The political platform recently published by the Movement for Black Lives repeats the demonizing rhetoric of the infamous antisemitic NGO Forum of the 2001 Durban Conference, which launched the BDS movement. The platform labels Israel as an “apartheid state”, accuses the country of committing “genocide” against Palestinians, calls for an end to military aid, and endorses the anti-Israel BDS movement…
In the initial text, the Black Lives platform listed Nadia Ben-Youssef, who represents the Israel-based Adalah organization in the US, as an “author and contributor.” Adalah’s participation in the BLM project was not particularly surprising, as the NGO has often been involved in political campaigns that promote the Palestinian narrative and seek to isolate Israel through the use of labels such as “racist”, “apartheid” and “anti-democratic”. However, as criticism against the platform mounted, Ben-Youssef’s contribution as an author suddenly disappeared from the BLM text, without explanation, and instead Adalah is listed as an “organization currently working on policy.”
The insertion of Israel into the American racial conflict (“intersectionality” in the radical political jargon) is unwarranted, and the stakes are high: NGO promotion of BDS in this context can exacerbate tensions between the Black and Jewish communities. And while the NIF knows how to raise its voice in criticizing Israel, it has chosen to avoid this issue rather than lending its liberal and progressive credentials to protest efforts to use BLM as a platform to demonize the Jewish state. If Adalah was in no way involved with the Platform, despite the initial publication, NIF should clearly say so; and if the links are real, pressure to erase the traces from the public record are duplicitous.