This has been a very telling few weeks to say the least. From protests, to riots, to DeSean Jackson, to Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, black Americans have been speaking loud and clear and our internal divide has not been more evident in decades. Fringe groups who were seen as such are now becoming more mainstream, forcing powerful people to either toe the line or condemn it. Age-old Nazi era conspiracy theories are increasingly seen as new revelations and gospel truth. Ridiculous discussions about what the “right color Jew” is has become more commonplace. And though Jew-hatred comes from all sides, it breaks my heart to say that many black Americans are making it conventional, acceptable, and even commendable in our communities.
In one camp, we have people like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jemele Hill calling out the Jew-hating comments of DeSean Jackson and Ice Cube. In the other camp, popular figures like Jackson and Cube double down on their anti-Jewish sentiments and receive support from some of their fellow celebrity friends. Most recently, Nick Cannon has echoed those same Anti-Jewish talking points on his former show where he had numerous purveyors of those talking points as guests. Cannon has posited that “white Jews are fake,” “Jews control the banks,” and other inflammatory comments against Jews and white people. Cannon has since apologized, but his guests, and many of his followers are convinced that he has just been bullied by “the Jew-ish mafia,” reinforcing the false claim that whiter looking Jews are fake. One of the most powerful record executives and producers in the world, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs voiced support for Cannon, offering him a job on Combs’s music cable network following Cannon’s troubling rants against the Jewish people. Others who voiced support include NBA player Dwayne Wade, TV and podcast personality Charlamagne Tha God. Wade has deleted his tweet and attempted to clarify his position, but again, Cannon’s supporters claim Wade is “dancing for his slave master.”
It is worth noting that the concept of color for the worldwide Jewish community is asinine. NOI and Black Hebrew Israelite acolytes will take sacred texts and cherry pick verses and simply insert a random, baseless interpretation to it. Thus the “real Jews are black and white Jews are fake” myth. There is absolutely no biblical evidence to support the claim that the Jewish people are just one color or that lighter colored Jews are fake. There is, however, ample biblical evidence for the Jewish Diaspora. The Jews of Iran are the Jews of Persia from the book of Esther. The Jews of Iraq are the Jews of Babylon from the book of Daniel. The Jews of Ethiopia are the Jews of Cush from Acts 8:26-40. In the book of Acts chapter 2 tells of the Jewish feast of Shavuot, known to Christians as Pentecost. In the beginning of the chapter, the writer lets us know that there were “Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven,” including Greece, Rome, Egypt, Libya and Arabia. There is no avoiding the fact that the entire bible is a strong testament to the Jewish diaspora, and that diaspora is represented in modern day Israel. The only way extremist groups like NOI and BHI can successfully convince the black community otherwise is by capitalizing on our biblical illiteracy and obsession with color.
Within the black community, there has been much discussion about who the “real Jews” or the “first Jews” are. A discussion not based in any objective historical truth, but on a skewed sense of superiority and what Martin Luther King described as being “color consumed.” The full context of that quote can be found in my previous article here. First, a quote falsely attributed to Adolph Hitler has been proliferating social media all the way up to the celebrity level which has stoked much debate. I will not dignify it with a word for word quote, but it basically says that all black people in America are the true Jews, that America stole them from Africa, and that non-black Jews are impostors. Beside the fact that this quote is false, it does not even line up with what we know to be true about Hitler and what he said and did. Moreover, even if Hitler were to have said those things, one would have to ask the person sharing the why they are standing on the words of a Jew-hating genocidal despot to make their case. It is all a bit bizarre to say the least.
I have seen Black Lives Matter adopt the Palestinian narrative against Israel since its inception. Many people who hear me say this interject that there is a difference between Black Lives Matter and the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), a global organization and BLM’s partner. M4BL perpetuates blood libels against Israel and the Jewish people, the founders are self-proclaimed Marxists who believe in the dismantling of the entire Jewish state. Also, the exact same people who coined the phrase and hashtag #BlackLivesMatter are the co-founders of BLM the anti-Zionist organization. I know people who are a part of Black Lives Matter who are not anti-Zionists or antisemites. However, I struggle to see the difference between the two entities when I see a good amount of the Black Lives Matter protests turn into demonstrations of aggression against the Jewish community. The linked article also notes that many Jewish groups from many different religious and political backgrounds voiced support and solidarity for the black community in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. Despite this, leaders like BLM Los Angeles founder Melina Abdullah, a student of Farrakhan, falsely accuses Israel of genocide and apartheid.
Linda Sarsour, a notorious anti-Israel activist, joined with Muslims for Abolition, BLM and other groups to put on an event called New York City Day of Action. Beside the tragically ironic fact that there seems to be nothing in their literature about abolishing Muslim imposed slavery in Africa, their poster promoting the event notes that it is “open to all, minus cops and Zionists.”
Sarsour continues to stoke the fires of animosity while claiming to be for peace and justice. These purveyors of lies about Israel love to wax poetic about Israel and Jewish people until pressed. They have no problem libeling Israeli soldiers as murderers of peaceful Gaza protesters until a Hamas leader admitted on a Palestinian news network that the vast majority of people who were shot and killed at the border riots were Hamas operatives dressed in civilian clothing. After this came out, Sarsour and every other ‘Palestinian human rights activists’ fell oddly silent. They never want to admit that the real threat to the Palestinian people are their own leaders. In the discussion about Israel and the Palestinian people, there is no mention of the fact that Hamas uses its civilians as human shields for negative PR against Israel, which is why they sent civilians, and dressed terrorists up as civilians to storm the border. Their goal was not to peacefully protest; it was to overtake the Israeli border and kill Jews. And Hamas does this not for the Palestinian people; because if they did, they wouldn’t hoard foreign aid money, leave the people in poverty, and torture and kill any one of their people who speaks out against them. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Sarsour has made statements such as Israel was “built on the idea that Jews are better than everyone else”. Her neo-Marxist defamation of Zionism as “Jewish supremacy” is as mendacious as it is anti-Semitic.
Educated observers and students of Zionism alike are well aware that Zionism is, simply put, the program of national self determination of the Jewish people in Israel, their one and only 3000 year homeland and Nation state. Zionism as the realization of Jewish sovereignty has resulted in Israel’s ingathering of some eight million Jews from around the world, from Ethiopia to England, and from Uruguay to the United States.
Zionism had accomplished this goal largely through legally purchasing land, and gaining land in wars they did not start. Modern Zionism emerged because Jews worldwide were constantly being persecuted, discriminated against, and even murdered in large numbers. A Safe Jewish homeland ensures that Jews have secure borders, and can properly protect themselves against ever-recurring Jew-hatred. And the land of Israel is a land to where ethnic Jews are indigenous. If Sarsour has such a skewed view of what the essence of Zionism is to millions of Jewish people worldwide, why is she trusted to be a visionary and advocate for minorities? Her ahistorical musings do not stop there. Sarsour has repeated the absurd claim that Jesus, the Jewish rabbi and Messiah to 2.3 billion Christians worldwide, was a Palestinian. The term Palestine wasn’t even a word until after the Romans expelled the Jews from Judea in 135 AD and renamed it ‘Syria-Palaestina.’ The closest thing we have to that word is Philistia where the Philistines lived, and Jesus was not born there. He was born in Bethlehem, which may be a Palestinian territory today, but in the time He was born, it was very much Israel. To say Jesus was a Palestinian because now the land is Palestinian, is like saying Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem from 1921 to 1937 was Israeli because now, part of Jerusalem belongs to Israel. That assertion would not go over well in the Palestinian activist camp, nor the Arab world, and rightfully so. Somehow, however,
Sarsour continues to try and erase Jewish history and all Jewish connection to the land of Israel. She is intellectually dishonest, hypocritical, and a closet Jew-hater; especially if those Jews are Zionist.
Another distortion that is sadly gaining traction in the black community is that the Jews funded and controlled the transatlantic slave trade. It’s a talking point that Farrakhan and his followers relentlessly repeat, and it is nothing more than pseudo-intellectual Jew-hatred. While some Jews did trade and own slaves, they were in the smallest minority, amounting to a handful of Jewish families. The vast majority of slave owners were non-Jewish Americans. But that’s not even the biggest point. What Nation of Islam followers always seem to leave out is the Jewish effort to end slavery. There were Jews who fought to end slavery in America, just as there were many Jews who fought and died with us to end Jim Crow segregation and lynchings. The Jewish community was pivotal in our fight for freedom and equality, mainly because of the historical and almost supernatural link that binds us through our mutual suffering and persecution. In much of our shared struggle, the Jews were seen as non-white and therefore, were considered a lower caste. To single out the few Jews who owned slaves to perpetuate the lie that “the Jews controlled the slave trade” is nothing short of pure and simple Jew-hatred. The purveyors of this lie are either ignorant, or intentionally deceitful. Either way, they are lost. Miseducators benefitting from the money of the people they pretend to fight for. Again, with all this talk of slavery, one would think these outspoken personalities would call attention to the centuries old Arab slave trade of black Africans; a phenomena that took off during the 7th century following the Arab colonization of North Africa and continues this very day. Not only does Farrakhan and his followers not make mention of this, but they deny it is even happening; dismissing it as a hoax, or “satanic Zionist propaganda.” A simple conversation with an African would quickly prove it isn’t propaganda, but an unfortunate truth. Why someone would inject blind hatred and conceal truth can be best explained below:
“When you see a physician drive to one’s door in his Pierce Arrow, you cannot get the impression he has come to treat the patient for a complaint. He has come to treat him for a dollar. Such physicians, as a rule know less and less medicine as the years go by, although they make much money by learning human psychology and using it for personal gain. With leeches of this type feeding upon an all but impoverished people and giving them nothing back there can be no hope for advancement.”
-Carter G. Woodson, The Miseducation of the Negro
This is the fight on our hands now, and it’s threefold: political, cultural, and biblical. The way we fight this fight at the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel is first and foremost through education. IBSI is a media and library resource that focuses on education. We work with members of the Black and Jewish communities throughout the country unearthing truths about the blacks and Jews in America, the thriving Israel and Africa relationship, and the Jewish Diaspora.
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