As a Black African advocate for Zionism, I often come face to face with the childish ad hominem “you are a coon/uncle tom/sell-out” or “how much is Mossad paying you”? Before, I used to get the former mostly from other Black people and the latter from mostly Asian Muslims. Now, recently, even White anti-Zionists are quite comfortable throwing such racist pejoratives at me. Anti-Zionism married itself with “the Black Struggle”, but few of us actually got the memo. We just woke up one day and found that if you are Black and you support the State of Israel as the Jewish homeland and believe in fostering greater ties between it and Black people all over the world, then that is tantamount to betraying the Black Struggle.
I thought about this as I watched a video clip from the recent Million Man March, in which Jeremiah Wright, retired Pastor Emeritus of the Trinity United Church of Christ, told his audience that “Please remember, Jesus was a Palestinian“. I could not help noticing that as Rev. Wright spoke these words, a Muslim woman took position behind him. I was to learn that she is called Linda Sarsour. Now, I am not suggesting that she was handling him as the term would be understood by a conspiracy-theory buff. However, it is what the retired pastor was saying that got me thinking: Who is the puppet now? Who is speaking for another?
Well, how else would you rationalise an instance where a pastor of 36 years departs from the accepted teachings of his faith, and repeats with a straight face the preposterous declaration that Jesus was a Palestinian while a non-Christian activist nods approvingly behind him?
I am hoping no one would ever want to rationalise this display. I am hoping, however, that other Black Christian leaders, especially in the United States, realise that they cannot continue to be part of a Silent Majority while such fundamental teachings of their faith are sold to causes that have no respect for Christianity or issues affecting Black people. I can accept that some Black Christians will support the Palestinian cause, for whatever reason. But to distort their own beliefs in order to do so, and appear in public as if at the behest of a Muslim woman, grabs any hold of any straws they may be clutching in order to back this position, and dips them in something nasty.
Next time someone suggests that I am a mouthpiece for putative Mossad handlers, I will hold up the latest Black posterboy for the Anti-Zionist cause and draw attention to the smug Muslim woman behind him.