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  • Policemen walk on the sidelines as protesters hold a sign which states

    Policemen walk on the sidelines as protesters hold a sign which states "Black Lives Matter," during a march against police brutality in Manhattan, New York, U.S., July 9, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Published 3 August 2016

The Jewish Community Relations Council issued a scathing statement on Black Lives Matter’s platform which called Israel an apartheid state.

The U.S.-based Jewish Community Relations Council issued a statement Wednesday criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement over their support for Palestine after they called out Israeli "genocide" for Tel Aviv's continued occupation and systematic oppression of the Palestinian people.

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“We are deeply dismayed by elements of this platform, specifically the co-opting and manipulation of a movement addressing concerns about racial disparities in criminal justice in the United States in order to advance a biased and false narrative about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict," reads a statement from the organization. 

The group also dismissed the idea that the suffering of Black people in the U.S. and Palestinians are in anyway similar. “To conflate the experiences of African-Americans and Palestinians oversimplifies complex matters and advances false equivalencies that diminish the unique nature of each.”

The anti-police brutality movement issued its first platform and within it the group included a section on U.S. foreign policy. In the 40-page document, Black Lives Matter declare Israel an “apartheid state” which “practices systematic discrimination and has maintained a military occupation of Palestine for decades.”

The group also accused the U.S. of bankrolling a “genocide taking place against the Palestinian people.” Israel receives more than US$3 billion in foreign aid, the vast majority of which translates into military aid. 

“Palestinian homes and land are routinely bulldozed to make way for illegal Israeli settlements. Israeli soldiers also regularly arrest and detain Palestinians as young as 4 years old without due process. Every day, Palestinians are forced to walk through military checkpoints along the U.S.-funded apartheid wall.”

But the U.S. Jewish group would have none of it. JCRC complained that Black Lives Matter are participating in “economic and cultural warfare against Israelis” and seek to “demonize Israel singularly amongst the nations of the world.”

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Calling the platform a “profoundly disturbing development,” the group announced it will "dissociate" itself from Black Lives Matter, which has emerged as one of the most progressive and prominent movements in the country advocating for Black people and people of color.

The group also falsely accused Black Lives Matter of supporting a “destructive campaign against Israel’s existence,” sentiments which do not appear once in the movement’s platform.

The row comes a few days after members Black Lives Matter travelled to Palestine and participated in a weekly protest in the West Bank against the Israeli occupation and illegal settlement activity.

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