Judith Brown
Young enough not to quit and old enough to know better.

“Intersectionality” the “woke” way to blame Israel

I have just learned a new word; “Intersectionality“.  An attempt at lumping all “oppressed” people and their “oppressors” into one group.  A common denominator of race, gender, equality sans substantiated historical point of reference. It is currently in vogue to define Jews, preferably Israelis, as “white” privileged “oppressors”.  Viscerally anti-Semite; this narrative showed its ugly head at the University of California, Berkeley, bedrock of far left ideology and anti-Israel rhetoric. UoC circulated a petition holding Israel responsible for “teaching methods that killed George Floyd”, and asking for the divestment of all companies that do business with Israel.

In a June 4th, 2020, article, Benjamin Kerstein of “the Algemeiner” wrote about UoC’s attempt at linking the killing of Mr. Floyd to Israeli training of its own forces.  It should not come as a surprise that Berkeley is going down this anti-Israel route. Disingenuous academia has made it its mission in life to vilify Israel and depicting it as an illegal occupier and “oppressor” of Palestinians.

The endorsement of BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanction) on most US campuses is now a trend that has left many Jewish students skittish, especially if they are pro-Israel. Berkeley took it a step further by claiming that Israelis are allegedly training US police forces in Israeli methods that “torture” Palestinians. The petition holds Israel guilty of 72 years in “ethnic cleansing”.  Professor Miriam Elman, Executive Director of Academic Engagement Network, shed a light on the “training” allegation. In 2012, a group of Minneapolis police officers attended an FBI hosted counter terrorism seminar, where a few Israeli law enforcement were asked to speak and participate.  The notion that US-Israeli exchanges in law enforcement programs are a source of training in torture and police brutality should be considered by every level headed American as insane.  Unfortunately it found root in academia’s intellectual elite. One of them being Jeanette Hope, California Department of Education Ethnic Studies who signed the petition gladly. Anti-Israel narrative on campuses is ostracizing Jewish students who are unjustly correlated to Israel and its politics.

Mainstream media seems to give a blind eye to the anti-Semitic under currents on campuses and politics. They remind me of the good old Soviet Union, when we all knew they were lying and with a straight face. Tucked safely away in partisan pockets and agendas; they spin with immunity. The media skirts around anti-Israel and anti-Semitic bigotry embedded in activist groups like Black Lives Matter, Black Liberation Army, and Black Panthers. Recent “protests” turned riots, vandalized synagogues with “Free Palestine” graffiti. Jewish businesses were also ransacked. Protesters marched with inverted American flags, PLO flags, and Black Liberation Army flags. It’s the beauty of free speech; even the visceral is tolerated. Their intent is what should worry all of us.

A June 7, 2020, article in the Middle East Forum (An American “intifada”) raised similarities between pseudo civil rights activism and a consolidated effort by questionable groups to destabilize the country and change its fundamental political dynamics. Hatem Bazian, is a lecturer at the Department of Near Eastern & Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, founder of the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project Center for Race & Gender, and also founder of Students for Justice in Palestine.  In 2014, he held an anti-America rally calling for drastic changes to America’s political “dynamics”.  During a zealous moment he asked his ardent followers “Why no intifada in the US?”  He was not high or vaping.  There was and still is a deliberate intention to change the country’s fundamentals to those of Bolshevik Russia.  Unfortunately, US campuses rife with the likes of Hatem Bazian, hide behind incongruous titled professors that give their anti-Israel narrative relevance.

If we had to mention an Intifada in America we would be laughed off; but in a 2014 interview, Black Panther & Black Liberation Army member Dhoruba bin Wahad openly discussed the alliance that Yasser Arafat had sought with the Black Panthers.  That was 1960.  The first Hamas Intifada against Israel was in 1987. Hamas recruited children to throw rocks at Israeli soldiers in the hope of antagonizing them enough into a fight. That went on until 1993, when the Oslo Accords ended it.  But Hamas did not relent.  Several other Intifada followed with elevated violence. 2000-2005, the weapon of choice was suicide bombers.  On a visit to Israel four years ago I came face to face with the horrors of suicide bombers. List of victims etched on a wall outside a restaurant in Haifa. The last Intifada was in 2015 and knives were the preferred method of killing Israelis. Intifada has always been justified by “oppression”.  The victims of an Intifada are collateral damage to the “oppressed”. “Intersectionality” conveniently strips Israel, Israelis, and Jews of any moral significance and conveniently reduces them to the equivalent of white European “oppressors”.

This connection perpetrated between Israel and US “Police Brutality” is not new.  Several years ago BDS pushed this narrative during the Ferguson and Baltimore riots.  Reminding everyone that not even a black popular President could stop the rioting, looting, or burning.  The media conveniently misses that little bit of history. It’s not comfortable. Even then, BDS made a futile attempt at linking American law enforcement to IDF. This was propagated by the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights that stated without recrimination that Israel is responsible for training the police in “racist and repressive policing tactics”. The alleged training systematically and deliberately targeted black and “brown bodies”.  On May 28th, 2020, the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network called US law enforcement an “occupied” force.  Sounds familiar? Days later Urooj Rahman, a Brooklyn lawyer and Palestinian activist decided to take matters into her own hands and attacked the NYPD with Molotov cocktails.  I guess she did not care about the black and brown police officers who were injured and incidentally make up a large portion of the NYPD force.

The call for accountability by law enforcement is justified, so is the call for reform.  Most of the protests were peaceful and respectful, but they were made irrelevant by the likes of those bent on taking America on the path to division and destruction.  The continual vilification of Israel has very little to do with justice.  It is an inherent dislike of Jews by groups who hide behind the banner of activism, victimization, and oppression.  The fact that Israel thrives where others can’t is a thorn in the side of those who want to see it gone. “Intersectionality” is no longer a word; it’s a movement with a purpose. It’s a definition with intention. It’s an intent to destroy the moral essence of justice through intrinsic bigotry and hate. I am neither Jewish, Israeli, nor black.  But I can distinguish between real justice and an excuse for hatred.

The death of Mr. Floyd should make us all sit still, and wonder what happened to America when law enforcement has to be feared. It should also give us pause to reflect on America’s founding principles that all are created equal and deserving of respect.  What happened to Mr. Floyd was evil.  What happened afterwards was equally so. When academia and politics condone both, we are in trouble.  When Antisemitism is permitted as a rallying cry for justice, we have reached a political precipice with a dubious end.

Caschetta A.J. (June 7, 2020) An American “intifada”. Middle East Forum. https://www.meforum.org/61061/an-american-intifada

Kerstein, B. (June4, 2020) Outrage Greets Pro-BDS Petition to University of California Blaming Israel for Teaching Methods that killed George Floyd. the Algemeiner. https://www.algemeiner.com/2020/06/04/outrage-greets-pro-bds-petition-to-university-of-california-blaming-israel-for-us-police-brutality/

About the Author
Judith was born in Malta but is also a naturalized American. Former military wife (23 years), married, and currently retired from the financial world as Bank Manager. Spent the last 48 years associated or working for the US forces overseas. Judith has a blog on www.judith60dotcom Judith speaks several languages and is currently learning Hebrew.