The Israeli Effort to Influence the Black Lives Matter Movement
But this is not just a story about one dinner conversation. It is a story that intertwines with the journey of Black Lives Matter (BLM), a movement that has been a steadfast force for social justice. In 2016, BLM cast its support behind boycott, divestment, and sanctions activism that called for an end to Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian lands. Little did they know that this moral stance would thrust them into the crosshairs of the Israeli government's anti-BDS efforts.Enter 'The Lobby-USA,' a documentary that Al Jazeera, in collaboration with the Grayzone Project, struggled to release due to political pressure. After nearly a year of delays, segments of the documentary finally saw the light of day thanks to the efforts of the Grayzone Project and Electronic Intifada. What this documentary uncovered is nothing short of astonishing.
Within its footage lies a complex tapestry of tactics. Several right-wing think tanks in the U.S. orchestrated staged protests at a pro-Palestinian student conference—an anonymous U.S. billionaire funded a website dedicated to portraying American students supporting Palestinian rights as terrorists. The lines between fact and fiction blur as we delve deeper into this convoluted tale.
And then there's the Israel-American Council (IAC) conference, which leans further right than the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). It's here that Israeli diplomats, including Shorer, openly discussed their concerns with Black Lives Matter. In a twist that reads like an improbable subplot, Andy David, the Israeli consul general in San Francisco, gleefully announced his success in enlisting Dr. King's former lawyer, Clarence B. Thomas, as an Israeli ally. Thomas, in turn, authored articles for the Huffington Post decrying the supposed hijacking of BLM's agenda. One can't help but wonder what Dr. King would have made of such a claim. In a peculiar turn, Thomas claimed King might have been an Israel supporter in 2014. He was awarded at the Israeli consulate in New York, and the irony of this statement is palpable.
But perhaps the most bewildering twist in this tale is the cancellation of a BLM fundraiser at Feinstein's/54 Below, a New York nightclub. This decision was orchestrated by the Israel Project lobby group's development director, Eric Gallagher, who cited BLM's opposition to Israel as the reason. It's a stark reminder of the intricate network that operates behind the scenes.As we navigate the intricacies of this labyrinthine narrative, it becomes increasingly clear that truth can indeed be stranger than fiction. A leaked video from 'The Lobby-USA' shows the unexpected intersection of influence and power. It leaves us with questions that demand answers and serves as a stark reminder that the stories we uncover in real life often eclipse even the wildest tales spun by the imagination.