(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor
I'm participating in the #BlackFriday14 action tomorrow, praying desperately that the focus remains true to the principles of #BlackLivesMatter. Conflation of American systemic racism with the plight of Palestinians:
- makes it impossible for Jewish BLM activists who love Israel to share in the work,
- ignores the wide historical differences between a) the UN Charter that established two states for two Peoples and b) African slavery,
- denies the foundational universalism and democracy of Zionism and the right of Israel to exist,
- confuses the difficulty of living under the daily threat of violent terrorism against Israelis with the intent to deny human rights to Palestinians,
- ignores the many Israeli/Palestinian peacemakers whose work could be the very model for American healing we need,
- makes it infinitely harder for liberal Zionists to do the internal work necessary to end the Occupation of the West Bank and work on Israeli Democracy, Israeli Arab rights, and peace.
The #BlackLivesMatter Principles (powerfully articulated at http://blacklivesmatter.com/) are:
"Black Lives Matter is a unique contribution that goes beyond extrajudicial killings of Black people by police and vigilantes. It goes beyond the narrow nationalism that can be prevalent within some Black communities, which merely call on Black people to love Black, live Black and buy Black, keeping straight cis Black men in the front of the movement while our sisters, queer and trans and disabled folk take up roles in the background or not at all. Black Lives Matter affirms the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, Black-undocumented folks, folks with records, women and all Black lives along the gender spectrum. It centers those that have been marginalized within Black liberation movements. It is a tactic to (re)build the Black liberation movement."
May the aspirations of all people, Black, Palestinian, and Israel be answered. We have more than enough land and love for that.
The day we all pray for will come when we can listen well enough to distinguish, affirm, and support our truest selves. None need be at the expense of the other, and all could use their own dignity back.