The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) unequivocally backs the entire Movement For Black Lives political platform and stridently condemns the Zionist backlash against the Movement for Black Lives. ***
The International Jewish anti-Zionist Network strongly embraces the entire Movement for Black Lives
(M4BL) platform, and we affirm its support for the Palestinian struggle and efforts to Boycott, Divest,
and Sanction Israel.
In the United States and internationally, racism has been central to how power works and money flows.
Both the Palestinian anti-racist struggle against Zionism and the Black anti-racist struggle against White
supremacy are crucial to peoples’ efforts to build a just world. For that reason, the Black Power
movement both past and present is one of our key reference points in all fights for justice. Since the
1960s, there has been a tradition of Jewish support for the Black liberation struggle. Jews were important
participants in the Freedom Rides and their work to desegregate the South. In the late 1960s some of that
political and financial aid disappeared as the Black Power movement became increasingly vocal in its
anti-Zionism. Much of the financial contributions from Jewish donors for the revolutionaries of the
Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee evaporated when SNCC started to speak out strongly in
favor of liberation not just for Blacks but also for Palestinians.
Now, in response to the statement, we see certain elements of US Jewry, self-appointed “Jewish leaders,”
again attacking and rejecting the Black anti-racist struggle for its support for Palestine.
The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) has responded most strongly to the statement. It writes
of the “co-opting and manipulation of a movement for addressing concerns about racial disparities in
criminal justice.” First, JCRC misrepresents the movement. The M4BL’s platform speaks of “collective
liberation,” and condemns “patriarchy, exploitative capitalism, militarism, and white supremacy.”
JCRC accuses the M4BL of manipulation, yet closes its eyes to the self-defined goals of the Black
liberation movement. It erases the long history of Black internationalism and support for the Palestinian
liberation struggle, including the Black Panthers. It also erases the history of Palestinian support for Third
World liberation, and the long-standing solidarity between the struggles against South African apartheid
and Israeli apartheid. So, who is doing the manipulating?
On this basis, the JCRC states, it “cannot and will not align ourselves with organizations that falsely and
maliciously assert that Israel is committing ‘genocide.’” It goes on to say, “[while we] dissociate
ourselves from the Black Lives Matter platform and those BLM organizations that embrace it, we
recommit ourselves unequivocally to the pursuit of justice for all Americans.” With these words, it
actually dissociates itself from much of the Black liberation movement. On its website, the JCRC claims
that its “purpose is to define and advance the values, interests and priorities of the organized Jewish
community of Greater Boston.” It seems that one of those purposes is to define and limit the scope of the
Black movement in the United States. Furthermore, like so many who fear the end of racial inequalities in
the United States and globally, it denies the specificity of the struggle of those who are in a daily fight for
their lives and existence as a result of racism.
We reject the JCRC’s attempt to define our “values” or “interests,” or to suggest that Jews have no
interest in a free Palestine. They may reject our history of revolutionary organizing, struggle with the
oppressed, and being oppressed, but we do not. They do not speak for us and they do not define our
interests, which lie with the liberation struggles of Blacks, Palestinians, and other oppressed people, not in