Black Lives Matter hijacked by antisemitism

Black Lives Matter logo
by Zoe Strimpel

When the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn swiftly revealed itself to be the most antisemitic major political party in Britain in decades – one vile outpouring and grotesque comment after the next, I marvelled at people’s endless surprise.

They had been fooled by the hard Left’s self-identification as “anti-racist”.

How, they kept wondering, could the anti-racist party have so many antisemites in its midst?

Easily. Anti-racism movements often foster antisemitism.

This is because the most committed anti-racists see Jews as part of an imperialist racist Zionist conspiracy, represented by Israel.

According to their political lights, Israel is the world’s single biggest problem, and they believe it exists solely to egregiously and brutally oppress people of colour, including, but not limited, to their Arab neighbours.

Jews, Zionists and racists unite, for them, in one toxic brain fog.

So I was dismayed, but far from surprised to see, that the Black Lives Matter protests have gone on producing potent outbreaks of antisemitism.

A few weeks ago, rioting in Los Angeles following the murder of George Floyd saw a number of Jewish shops destroyed, synagogues vandalised with “Free Palestine” graffiti, and a statue of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from being murdered by the Nazis, daubed in antisemitic slogans.

It goes on. Last week, at an anti-racism rally in Paris inspired by Black Lives Matter, placards and stickers read such jewels as “Israel, laboratory of police violence”, “Who is the terrorist?”, “Palestine to the Palestinians! Boycott Israel!’’, and “Stop collaboration with Israeli State terrorism”. Protesters wore T-shirts reading “Justice for Palestine” and waved Palestinian flags.

Fair enough, you say. Except to go with the slogans, the Place de la Republique was soon ringing with mass chants of “dirty Jews” – howls that the leader of the French far Left, member of parliament Jean-Luc Melenchon, managed to deny were anti-Semitic.

Back in America, Ice Cube, the rapper, chose to advance the cause of George Floyd by posting a caricature of Jewish figures with the caption: “All we have to do is stand up [against them] and their little game is over.”

The image was nearly identical to one used by Nazis in the 1930s to incite hatred and violence against Jews.

Ice Cube also praised Nation of Islam founder Louis Farrakhan, one of the world’s most rabid anti-Semites. All in the name of racial justice, naturally.

One is reminded of the Gilets Jaunes movement of 2019, another far-Left cause with a mass following (this time for “economic justice”).

At one rally in Paris, in February 2019, the Franco-Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut was set upon by demonstrators yelling “dirty Zionist’’ and “filthy race” at him.

Antisemitism became a major feature of the protests.

The far Right has traditionally fostered vile racism and antisemitism, while the Left has always staked its soul on being better, kinder, fairer.

But now, as its outer reaches gather mainstream force, it can be hard to tell the difference between them.



Zoe Strimpel is an academic historian, columnist, author and broadcaster focusing on feminism, dating, singleness and relationships in modern Britain.



Source: afr