Dershowitz: Black Lives Matter needs to back off from anti-Israel platform

Printed from:

Professor Alan Dershowitz of the Harvard Law School recently penned an op-ed in the Boston Globe in which he called out the Black Lives Matter movement for anti-semitism.  The prominent professor emeritus said that although he supports the work of BLM in confronting police brutality and raising awareness about racism, the group crosses the line when it goes off message and adopts resolutions about Middle East politics, particularly those that accuse the state of Israel of genocide. Dershowitz explained:

Genocide means the deliberate extermination of a race, such as done by Nazi Germany to Jews and Sinti and Roma or by the Hutu against the Tutsi in Rwanda. It has no application to deaths caused by self-defense measures taken to protect citizens against terrorism. To falsely accuse Israel of “genocide” — the worst crime of all, and the crime whose very name was coined to describe the systematic murder of 6 million Jews — is anti-Semitic.

He went on to call on all decent people to reject the BLM until such time as it retracts its hostile statements about Israel:

Until and unless Black Lives Matter removes this blood libel from its platform and renounces it, no decent person — black, white, or of any other racial or ethnic background — should have anything to do with it.

* * *

To support an organization or movement that promotes anti-Semitism because it also supports good causes is the beginning of the road to accepting racism. Many racist groups have also promoted causes that deserve support. The Black Panthers had breakfast programs for inner-city children, while advocating violence against whites. And the Ku Klux Klan organized summer camps for working-class families, while advocating violence against blacks.

There must be zero tolerance for anti-Semitism, regardless of the race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation of the bigots who promote, practice or are complicit with it.

* * *

I write this column both in sorrow and in anger. In sorrow because I support the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement . . .I write it in anger because there is never an excuse for bigotry and for promoting blood libels against the Jewish people and their state.

To give Black Lives Matter a pass on its anti-Jewish bigotry would be to engage in racism. Black anti-Semitism is as inexcusable as white anti-Semitism or white racism. There can be no double standard when it comes to bigotry.