manufacturing fear to divide us against each other.”
The study also notes the downplaying or outright disregard of antisemitism among leading black figures such as Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, and more recent figures such as Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)