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Jews split Women's March over Farrakhan; American Blacks defy Zionist Lobby over BDS

(1) American Blacks defy Zionist Lobby over BDS

(2) Women's March leader Tamika Mallory refuses to renounce Louis Farrakhan

(3) Why does the left (=Womens March) still associate with Louis Farrakhan? - Roger Cohen

(4) Jews split Womens March over Farrakhan; he blames Jews for Hollywood filth, Trans

(5) Women’s March fractured over anti-Semitism allegations - JTA

(6) Backlash: Angela Davis reoffered Award by Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

(7) NYT publishes piece by Michelle Alexander: Time to Break the Silence on Palestine

(8) Reaction from Israel: Michelle Alexander’s NY Times column hits new low

(10) The Times of Israel’s Flawed Attack on Michelle Alexander - Ian Berman


(1) American Blacks defy Zionist Lobby over BDS

- by Peter Myers, January 28, 2019

The Bolshevik government was set up by Bolshevik Jews leading other minoritites (eg Latvians) against the Great Russian majority.

Stalin overthrew the Jewish Bolsheviks, as part of his power-struggle with Trotsky. But a Jewish-Bolshevik alliance remained until afterWorld War 2.

Trotskyist Jews spawned the New Left, which during the 1960s & 70s delevoped activist groups of 'minorities' such as Women, Blacks, Gays etc.

Jews were leading those minorities against 'White Christian' America.

Now some of the minority groups are refusing to comply with Jewish wishes and demands.

Blacks such as Angela Davis and Michelle Alexander are refusing to cease their support for Palestinians, and are defiant in the face of attempts to suppress them.

Louis Farrakhan alleges that Jewish people are "responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men."

Tamika Mallory, co-leader of the Womens March, admires Farrakhan and has has refused to denounce him, despite Jewish pressure.

One part of the Jewish lobby, the Soros-funded Jewish Voices for Peace, has stood firm with Angela Davis against most of the Lobby, which tried to sideline her because of her support for Palestinians. But there does not seem to be any group of Jews who back Farrakhan's statements about Hollywood.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also has maintained support for Palestinians despite Jewish opposition.

It seems that, although Jews empowered minorities and sponsored multiculturalism, minority and multicultural groups will gradually sap the Lobby's dominance.

The Lobby's diversion of US Foreign Aid to Israel will no longer be tolerable once those groups gain strength. Why should the bulk of US Foreign Aid go to a nuclear power which has repeatedly invaded its neighbours, and which has a strong hi-tech industry and a current account surplus?


(2) Women's March leader Tamika Mallory refuses to renounce Louis Farrakhan

In MLK keynote, Women's March leader Mallory makes call to 'fight systems, not people'

Dillon Davis, Asheville Citizen Times Published 9:21 a.m. ET Jan. 25, 2019

ASHEVILLE — Women's March leader Tamika Mallory called on a UNC Asheville crowd Thursday to be driven to find unity and confront life's hard truths while also knocking down accusations of anti-Semitism that have followed her for much of the past year.

Mallory spent much of her roughly 45-minute address reflecting on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as the keynote speaker for the university's annual MLK Week. She reflected on King's life and his activism, encouraging those in attendance to remember him not just as a "passive" leader, but as a "radical" one killed for "trying to free the most marginalized in our society."

But Mallory also made mention of the "elephant in the room," in this case her refusal to condemn Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. She began drawing heat last year after attending the Nation of Islam’s Saviour’s Day as well as for referring to Farrakhan — who regularly makes anti-Semitic, homophobic and other offensive remarks — as "the GOAT," or "greatest of all time," in a social media post from 2017.

While Mallory has said she does not agree with many of Farrakhan's views, some still have questioned her for failing to distance herself from his brand of anti-Semitism.

On Thursday, she met with Jewish community leaders, UNCA students, staff and other community members, during which time she said they shared "beautiful words of hope." Asked Thursday how she could represent both King's values of "love and equality" while still praising Farrakhan, she noted she'd answered the question before, but said King often met with those with whom he disagreed. [...]

But it was clear as the doors opened Thursday, Mallory’s link to Farrakhan and the way she’s addressed her relationship with him in the past was not well received, at least for some.

Criticisms of anti-Semitism loom Asheville resident Harry Pierson stood among a group outside the auditorium with a sign on his shoulders reading, "Mallory’s anti-Semitism dishonors MLK’s memory." Pierson, a former university professor and the son of two Holocaust survivors, said Mallory was undeserving of such a platform representing Dr. King, arguing she does not reflect his values.

People protest outside Lipinsky Hall before Tamika Mallory's speech at UNC Asheville Jan. 24, 2019. Mallory has been the subject of criticism in the past year for refusing to condemn Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who regularly makes anti-Semitic, homophobic and otherwise offensive remarks.Buy Photo People protest outside Lipinsky Hall before Tamika Mallory's speech at UNC Asheville Jan. 24, 2019. Mallory has been the subject of criticism in the past year for refusing to condemn Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who regularly makes anti-Semitic, homophobic and otherwise offensive remarks. (Photo: Angela Wilhelm/

"Mallory saying Farrakhan's words do not speak for me, I could say the same thing about (white supremacist) David Duke's words, and it doesn't mean I agree with him or disagree with him," he said.

Pierson said he would not dignify Mallory's speech with his own attendance, deciding instead to leave once the event had begun. If anything, he said he wanted Mallory to repudiate Farrakhan's words, making clear she's separating her personal respect for him from the way she feels about his viewpoints — but he wasn't optimistic.

"If she was still digging her hoe deeper last week, she's not going to pick UNCA for her big reveal," he said.

Weaverville resident Michelle Dodd, who did attend the speech, said was doing so because she was interested to hear how Mallory spoke about the controversy.

"From what I've read so far, which is a limited amount, I think it's been taken out of context based on people's personal views," said Dodd, who's also a member of the Carolina Jews for Justice.

Despite some calls for her removal, the university defended its decision to book Mallory this month, saying it stands for "free speech and open dialogue." ...


(3) Why does the left (=Womens March) still associate with Louis Farrakhan? - Roger Cohen

Why does the left still associate with Louis Farrakhan?

By Richard Cohen Columnist

January 21

When and how did it become acceptable to be an anti-Semite? When did it become okay to socialize with and even praise a Jew hater? I am referring, of course, to Louis Farrakhan, who spouts the most vile things about Jews yet retains the admiration of many on the left, including, notably, leaders of the Women’s March. They have now separated themselves from Farrakhan’s bigotry but not the man himself. He understands. They are doing what Jews want.

To an extent, they are. It has taken some pressure to get Women’s March co-chairs Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour and others to distance themselves from Farrakhan’s views. Yet Mallory, for one, will not condemn the man who holds these views. In this, she has plenty of company. On the stage with Farrakhan at Aretha Franklin’s funeral in September were Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Bill Clinton. Franklin, apparently untroubled by Farrakhan’s Jew hatred, had a friendly relationship with him, and he was at the funeral for that reason. Still, you could not imagine Jackson, Sharpton or Clinton sharing the stage with David Duke.

The Anti-Defamation League reports a surge in anti-Semitic incidents — up nearly 60 percent in 2017. But the numbers are more shocking than they are troubling. More troubling — if unmeasurable — are the casually anti-Semitic statements or associations of figures such as Mallory and Sarsour. In 2012, Sarsour, who is Palestinian American, tweeted: “Nothing is creepier than Zionism.” This might be understandable from a Palestinian point of view, but not her following sentence: “Challenge racism.” The slur that Zionism is racism must come as a surprise to the 135,000 Ethiopian Jews in Israel, roughly 25,000 of whom were airlifted between 1984 and 1991.

Farrakhan is lauded for the good work his Nation of Islam does in certain black communities and in jails. But his message is anti-white, anti-gay and anti-Semitic. The fact that he does some good is no reason to ignore or overlook the bad that is attached. When it comes to Jews, he has the lurid imagination of a 1930s-era Nazi. He blames the Jews for most everything, including Hollywood movies that are “turning men into women and women into men.” Mallory attended the rally where Farrakhan made that statement.

Eleven years ago, a writer for Harper’s wondered what would happen to Farrakhan if I ceased writing about him. I ceased, and Farrakhan seemed not to notice. In fact, his brand of anti-Semitism became, if not acceptable, then unremarkable. In her forthcoming book, “Antisemitism Here and Now,” the Holocaust historian Deborah E. Lipstadt gathers some of the more idiotic statements made by leftist Americans about Jews and, especially, about Israel. The country is routinely denounced as racist, colonialist, fascist and, of course, as segregated as South Africa in the apartheid era. None of this is true.

It is true, alas, that Israel persists in occupying the West Bank. But it is also true that many American Jews oppose this policy — as do many Israelis. As do I. But at the same time, I recognize that Israel is not the vilest among nations, that it is a democracy that accords full rights to its Palestinian citizens, that the Muslim gays of Tel Aviv would not last a day in the Arab world and that the proposal to have Israel absorb Palestinian refugees is simply untenable. It would doom Israel as a Jewish state. It is an invitation to obliteration.

I go back to Farrakhan. That Harper’s writer of years ago had a point: Farrakhan is not important. He leads a fringe sect that is as anathema to conventional Muslims as it is to Jews. It is not his anti-Semitism that worries me. More worrisome is the casual acceptance of his anti-Semitism by others that makes him somehow unremarkable — the unstated agreement that Jews are all-powerful, all-controlling and somehow blocking black progress. This stands history on its head and mocks the 1964 deaths in Mississippi of Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, who were among the many Jews who volunteered during the civil rights movement over the years.

In accepting Farrakhan, figures on the American left manage to combine anti-Semitism with racism — a belief that blacks are too weak to matter and Jews too powerful to care. It robs African Americans of their own agency by making their plight the work of evil Jews. As for Jews, it’s an echo of what they’ve heard before. The leaders of the Women’s March ought to study history to see that theirs are old ideas. They are marching in the wrong direction.


(4) Jews split Womens March over Farrakhan; he blames Jews for Hollywood filth, Trans

Competing women's march efforts in New York City undercut by infighting, anti-Semitism scandal

New York Daily News

GINA SALAMONE Jan 13th 2019 8:48PM

There will be not one, but two women’s march events in Manhattan next week.

Women’s March Inc. — the group behind the historic first march in D.C. in 2017 — is holding a rally in Foley Square from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to a city Parks Department permit granted Friday.

Meanwhile, the Women’s March Alliance – an unaffiliated local group that has spearheaded events in the city for the last two years — has also secured a permit for Saturday. And their march, near Columbus Circle, will also kick off 11 a.m.

The dueling events are a product of an ugly feud over what and who should be represented in the women’s marches.

The Alliance claims the leaders of Women’s March Inc. have tried to "bully" their way into the Columbus Circle march and trashed the group for a lack of diversity.

Katherine Siemionko, founder and president of the Women’s March Alliance, which developed into a nonprofit two years ago, says she had a less than pleasant conversation with Linda Sarsour, a Women’s March Inc. board member and Palestinian-American racial justice activist this October.

"Linda said ‘You put us on your leadership board or we’ll hold a counter march,’" Siemionko explained. "And I said, ‘I don’t put up with bullying.’"

Siemionko says that Sarsour also implied she wasn’t fit to organize a march for all women because she is white.

Sarsour declined to talk to the Daily News and a spokeswoman for Women’s March Inc. refuted Siemionko’s account of the conversation.

Since the first march two years ago, accusations of anti-Semitism and criticism over connections to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan have soured people’s views of Women’s March Inc.

Sarsour, along with her fellow board members Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez, attended a 2015 Washington, D.C., rally organized by Farrakhan, who has said "Hitler was a very great man" and argued Israel is structured "on injustice, thievery, lying and deceit and using the name of God to shield your dirty religion."

Mallory has referred to Farrakhan as "the GOAT," which stands for "Greatest of All Time," in an Instagram post that included a photo of herself alongside him. She also attended the Nation of Islam’s Saviours’ Day event last February, along with Sarsour and Perez, where

Farrakhan said Jewish people are "responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men."

Both Women’s March Inc. and Mallory, who did not respond to a request for comment, have been criticized for being late to respond to the growing backlash and in Mallory’s case, for not properly condemning Farrakhan’s remarks.

Jewish online magazine Tablet last month detailed several other disturbing allegations, including that Mallory, in a November 2016 meeting with founding members of the Women’s March, implied that Jewish people exploit black and brown people. Mallory has denied it. Tablet also reported that Women’s March Inc.used members of the Nation of Islam’s security team, the Fruit of Islam, with Sarsour writing in a Facebook caption, "FOI Brothers, security for the movement."

A spokeswoman for Women’s March Inc. refutes those allegations.

"The organization and its leaders have dedicated themselves to liberating women from all forms of oppression, including anti-Semitism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, racism, white supremacy, xenophobia and Islamophobia," the group said in a statement to the Daily News.

For this year’s rally, Women’s March Inc. is partnering with the New York Immigration Coalition, where Sarsour was a longtime board member.

Steven Choi, executive director of the NYIC, said his group, "saw an opportunity to elevate immigrant women and ensure representation of our community’s concerns. We’re at a moment right now where both women’s rights and immigrant rights are under constant attack by the Trump administration."

Sarsour’s involvement was a seen as a positive for Choi.

"She’s long been an activist and advocate on immigrant rights and so when she asked and said that there was this opportunity to really lift up the voices of women of color...we thought that there was an opportunity to partner with them," he explained.

Choi was not concerned about the allegations of anti-Semitism plaguing Women’s March Inc.

"We condemn racism. We condemn anti-Semitism," Choi said. "We condemn Louis Farrakan’s hate speech...Our Jewish partners are a key constituency of ours. They’re an essential part of our shared struggle for justice."

The NYIC also met with Women’s March Alliance and asked about joining forces, but Siemionko’s group declined.

The competing events are promoted on each group’s Facebook page, but Women’s March Inc.’s late planning gave the Women’s March Alliance more traction.

The Alliance page — "Women’s March on NYC (Official)" — had 12,000 people listed as going and 49,000 interested. The national organization’s event — "Women’s March in New York City (Official Chapter)" — had 5,000 people listed as "going" and 25,000 interested before they got their permit.

Several of the Facebook followers for the local Women’s March Inc. effort remained confused even after the location and time were finally announced Thursday.

"What is going on. We have a hotel room near Central Park, where the march is suppose to be held," wrote Linda Craig Smagner, clearly confusing the downtown rally with the uptown march.

Another user complained that she is already set to leave New York the day before to head to the Washington, D.C., event. "Wish I had known earlier," she wrote.

Others didn’t understand why there were two separate women’s march events happening in New York City.

Adding to the confusion, Women’s March Inc. initially listed a host for its Big Apple event on its website, then removed it. The group is now promoting Agunda Okeyo — a writer, producer, activist, organizer and director of Women’s March NYC — as the lead host at their rally.

Okeyo told The News that she was at the first women’s march in D.C. and co-founded a New York chapter in fall of 2017.

The environment is her platform this year.

"I’m originally from Kenya, I grew up in the Bronx and I’ve always had a hyper-awareness of nature," Okeyo says, citing a November climate report released by the U.S. government. "We don’t have a very large amount of time, about five to 10 years in order to make incredibly radical change. The other many issues are political, or you could look at what’s happening in the United States in terms of the excitement of so many women being elected to the House of Representatives."

She added that "the accusations against the national organization are unfortunate," and said it’s sad that many of the leaders in local chapters are "interpreted as extensions of the national organization as opposed to being chapters that are part of a network that also have their own unique and individual identities and leadership and points of view.


(5) Women’s March fractured over anti-Semitism allegations - JTA

Women’s March fractured by internal conflicts, anti-Semitism allegations

Josefin Dolsten, JTAJosefin Dolsten, JTA

Dec 27, 2018

NEW YORK — When the Women’s March galvanized millions of women in 2017 as a response to the inauguration of Donald Trump as president, Jewish participants were loud and proud. Synagogues and Jewish activist organizations sent large contingents to the main march in Washington and satellites around the country. Groups ranging from the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center to Chabad offered their support to marchers.

Two years later, the Women’s March is in disarray, with leaders facing allegations of mismanagement and local chapters seeking to go their own way out of either political or logistical self-interest.

And for Jewish women there is an added layer of anguish: Top leaders of the main organization have been accused of engaging in or condoning anti-Semitism, and failing to heed the concerns of its thousands of Jewish backers.

"It’s bad for the movement," Emiliana Guereca, the executive director of Women’s March Los Angeles, told JTA.

Guereca’s chapter has a disclaimer on its website stating that it "has no affiliation and was never part of Women’s March Inc."

Still, most people don’t realize that the two are separate, and total donations to her chapter are down by about 60%, as are the number of organizations willing to partner with the group, Guereca said.

"I think we’ve spent the entire month of December responding to all of this, and we’re going to continue to respond. That for us stops the work from happening," she said.

The Los Angeles chapter isn’t the only one feeling the heat.

Katherine Siemionko, founder of the Women’s March Alliance, which organizes the Women’s March on NYC, has a similar disclaimer on the website as the Los Angeles group.

Siemionko says her group lost thousands of social media followers and newsletter subscribers, as articles have continued to come out criticizing the national organizers. Donors have also dropped out and celebrities turned down offers to speak at its 2019 rally, citing concerns about anti-Semitism.

"It’s been a huge impact," she said. "It’s shifted everything that we do."

Gloria Moore, who is organizing a Women’s March in Atlanta, echoed the sentiments. After clashing with a local Women’s March affiliate, Moore went on to found March on Georgia, which is affiliated with Siemionko’s New York group.

"All the articles that are being written, all the discussions that are taking place on social media, they are all negative about the national organization," Moore said. "Because we’ve never been associated with them, we have no reason to be affiliated with them now, and from a local standpoint they have hurt us more than they have helped us."

Last week, the Women’s March in Washington State cited anti-Semitism in its decision to sever its affiliation with the national Women’s March organization.

"Continuing to be a part of the Women’s March with the blatant bigotry they display would be breaking a promise.

"We can’t betray our Jewish community by remaining a part of this organization," board director Angie Beem wrote in a Facebook post announcing the decision.

In November, Women’s March co-founder Teresa Shook called on the national co-chairs to resign, saying they "allowed anti-Semitism" and other hateful rhetoric. Actress and activist Alyssa Milano also said that she would not speak at the march if asked.

The controversy surrounding the march arose from organizer Tamika Mallory’s ties to anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Earlier this year, Mallory was criticized for not speaking out after she attended an event during which Farrakhan said "the powerful Jews are my enemy" and accused "Satanic Jews" of having a "grip on the media."

The organizers of the march later said the Nation of Islam leader’s statements "are not aligned with the Women’s March Unity Principles," but also defended Mallory against criticism.

Mallory has defended her and her family’s association with Farrakhan.

Following Shook and Milano’s statements last month, organizer Linda Sarsour apologized on behalf of the Women’s March for being too slow to show its commitment to fighting anti-Semitism.

But an article published earlier this month in Tablet further stoked the fire by claiming, citing unnamed sources, that Mallory and fellow organizer Carmen Perez had made anti-Semitic statements at two Women’s March planning meetings.

These issues have only intensified frustrations among some local Women’s March chapters about the national organization’s behavior.

Another point of contention is the fact that the national organization, Women’s March Inc., has attempted to trademark the name "Women’s March." March On, The Women’s March Alliance — Siemionko’s organization — and marches in Los Angeles and Chicago have filed lawsuits against the national group, saying it should not have ownership over the name and logo.

The Jewish community is also grappling with the fallout — and whether to attend the upcoming marches around the country on Jan. 19.

On Thursday, Dec. 19, the Jewish Democratic Council of America called on the national Women’s March organizers to step down.

"Leaders of the Women’s March, Inc. continue to associate with Louis Farrakhan, a known anti-Semite, homophobe, and misogynist whom JDCA has denounced for hate speech," the group said in a statement.

"In addition, these same women continue to make statements that call into question their commitment to fighting anti-Semitism."

The organization called on its members to join rallies around the country without ties to the national organization.

Nancy Kaufman, the CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women said that her organization has yet to sign up as a sponsor of the DC march.

"In an ideal world we’d love to be able to endorse [the national Women’s March], but in the real world there are concerns," Kaufman told JTA.

NCJW is in touch with the national organizers "in order to express our deep concerns about anti-Semitism and how collectively we’re going to speak out against it," she said.

The Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York is listed as a sponsor on the Women’s March Inc. website. Its executive director, Jamie Allen Black, said the group is still considering how to proceed.

She worries that conversations around the Women’s March could detract from the cause.

"My concern is that I don’t want to sideline the women’s movement," Black said.

"We feel around here that that’s the most important thing — that women stay connected, women stay engaged, women use their voices."

While the foundation isn’t taking a stance on the march at this point, Black said that finding some of the organizers’ views offensive should not necessarily mean that Jewish women can’t participate in the rally.

"I can hold that the leaders of the Women’s March, the organization, have views that I find appalling," she said. "At same time I can hold that Women’s March has value. For me it’s not an either-or."

Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt begs to differ. At a recent conference by the Anti-Defamation League, she said flatly that Jewish women should not attend the Women’s March. A recent tweet by Farrakhan, in which he compared Jews to termites, should seal the deal for those who may not have made up their minds, she said.

"I can’t fathom how anyone who considers themselves a proud identifying Jewish woman could let that go by," she told JTA.

Lipstadt criticized the national Women’s March leader’s "repeated refusals to dissociate themselves" from Farrakhan and said that when they did release statements on him "they were weak and tepid."

She likened his remarks to someone using the n-word, saying that were someone to use a slur like that, she would in no way continue to support them.

"If you talk about African Americans like that, I have nothing to say to you," Lipstadt said. "I can’t say ‘Oh, but you do good work,’ [or] ‘Oh, but you helped my family.’ I may have once thought that you did good work.

"But this is a conversation ender."


(6) Backlash: Angela Davis reoffered Award by Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

26/01/2019 9:51 AM AEDT

Angela Davis Reoffered Award By Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

The institute sparked outrage after it rescinded an award to the longtime civil rights activist, with speculation it was due to her activism for Palestinian rights. By Kimberley Richards Angela Davis has been reoffered an award from an Alabama civil rights museum after it sparked controversy for rescinding the honor this month.

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute released a statement on Friday announcing its decision to reaffirm Davis as the recipient of its 2018 Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award.

Davis was personally invited to accept the award, the institute said, adding that it “respects her privacy and timing in whatever her response may ultimately be.”

In keeping with its commitment to learning from its mistakes and in order to stay true to the BCRI’s mission, the Board of Directors has voted to reaffirm Dr. Angela Y. Davis as the recipient of the 2018 Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award. ...

In an interview with Democracy Now this month, Davis, a scholar and civil rights icon born in then-segregated Birmingham, said the reasons behind the decision were not initially made clear to her.

“When I made requests to them to offer me more substantive reasons for the rescission of the award, I was met with very abstract responses,” she said.

While others are working to diminish Angela Davis’ lifelong work for human rights because of her commitment to justice for Palestinians, we’re taking out an ad in the Birmingham News to honor her and show JVP's support and solidarity.

— JewishVoiceForPeace (@jvplive) January 25, 2019 Davis released a statement this month indicating that she later learned her “long-term support of justice for Palestine was at issue.”

The Birmingham Holocaust Education Center reportedly sent a letter to the institute on Jan. 2 asking its board to reconsider honoring her, because of her support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, according to

BCRI’s statement noted that the board “began receiving messages of concern from various segments in the Birmingham Community” strongly opposing Davis’ “views on a variety of issues.”

The statement did not provide details on the nature or source of the complaints.

The Birmingham Holocaust Education Center’s letter to the institute, obtained by, expressed “concern and disappointment” over the decision to honor Davis.

Neither organization immediately responded to requests for comment.

The decision to rescind the award sparked outrage on social media and condemnation from organizers and other groups, including the social justice organization Jewish Voice for Peace, which launched a petition in support of Davis this month.

“The decision seems to stem from a misinformed view that to advocate for Palestinian human rights is somehow offensive to the Jewish community,” the petition read.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin released a statement saying he was “dismayed” by the institute’s decision to rescind the award.

The BCRI said its board voted 9-2 on Jan. 4 to rescind the award “based on new input from the community.” The board issued an apology on Jan. 14.

“Immediately after that public apology, in keeping with its commitment to learning from its mistakes and in order to stay true to the BCRI’s founding mission, the Board voted to reaffirm Dr. Davis as the recipient,” the BCRI said in a statement.

The annual award pays tribute to the Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, a civil rights activist who died in 2011 at 89.

(7) NYT publishes piece by Michelle Alexander: Time to Break the Silence on Palestine

Time to Break the Silence on Palestine

Martin Luther King Jr. courageously spoke out about the Vietnam War. We must do the same when it comes to this grave injustice of our time.

By Michelle Alexander

Jan. 19, 2019

“We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak,” the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. declared at Riverside Church in Manhattan in 1967.CreditCreditJohn C. Goodwin On April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his assassination, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stepped up to the lectern at the Riverside Church in Manhattan. The United States had been in active combat in Vietnam for two years and tens of thousands of people had been killed, including some 10,000 American troops. The political establishment — from left to right — backed the war, and more than 400,000 American service members were in Vietnam, their lives on the line.

Many of King’s strongest allies urged him to remain silent about the war or at least to soft-pedal any criticism. They knew that if he told the whole truth about the unjust and disastrous war he would be falsely labeled a Communist, suffer retaliation and severe backlash, alienate supporters and threaten the fragile progress of the civil rights movement.

King rejected all the well-meaning advice and said, “I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice.” Quoting a statement by the Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam, he said, “A time comes when silence is betrayal” and added, “that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.”

It was a lonely, moral stance. And it cost him. But it set an example of what is required of us if we are to honor our deepest values in times of crisis, even when silence would better serve our personal interests or the communities and causes we hold most dear. It’s what I think about when I go over the excuses and rationalizations that have kept me largely silent on one of the great moral challenges of our time: the crisis in Israel-Palestine.

I have not been alone. Until very recently, the entire Congress has remained mostly silent on the human rights nightmare that has unfolded in the occupied territories. Our elected representatives, who operate in a political environment where Israel's political lobby holds well-documented power, have consistently minimized and deflected criticism of the State of Israel, even as it has grown more emboldened in its occupation of Palestinian territory and adopted some practices reminiscent of apartheid in South Africa and Jim Crow segregation in the United States.

Many civil rights activists and organizations have remained silent as well, not because they lack concern or sympathy for the Palestinian people, but because they fear loss of funding from foundations, and false charges of anti-Semitism. They worry, as I once did, that their important social justice work will be compromised or discredited by smear campaigns.

Similarly, many students are fearful of expressing support for Palestinian rights because of the McCarthyite tactics of secret organizations like Canary Mission, which blacklists those who publicly dare to support boycotts against Israel, jeopardizing their employment prospects and future careers. ...

And so, if we are to honor King’s message and not merely the man, we must condemn Israel’s actions: unrelenting violations of international law, continued occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, home demolitions and land confiscations. We must cry out at the treatment of Palestinians at checkpoints, the routine searches of their homes and restrictions on their movements, and the severely limited access to decent housing, schools, food, hospitals and water that many of them face.

We must not tolerate Israel’s refusal even to discuss the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, as prescribed by United Nations resolutions, and we ought to question the U.S. government funds that have supported multiple hostilities and thousands of civilian casualties in Gaza, as well as the $38 billion the U.S. government has pledged in military support to Israel.

And finally, we must, with as much courage and conviction as we can muster, speak out against the system of legal discrimination that exists inside Israel, a system complete with, according to Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, more than 50 laws that discriminate against Palestinians — such as the new nation-state law that says explicitly that only Jewish Israelis have the right of self-determination in Israel, ignoring the rights of the Arab minority that makes up 21 percent of the population. ...

Ultimately, King canceled a pilgrimage to Israel in 1967 after Israel captured the West Bank. During a phone call about the visit with his advisers, he said, “I just think that if I go, the Arab world, and of course Africa and Asia for that matter, would interpret this as endorsing everything that Israel has done, and I do have questions of doubt.”

He continued to support Israel’s right to exist but also said on national television that it would be necessary for Israel to return parts of its conquered territory to achieve true peace and security and to avoid exacerbating the conflict. There was no way King could publicly reconcile his commitment to nonviolence and justice for all people, everywhere, with what had transpired after the 1967 war.

Today, we can only speculate about where King would stand. Yet I find myself in agreement with the historian Robin D.G. Kelley, who concluded that, if King had the opportunity to study the current situation in the same way he had studied Vietnam, “his unequivocal opposition to violence, colonialism, racism and militarism would have made him an incisive critic of Israel’s current policies.”

Indeed, King’s views may have evolved alongside many other spiritually grounded thinkers, like Rabbi Brian Walt, who has spoken publicly about the reasons that he abandoned his faith in what he viewed as political Zionism. To him, he recently explained to me, liberal Zionism meant that he believed in the creation of a Jewish state that would be a desperately needed safe haven and cultural center for Jewish people around the world, "a state that would reflect as well as honor the highest ideals of the Jewish tradition.” He said he grew up in South Africa in a family that shared those views and identified as a liberal Zionist, until his experiences in the occupied territories forever changed him.

During more than 20 visits to the West Bank and Gaza, he saw horrific human rights abuses, including Palestinian homes being bulldozed while people cried — children's toys strewn over one demolished site — and saw Palestinian lands being confiscated to make way for new illegal settlements subsidized by the Israeli government. He was forced to reckon with the reality that these demolitions, settlements and acts of violent dispossession were not rogue moves, but fully supported and enabled by the Israeli military. For him, the turning point was witnessing legalized discrimination against Palestinians — including streets for Jews only — which, he said, was worse in some ways than what he had witnessed as a boy in South Africa.

Not so long ago, it was fairly rare to hear this perspective. That is no longer the case.

Jewish Voice for Peace, for example, aims to educate the American public about “the forced displacement of approximately 750,000 Palestinians that began with Israel’s establishment and that continues to this day.” Growing numbers of people of all faiths and backgrounds have spoken out with more boldness and courage. American organizations such as If Not Now support young American Jews as they struggle to break the deadly silence that still exists among too many people regarding the occupation, and hundreds of secular and faith-based groups have joined the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. ...

Fortunately, people like the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II are leading by example, pledging allegiance to the fight against anti-Semitism while also demonstrating unwavering solidarity with the Palestinian people struggling to survive under Israeli occupation.

He declared in a riveting speech last year that we cannot talk about justice without addressing the displacement of native peoples, the systemic racism of colonialism and the injustice of government repression. In the same breath he said: “I want to say, as clearly as I know how, that the humanity and the dignity of any person or people cannot in any way diminish the humanity and dignity of another person or another people. To hold fast to the image of God in every person is to insist that the Palestinian child is as precious as the Jewish child.” [...]

Bahia Amawi, an American speech pathologist of Palestinian descent, was recently terminated for refusing to sign a contract that contains an anti-boycott pledge stating that she does not, and will not, participate in boycotting the State of Israel. In November, Marc Lamont Hill was fired from CNN for giving a speech in support of Palestinian rights that was grossly misinterpreted as expressing support for violence. Canary Mission continues to pose a serious threat to student activists.

And just over a week ago, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Alabama, apparently under pressure mainly from segments of the Jewish community and others, rescinded an honor it bestowed upon the civil rights icon Angela Davis, who has been a vocal critic of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and supports B.D.S.

But that attack backfired. Within 48 hours, academics and activists had mobilized in response. The mayor of Birmingham, Randall Woodfin, as well as the Birmingham School Board and the City Council, expressed outrage at the institute’s decision. The council unanimously passed a resolution in Davis’ honor, and an alternative event is being organized to celebrate her decades-long commitment to liberation for all.

I cannot say for certain that King would applaud Birmingham for its zealous defense of Angela Davis’s solidarity with Palestinian people. But I do. In this new year, I aim to speak with greater courage and conviction about injustices beyond our borders, particularly those that are funded by our government, and stand in solidarity with struggles for democracy and freedom. My conscience leaves me no other choice.

Michelle Alexander became a New York Times columnist in 2018. She is a civil rights lawyer and advocate, legal scholar and author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.”

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page SR1 of the New York edition with the headline: Time to Break the Silence on Palestine.


(8) Reaction from Israel: Michelle Alexander’s NY Times column hits new low

Michelle Alexander’s NY Times column hits new low

It's replete with errors, shows no understanding of -- or sympathy for -- Israel, and dishonors Martin Luther King

JAN 21, 2019, 3:32 AM

Please note that the posts on The Blogs are contributed by third parties. The opinions, facts and any media content in them are presented solely by the authors, and neither The Times of Israel nor its partners assume any responsibility for them. ...

Reading Michelle Alexander’s column, “Time to Break the Silence on Palestine,” in The New York Times (Jan. 20) isn’t for the faint of heart. So many questions swirl around it that it’s hard to know where to begin.

First, I wish I could say I was surprised to see such a flawed and polemical piece in the paper, but then again the Times isn’t exactly new to such pieces, at least when it comes to Israel-related matters.

Second, outrageously, Ms. Alexander tried to link her column to the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr., though she presents no convincing evidence that he would have agreed with her premise. To the contrary, the Dr. King that AJC leaders worked with on civil rights and other pressing issues, in the 1960s, was a staunch friend of Israel (and the mainstream Jewish community). And, of course, the paper played along by featuring the column prominently on the eve of the national holiday honoring his legacy.

Third, as the title suggests, Ms. Alexander sees herself as heroically “breaking the silence” and taking on those dark (Jewish?) forces trying to stifle any discussion of Israeli-Palestinian issues.

Ms. Alexander, what silence are you breaking? The paper you wrote your column for, and countless others, have been publishing such pieces for decades. Fortunately, they’ve had little resonance with the American people, who instinctively understand the Israel story and its importance to us as Americans.

And fourth, there are countless outrages in the column itself.

She unabashedly applauds boycotts of Israel; falsely accuses the Jewish state of apartheid; approvingly cites extremist voices like the misnamed Jewish Voice for Peace; endorses the Palestinian “right of return,” which would mean the end of Israel; veers dangerously close to anti-Semitism with references to Jewish money; and charges the country with endless acts of oppression against both its Arab citizens (who, in reality, are fully active in just about every aspect of Israeli life, including the Supreme Court) and Palestinians.

Nowhere does she show any understanding of Israel, much less even an ounce of sympathy for its unenviable situation in a rough-and-tumble region where the weak don’t last long and, tragically, peace has proved elusive.

For her, Israel was settled by European Jews, suggesting outsiders, but there is no reference to the nearly one million Jews expelled from Arab countries, most of whom thankfully found refuge in Israel and today comprise the majority of the Jewish population, much less to the historical links of the Jewish people to the land.

Nowhere does she reference Israel’s multiple and well-documented efforts to achieve peace with the Palestinians, beginning the year before the state was reborn in 1948 and continuing into the 21st century. Israel is blamed nonstop for the current situation, while the Palestinians are blameless. Does Ms. Alexander have a clue about the actual history and its endless layers of complexity, or does she live in a sanitized world of simplistic narratives that perhaps feed a larger world view?

Nor is there any explanation of how Israel came into possession of the West Bank in 1967 or how it sought a land-for-peace deal immediately afterward, only to be rejected by the Arab League in September 1967.

Of course, there’s not even a hint that, absent a peace partner to achieve a two-state accord, Israel tried at the very least to minimize the impact of occupation, as evidenced by a growing Palestinian population, rising life expectancy, improving standard of living, substantial self-government, and the founding of several universities in the West Bank.

Gaza is described as occupied by Israel, even as it withdrew lock, stock, and barrel in 2005. Hamas is mentioned in passing, but not as a terrorist organization determined to destroy Israel and replace it with an Islamist state. What exactly is Hamas in Ms. Alexander’s mind? Is it a liberal, democratic, non-violent, and peace-seeking group? I can’t imagine that Dr. King would have thought so.

A reader of Ms. Alexander’s column would have no hint at all about terrorism from Gaza and the West Bank; the thousands of missiles fired indiscriminately by Hamas and Hezbollah; the many Israeli families that have buried their relatives because of such attacks; or, for that matter, Israel’s full-throttled pluralism and its age-old yearning for enduring peace and coexistence.

And, last but not least, I can’t help but wonder how Dr. King would have reacted to such a piece that seeks to shamelessly exploit his memory —and hijack his legacy — by turning an outspoken friend of Israel into a would-be moral cudgel against the world’s only Jewish-majority country. My guess is he would have been appalled.


(10) The Times of Israel’s Flawed Attack on Michelle Alexander - Ian Berman

The Times of Israel’s Flawed Attack on the NY Times’ MLK and Palestinian Rights

Calling Michelle Alexander’s editorial in the New York Times a “new low” was a hyperbolic act of click-bait to appeal to the Times of Israel’s readers. One that lacked journalistic and editorial integrity.

by Ian Berman

NEW YORK —  Michelle Alexander, a now-famous scholar for her work on race relations and her book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, wrote a New York Times op-ed titled “Time to Break the Silence on Palestine,” calling for public discourse on how Israel oppresses Palestinians.  A significant part of her column analyzed how Martin Luther King would not have stayed silent on the current state of affairs.

David Harris responded with what the Times of Israel called a “Featured Post,” titled “Michelle Alexander’s NY Times column hits new low.” Harris serves up an astonishingly biased opinion piece that repeatedly challenges Alexander in ways that reveal his belief in debunked Zionist narratives of the history and the present state of Israel. Considering how the Times of Israel chose to feature and thereby endorse the blog post, I felt compelled to respond and break through the myths and false analysis of the commentary.   After all, Harris referred to Alexander’s article as a “flawed and polemical piece” and I could not help but to think the same should be said about Harris’ article.

Further, Harris suggested that the New York Times routinely publishes anti-Israel articles when he wrote “[the Times] isn’t exactly new to such pieces.”  Yet Harris never supported this assessment of alleged bias with other examples or analyses of the Times past articles on “Israel-related matters.”

It is an especially odd allegation given the New York Times’ coverage of the 2014 Massacre of Gaza. The Times ran a seemingly daily comparison of the number of dead Gazans to the number of rockets fired from Gaza. This rocket count included a large number of “enhanced fireworks,” as Norman Finkelstein calls them, that inflicted negligible damage.

So the New York Times’ comparison showed how many thousands of dead Palestinians vs. how many projectiles that lacked targeting capability and therefore lethality, except for blind luck. When reporting on war and death, such a trivialization of the carnage is anything but anti-Israel bias. Further, does the New York Times now have a weekly count of the rockets fired from the Great March of Return (zero) – compared to the number of Palestinians killed (180 through 12/28/18) and wounded (10,066) by Israeli snipers and other soldiers safely out of harm’s way?

Harris continued on to state, “she present[ed] no convincing evidence that [Martin Luther King] would have agreed with her premise.” Yet a number of Alexander’s paragraphs provided a substantial analysis of why he would, including King’s explicit change of heart on the issue after the 1967 Israeli invasion of neighboring lands. Alexander wrote:

“Ultimately, King canceled a pilgrimage to Israel in 1967 after Israel captured the West Bank. During a phone call about the visit with his advisers, he said, ‘I just think that if I go, the Arab world, and of course Africa and Asia for that matter, would interpret this as endorsing everything that Israel has done, and I do have questions of doubt.’”

Somehow Harris fails to mention this after noting King was a “staunch friend of Israel,” which was the case at an earlier point in time.

Harris then misinterprets Alexander’s “breaking the silence.” Alexander was not suggesting she was the first to do so as Harris indicates. Indeed Alexander notes others’ work that obviously came before her. What Alexander said is that there remains a challenge to speaking out against Israel and she admits she has refrained from doing so in the past. Essentially she is breaking a silence that she and many other have failed to break in the past. In this way, she is leading others to do the same.

Then Harris enumerates “countless outrages” without substantiating any of them. Since all are standard Israeli talking points, each is worth addressing:

“She unabashedly applauds boycotts of Israel.” Alexander chose to highlight that some large Christian religious organizations have shifted their investments away from companies profiting from the occupation. She also noted that newly elected U.S. Representatives support a boycott and one teacher lost her job for refusing to sign a pledge against a boycott as a condition of employment. Should Alexander be ashamed of supporting such activities, as Harris implies?

Further, this type of protest is how one presses for change in a foreign country, as was the case with South Africa. According to the 1982 Supreme Court decision NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., boycotts are protected free speech.  So how is this an outrage? Harris does not say.

“Falsely accuses the Jewish state of apartheid.” What does one call Israel’s sovereignty through military law over Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the West Bank for over 50 years with no end in sight? Democracy? Only if one considers such Palestinians as non-humans. “Approvingly cites extremist voices like the misnamed Jewish Voice for Peace.” Once again, Harris makes a subjective comment without establishing how JVP is extremist or misnamed. JVP does not call for violence, but rather demands the rights due Palestinians as human beings and under international law. How is that extremist?

“Endorses the Palestinian ‘right of return.’” This is an odd outrage on two fronts. First, the Palestinian right of return is based upon international law. Israel agreed that membership in the UN according to UN Resolution 273 was conditional upon “Israel’s stated agreement to comply with Resolution 194.” UN Resolution 194 provided for “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the governments or authorities responsible.”

Israel has never implemented this Palestinian right of return and, in fact, blocked such a return with laws enforced at gunpoint. Further, the current weekly massacre of Gazans is a direct Israeli response to the Palestinian unarmed protest demanding their right of return.

Second, Israel has enshrined into law the right of Jews to obtain citizenship in Israel based upon a “right of return” that goes back to a supposed connection to the land from well over a millennia ago. Yet Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed in 1947-8, just 0.07 millennia ago, do not enjoy a similar right. It would seem the outrage is in the obviously hypocritical position of supporting the Jewish Right to Return upon an ancient connection to the land, but denying the Palestinian Right to Return supported by international law, with living members of the expelled still holding keys to their homes and deeds to their lands.

“Which would mean the end of Israel.” The Palestinian right of return would mean that if incentives were not sufficiently provided for the refugees to not return, then there would no longer be a Jewish majority. Merely because the ruling class of the state loses it majority status, gained by virtue of Ethnic Cleansing, it does not mean the end of the state. No, it means the nature of the state ends, but not the state itself. Should the Palestinian right of return finally happen, attendant with the application of the so-called democracy of Israel to all people equally, then Jewish citizens of Israel could no longer rule with the tyranny of the majority oppressing the minority. This is no more an end to Israel then there was an end to South Africa. What the return of Palestinians implies though is that Israel would be compelled to become a just state for all who have a right to live there.

“Veers dangerously close to anti-Semitism with references to Jewish money.”  My guess is that Harris is implicitly acknowledging the flow of large amounts of money from Jewish donors to Israel since in this incidence he writes “dangerously close,” rather than use one of his affirmative summary judgements.

“Charges the country with endless acts of oppression against both its Arab citizens (who, in reality, are fully active in just about every aspect of Israeli life, including the Supreme Court) and Palestinians.” First one should note the propaganda, the outright lie actually, of this terminology. When Harris refers to “Arab citizens,” he is referring to Palestinians with Israeli citizenship. Then he refers to those who do not have citizenship living under Israeli sovereignty as Palestinians. Harris is seemingly implying these two different groups of people have a different heritage.

What they actually have is different historical circumstances. The so-called Arab-Israelis are Palestinians who remained within the internationally recognized Green Line after the 1947-8 war. The so-called Palestinians live without citizenship under Israeli domination in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. Yet both groups are Palestinian. In essence, the terminology is an attempt to wipe out the idea that there were Palestinians that lived in the territory prior to formation of Israel and deem those whose who are not citizens as somehow outsiders or infiltrators to the land.

Secondly, when it comes to “endless acts of oppression,” I direct readers to two Facebook Pages I co-founded and manage to show the daily “outrages” Palestinians suffer under Israeli oppression. The first, Palestine 365, provided one article for each day in 2016 to show that when the mainstream media is not covering the region, there are constant Israeli provocations through its military rule and apartheid laws. We felt compelled to show that Israel’s massive periodic attacks against Palestinians were not simply due to a breakdown in ceasefires after Palestinians allegedly instigated a new “cycle of violence.”  Rather these breakdowns are the result of a constant series of provocations committed by a brutally oppressive Israeli regime that left the defenseless little choice but to finally resist.

In fact, this was the plan that Israeli demographer Arnon Sofer created for Gaza: Make conditions for a sealed-off Gaza so miserable that Palestinians would be compelled to rebel and the Israelis would have to “kill and kill and kill.”

We created a follow-up page, Palestine 365, the Ongoing Oppression, to show additional acts of oppression since 2016.  A recurring theme in both pages is that the events covered rarely receive American mainstream media coverage. [...]

-- Peter Myerswebsite: