28 June 2020
U.K. Black Lives Matter tweets sparked outrage among senior British Jewish figures.
The Black Lives Matter movement (BLM) in the United Kingdom (UK) said Sunday that it “loudly and clearly” supports Palestinians and rejects Israel’s project to annex large parts of the West Bank.
In a series of tweets on its official account, BLM UK also criticized British politics for being “gagged of the right to critique Zionism and Israel’s settler-colonial pursuits.”.
The tweets sparked outrage among senior British Jewish figures with the Board of Deputies president, Marie van der Zyl, accusing BLM of propagating an “antisemitic trope”.
“It is beyond disappointing that a supposedly anti-racist organization has leaned into the antisemitic 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,” Zyl told the Jewish News.
BLM UK reiterated its support to Palestinians following criticism and shared a quote from academic and former Black Panther Angela Davis, who is a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause.
“One more time for those at the back,” the group wrote on Twitter.
“From the British Black Panthers to Black Lives Matter, solidarity and learning from Palestinians in the fight against systematic racism has always been part of our shared struggle and shared strength.”
The row comes only days after the UK Labour Party sacked its shadow education secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey for alleged antisemitism.
Long-Bailey shared an article that suggested that the Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd had received training from Israeli forces.
The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has planned to begin its annexation process starting Wednesday, as part of a so-called “peace plan” presented in January by United States President Donald Trump.
The plan consents to Israel’s annexation of large parts of the occupied West Bank, including illegal settlements and the Jordan Valley.
It grants Palestinians a disjointed and demilitarised entity with a capital on the outskirts of Jerusalem, while the disputed city would remain fully under Israeli sovereignty.
The West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, is seen as occupied territory under international law, making all Jewish settlements there, as well as the planned annexation, illegal.