Avera Mengistu, held hostage by Hamas, the representative of people the Movement for Black Lives have aligned with. Their ideals don’t seem to apply to a Jewish Black man.
“We are a collective that centers and is rooted in Black communities, but we recognize we have a shared struggle with all oppressed people; collective liberation will be a product of all of our work.”
“… It was there that we began the process of uniting to articulate a shared vision of the world we want to live in.”
“There can be no liberation for all Black people if we do not center and fight for those who have been marginalized”
These are just a few of the very worthy and idealistic statements of intent published by “The Movement for Black Lives” (MBL) to articulate a common vision and agenda for 50 organizations “representing thousands of Black people from across the United States.” I came upon their website and mission statement when looking for information, trying to understand the current political controversy in the US.
Political tensions, which have been very high as it is since the elections last year, have reached a boiling point lately over the National Football League players’ protesting at American football matches. Beyond the political divide that this symbolizes, many who object to the gesture of players kneeling during the National Anthem are, to my astonishment, branded as racists. I mention this because, while I may agree that a sports event is not the appropriate venue for a political protest, I am not against the cause the players want to raise attention for. I have always been sympathetic to the Black struggle for equality in the United States. Regardless of my political preferences, this in my eyes has always been above political positions.
The angry response by supporters of the protest is what spurred me to research and try to learn more about the protest and understand what their grievances are. Until now I hadn’t really looked into the details of the Black protest movements. I supported the idea in principle, though not happy with the times things were expressed with violence. To my surprise, in what I thought was a campaign dedicated to amending the racial wrongs in the United States, I found there were quite a few references to Israel for some reason. The reason became obvious when I noticed that Arab organizations and Israeli-Arab organizations were partnered with American Black movements.
While they claim to struggle for oppressed people the world over, as a result of this partnership with the Arabs the MBL singles Israel out for criticism, despite dozens of territorial disputes occurring all around the world. They mention nothing of the plight of Sub Saharan Africans oppressed by Arabs, nothing of the discrimination against Blacks in Arab society as a whole. They ignore the persecution of Christians as well as Yazidi, Zoroastrians, Baha’i to name but a few, in Muslim countries. I can detail many more disputes, but you get the idea.
They then proceed to elaborate on Israel with accusations of supposed legislative discrimination in Israel. Information provided them by an organization with a clear agenda of vilifying Israel and proven to be biased against Israel. All of said claims have been disputed previously as deliberate misrepresentations of the laws in Israel, as you can see here in the report issued in 2014 by NGO Monitor.
I set out to research and understand. It’s a shame the Movement for Black Lives didn’t do the same. It is not enough that they single out the Jewish state for admonishment; the justification for their position is based on the vilest accusation against Israel – “The US justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people.”
Here we see the age old evil of insinuation and innuendo directed at Jews, spelled out in the official MBL platform. Not only have the Arabs successfully diverted attention away from themselves as culprits of global terror, Israel is accused of committing “genocide”. Without a shred of evidence, documented or empirical, while realities actually show the complete opposite, yet they readily level this abhorrent claim as fact.
This is no more than a modern manifestation of the European “Blood Libel”. A time when just an accusation was enough to find Jews guilty of an atrocity without any evidence presented as proof. How often in the past have Black men too, found themselves in this exact situation? For a movement supposedly aware of Black history, one would expect it to be more sensitive and certainly more careful of doing the same to others.
The sad fact is that the Movement for Black Lives, which seeks to rectify the ills of White society, has enthusiastically embraced White civilization’s malady of Jew hatred.
They allow themselves to be manipulated into this hate through their alliance with Arab forces. Ironically enough, after European colonists, the Arabs are the worst offenders of African colonization. Now they have apparently colonized the agenda of Black Americans for their own cynical purpose of defaming Israel. Sadly, for added measure, they have successfully stuck a wedge in what used to be the Black movement’s alliance with American Jewry.
How exactly has this alliance with Arab organizations helped their cause in the US? Why does the MBL find it necessary to align themselves with Arabs in the Middle East? They know nothing about the conflict with Israel, none of it’s complexities nor the realities that exist today. It is very hard to take them seriously and lend their claims a measure of credibility if they treat the issues here with such disregard and shallowness.
In their platform they make the following statement – “We also seek to intervene in the current political climate and assert a clear vision, particularly for those who claim to be our allies, of the world we want them to help us create.” Another worthy ideal. They want their Arab allies to help them create this world they seek to create. Interesting that they don’t say a better world. Because the Arab world as it exists today is not even a world Arabs themselves want to live in.
In this “world” the Arabs live in, Hamas, an oppressive theocratic Islamic organization, runs the Gaza Strip. Three years ago Avera Mengistu, a young, mentally ill Israeli, jumped over the border fence with Gaza and was apprehended by Hamas. He posed a threat to no one. He was not a member of the IDF. He is powerless and harmless and, because of his illness, is what the MBL would consider “marginalized”. This hasn’t prevented Hamas from cynically and despicably holding Avera for ransom. Preventing information from his family as to his condition.
Avera Mengistu is Black. An Ethiopian Jew which is enough for Hamas to abuse him and deny him basic human rights. An important part of the MBL platform is a reform of prison conditions for Black people. None of these demands they raise are offered to Avera by Hamas. The MBL took on the Arab cause for their “allies”, who reciprocate by abusing a mentally ill Black man and denying him and his family the basic human dignity.
The Movement for Black Lives has high ambitions for improving lives of Black Americans. Can they help the life of a single, marginalized Black man held by their “allies”? They chose to get involved in the Middle East, can they use that for saving a life? If they expect the support of people for the correction of their grievances, then the MBL should be demanding that their Arab allies show a measure of humanity to a helpless Black man. They claim to fight for people who are marginalized, but they don’t even have to fight here. All they have to do here is ask their allies to give Avera Mengistu the rights they seek for Blacks in the US.
If Black lives are so important to them, why have they not stepped in and insisted their allies do the decent thing and free Avera Mengistu?
Or does the life of a mentally ill Black man not matter when he is Jewish?