Black Lives Matter UK conflates its movement with fight against Israel

British Jewish leaders 'disappointed' Black Lives Matter UK 'leaned into anti-Semitic trope' that criticism of Israel is not allowed.

Marcy Oster/JTA ,

Black Lives Matter protesters
Black Lives Matter protesters

Black Lives Matter in the United Kingdom conflated its movement with the Palestinian Arabs’ struggle against Israel’s “settler colonial pursuits.”

“As Israel moves forward with the annexation of the West Bank, and mainstream British politics is gagged of the right to critique Zionism, and Israel’s settler colonial pursuits, we loudly and clearly stand beside our Palestinian comrades. FREE PALESTINE,” Black Lives Matter UK tweeted Sunday in the first of a series of tweets highlighting Jewish, Israeli and Palestinian Arabs groups that oppose “Zionism.”

The tweets highlight statements from groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace in the United States and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. The former supports the BDS movement.

British Jewish leaders criticized the tweets but said they would stand behind the movement.

“It is beyond disappointing that Black Lives Matter UK, a supposedly anti-racist organization, has leaned into the anti-Semitic trope that British politics is ‘gagged’ in terms of debating Israel, a claim particularly preposterous because Israel is one of the most-discussed foreign policy issues in this country,” Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said in a statement, the Jewish News UK reported. “However, the failings of this particular group will not stop us standing alongside black people in their quest for justice, whether inside or outside our community.”

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, told the Jewish Chronicle that it was ‘’disappointing and dangerous to post something like this to thousands of followers who sincerely want to fight racism.’’

She added: “Gagged? Gagged by whom? The insinuation is depressingly clear.’’

Black Lives Matter in the United States had tried to link its efforts to the Palestinian Arab cause and some of its supporters continue to do so.