LM LA Chapter Faces Backlash Over Support for Hamas Attacks on Israel

(This story was printed in the Westside Current on October 13 and is reprinted with permission.)

Supporters of Black Lives Matter (BLM) spoke out against the organization this week, expressing their discomfort after various BLM chapters including Southern California issued statements celebrating Hamas attacks on Israel.

BLM Los Angeles, on Monday, reposted a statement on Instagram in support of Palestine: “As the world grapples with fundamental questions about self-determination and the collective longing for a peaceful world, we must firmly stand in solidarity with the oppressed. In the face of decades of apartheid and unimaginable violence, we should not condemn their resistance but view it as a desperate act of self-defense.”

The post continued:

“Black Lives Matter Grassroots stands united with our Palestinian brothers and sisters who are currently confronting 57 years of settler colonialism and apartheid. Just as Black communities continue the battle against militarization and mass incarceration, let us perceive the struggle in Palestine as an attempt to dismantle the barriers of the world’s largest open-air prison. As a radical Black organization rooted in abolitionist principles, we draw clear parallels between the struggles of Black and Palestinian people.”

In response, user Miyuki Miyagi (@mkmiyagi) posted:

“This is incredibly disturbing. As someone who stands firmly with Black Life Mattering, I condemn your statement in the strongest terms. It is a great shame that you are marring an essential US civil rights movement by condoning terrorism and antisemitism. I defended this movement in my circles against accusations of virulent antisemitism and today I guess I stand corrected. SHAME.”

Another comment on the BLM post stated:

“This is out of touch and disturbing. You’re really championing HAMAS? Really??? What happened this weekend wasn’t ‘freedom fighting’ or ‘a resistance’. It was an attack on civilians, children held hostage, women raped. Honestly this page needs to really reflect and watch some of the videos where naked bodies are being paraded around in the streets while people cheer. Seriously out of touch.”

Carrie Topiel (@ctopes) wrote:

“This is very disappointing. As a Jewish, queer American, I am disturbed by these posts. You have no solidarity or empathy for the Israelis who are also being murdered in this horrific conflict? When Black people and Jewish people have been allies for centuries in a world of hate? To not understand that Jewish people are also indigenous to this conflict-ridden land and not use your platform to spread educated messaging is so very disappointing. Hamas is a terrorist organization whose interest is in wiping Jews off the planet. They do not care about the Palestinian people. The current Israeli government is extremist and horrific. To know that you have no care to show support for the Palestinian lives AND Israeli lives lost in this horrific situation is really upsetting.”

Despite the backlash on social media, BLM Los Angeles Founder Melina Abdulla tweeted in support of Palestine saying, “Los Angeles is with you, Palestine.”

Social media users also strongly reacted to a post from BLM Chicago, celebrating the para-sails used to attack Israel and proclaiming, “I stand with Palestine.”

This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *