August 5, 2016
Minneapolis, MN — Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement rejecting the inclusion of divisive anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric in the Black Lives Matter national platform:
"The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and Dakotas (JCRC) vehemently rejects the inclusion of divisive anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric in the Invest-Divest section of the Black Lives Matter's detailed national policy platform, which was released on August 1st.
"By libeling Israel, the world's only Jewish State, as an 'apartheid state,' which is engaged in 'genocide,' the platform both perverts the deeply complicated realities of the Middle East and erases a cornerstone of Jewish identity. Additionally, such hateful and divisive rhetoric in a platform, which is ostensibly about addressing structural racism and racial disparities in criminal justice in the United States, betrays the timely and necessary work being done by others within the Black Lives Matter movement and supportive allies, including leaders within the Jewish community who see no conflict between their love for Israel and their passion for the social, racial, and economic justice which is at the core of the Black Lives Matter movement.
"Moreover, by aligning with the proponents of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS), the platform seemingly forecloses the goal of two states for two peoples - which remains the only realistic solution for peace between Jews and Palestinians - in favor of the eliminationist demand that in the mantra of their BDS allies, 'from the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free.' Most troublingly, it is also a demonstrable fact that this kind of malicious language only incites the anti-Semitism which is ascendant in Israel and Europe, as well as emerging at the University of Minnesota.
"Finally, while the JCRC sharply rejects the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel language embedded within the Black Lives Matter national platform, we remain committed to building a more tolerant and just nation where every American's rights are respected and every American has the opportunity to fulfill his or her potential. To that end, we look forward to continuing our work with African American leaders who both reject the one-sided demonization and isolation of the Jewish State expressed in this platform and share our vision of a far better America and world."
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.