The BDS and The Palestinians’ Alliance with BLM

By ACD
Tuesday, August 18th, 2020 @ 3:03PM

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 Black Lives Matter, Israel & Intersectionality 

Since the founding of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in 2013, the delegitimization (DLG) network against Israel and its activists have embarked on a propaganda campaign that draws parallels between police violence in the US against African Americans and violence against Palestinians by the Israel Police and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). This fictitious parallel is part of a strategic attempt by the delegitimization network to entrench itself and the BDS movement as a focal point of the progressive movement.

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Carlos Latuff, Instagram, published 06/02/2020

Intersectionality posits that no form of discrimination is distinct from another. This includes discrimination that emanates from capitalism, white supremacy, government, prison and justice systems, the police force, colonialism, gender hetero-normativity, and other institutionalized norms.

After the killing of George Floyd, DLG activists immediately began drawing comparisons with what they describe as systematic and deadly Israeli brutality against Palestinians. The comparisons were given further impetus in the wake of the May 30th killing of Iyad Halak, an autistic Palestinian from East Jerusalem, by Israeli police in Jerusalem’s Old City. 

The image below, typifying the campaign, depicts a photoshopped image of George Floyd on the West Bank security barrier. 

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Ahmed Eldin, Instagram, deleted post, published 06/02/2020

A doctored image shared across social media and news platforms as “fake news” about a nonexistent new mural on the West Bank Separation Barrier tying George Floyd’s murder to Palestinian causes.

As seen in the following screenshots, Intersectionality not only seeks to absorb all minority issues under the same umbrella, but it also seeks to depict the US and Israel as one and the same, going so far as even changing the colors of the American flag to match those of the Israeli flag. 

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Translation: The lives of blacks are important. the lives of the Palestinians are important to George Floyd. Iyad Halak, no to the American Zionist racial strangulation. Stop that same shit #BLM #PalestinianLivesMatter 

German DLG website Das Palästina Portal published an article titled “Gaza is everywhere! What the current unrest and protest in the US has to do with Israel” which argues that police brutality can be attributed to an “ongoing Israelization of the world.” The following image was included in the article: 

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DLG Activity & Calls for Intifada 

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Several DLG groups have applied violent terms such as “Intifada” (Arabic for uprising) to the current eruption of protests in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. The term Intifada was the name given to the first and second Palestinian violent riots in the late 1980s and early 2000s, which witnessed daily terror attacks, including, inter alia, suicide bombings, stabbings and shootings against Israeli civilians, claiming thousands of lives. By describing the current wave of protests as a “black intifada”, the DLG statements may constitute incitement to violence and terror. 

Samidoun, a global DLG organization with close ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a US-designated terror organization, released a statement titled “From Gaza to Minneapolis, one struggle for justice and liberation! #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd” in which it called the protests an “intifada.” The statement declared: “We support the uprising in Minneapolis, the intifada of people subjected to an ongoing, vicious and structural racism, inheriting a lengthy and rich tradition of Black resistance, organizing and struggle.”

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DLG Activity & Terror Connection

On June 2, the PFLP published a statement in Arabic in solidarity with protestors, stating, “it is not surprising for a country like the United States, which has a strategic alliance with the Zionist entity [Israel], to intersect with it in the discrimination, racism, and repression that embodies its treatment of Palestinians.” 

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Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, PFLP.ps, published 06/02/2020 
Translation: The PFLP expresses its solidarity with the American people against racism 

Amin Abou Rashed, a DLG leader who was designated in 2013 by the Israeli Justice Ministry as part of Hamas in Europe and head of Palestinian Community in the Netherlands (PGNL), attended a Rotterdam protest, holding a sign featuring images of Floyd and Halak with the text “different countries, same injustice.” 

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Amin Abou Rashed, Facebook, published 06/03/2020

Deadly Exchange Campaign & George Floyd’s Death 

Since 2017, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and other DLG groups have participated in a campaign known as “Deadly Exchange.” The campaign accuses Israel of exporting police brutality to United States law enforcement via educational trips to Israel and domestic conferences with Israeli partners. 

Since George Floyd’s death, DLG activists have used the same campaign rhetoric claiming that Israel participates in a “deadly exchange” of skills and technology with Minnesota police – a claim which is often made without supporting evidence. According to DLG groups, therefore, Israel bears partial responsibility for Floyd’s death and other cases of police violence against black Americans. 

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The only evidence of Israel-Minnesota police cooperation is a June 2012 half-day counter-terrorism training conference sponsored by the Israeli consulate in Chicago, the FBI, and Minnetonka police. The conference was attended by no more than 100 officers from across the state. 

However, the MPR News article on the 2012 conference has been cited by Electronic Intifada journalist Nora Barrows Friedman and journalist Max Blumenthal as evidence of Israeli influence on Minneapolis police. EI journalist Asa Winstanley tweeted that pro-Israel journalist David Collier was a “Zionist anti-Semite” for refuting their claims. 

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Referencing “intersectionalism,” the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) tweeted that “over 100 police in the state of Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed, attended trainings with Israeli forces.” 

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Fordham SJP also claimed in a May 27th Instagram story that, “we see the same tactics” because Minneapolis police participated in the [2012] training. 

Al-Awda retweeted a tweet by its founder Abbas Hamideh containing the unverified claim that Minneapolis police are trained by the IDF. 

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Additional Examples of DLG Activity 

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Florida State University (FSU) posted on its Facebook the hashtag #DefundThePolice, while calling for a number of actions to be taken in defense of black lives and against the police.(see below)

Gazan Great March of Return (GRM) organizer Ahmed Abu Artema wrote an op-ed in The Electronic Intifada titled “From Minneapolis to Palestine, racism is a common enemy.”(see below) 

BDS umbrella group BDS National Committee (BNC) released a statement stating, “As long as this system of oppression continues, it is up to our grassroots movements to work collectively and intersectionally to dismantle it, from the US to Palestine.”(see below)

BDS US group Adalah Justice Project linked white supremacy and Zionism, accusing them of being “underpinned by anti-Blackness.”

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Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) posted a live Facebook video from a May 31st San Diego demonstration. PYM has publicly praised the “intifada” and Palestinian terrorists. 

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US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), which has founders and leaders connected to terror, sent a delegation to the Chicago protests.

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Several DLG groups posted images drawing parallels between the US and Israeli police violence, or specifically between the Halak and Floyd killings.

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Hashtag Analysis: #PalestinianLivesMatter

The hashtag #PalestinianLivesMatter, inspired by #BlackLivesMatter, has been employed by DLG activists on Twitter since at least 2015. 

This hashtag’s popularity surged following the killing of George Floyd as BLM protests gained momentum in the US. Many DLG activists campaigned to highlight intersectional parallels between African American and Palestinian causes, once again reviving this hashtag. 

Usage of #PalestinianLivesMatter on Twitter grew exponentially from May 28-30, 2020: 

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The hashtag #PalestinianLivesMatter was also highly visible to Twitter users from June 2-3, reaching an estimated 29.4 million users in this 24-hour period: 

See below examples of tweets posted by DLG activists using #PalestinianLivesMatter, connecting Halak and Floyd’s killings: 

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A more detailed analysis of the hashtag shows that from May 30-31, tweets using #PalestinianLivesMatter in the wake of Halak’s killing were most commonly shared by accounts belonging to the delegitimization groups Women for Palestine (WomenforPal), Jewish Voice for Labour (JVoiceLabour), and Friends of Palestine (F_of_Pal). Twitter accounts VPalestineT and MustBeQuared also had high numbers of retweets. 

Al Jazeera’s Arabic channel Aljazeera Mubashar posted the hashtag on June 3rd to its Facebook page, which is followed by 14 million accounts, and to its Twitter, which is followed by 4 million Twitter accounts. 

On June 3rd the most shared tweets with #PalestinianLivesMatter came from Venezuelan propaganda network Telesur English (@telesurenglish) and Lebanese journalist Claude El Khal (claudeelkhal)

Antisemitism at the Protests 

On May 30th, as protests against Floyd’s killing swept Los Angeles, protestors graffitied “F-ck Israel, Free Palestine” on the wall of one synagogue, and vandalized and smashed windows of several other synagogues and kosher businesses. The protests have also led to numerous antisemitic posts on social media. 

On May 31, the window of a synagogue in Richmond, Virginia was smashed by protestors. 

Berlin-based artist Ehssan Dariani posted to Facebook a conspiracy replete with Type 2 of the IHRA working definition of antisemitism by “Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.” According to Dariani’s post AIPAC and Sheldon Adelson were responsible for the conditions that sparked the riots. 

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Andrew Anglin, founder of the Neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer wrote in a blog post about the protests, saying “Fear not the blacks who can burn your city, but fear the Jews who can release the blacks to burn your city and lock you in your house in hell.” 

Counter protestors at a June 3rd demonstration in Bismarck, North Dakota flew a Nazi flag from their car. 

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On June 2nd a Palestinian Community Contingent attended a George Floyd Protest in Houston hosted by PYM, Palestinian American Cultural Center-Houston, and SJP at the University of Houston. One of the speakers at the rally attended by the contingent was Tamika Mallory, a former National Women’s March organizer who stepped down amid accusations of antisemitism. 

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