by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Black Lives Matter chapters across the country made waves last week when they excused and explained away Hamas’s attack on Israel.
A coalition of 26 local chapters called the attacks a “desperate act of self-defense.” The Chicago chapter shared an image glorifying Hamas gunmen on paragliders, before walking it back amid blowback. And the movement’s Phoenix branch praised Hamas “freedom fighters” for their acts of “resistance.”
Echoing this rhetoric are two Hamas-friendly groups—American Muslims for Palestine and the Council for American-Islamic Relations—that have for nearly a decade worked arm-in-arm with the Black Lives Matter organization to plan rallies and lobby lawmakers.
The groups are united by an “oppressed-oppressor narrative that helps them destroy society,” according to the Heritage Foundation’s Mike Gonzalez.
“They see Israel as a kind of mini-me of the West and America,” Gonzalez told the Washington Free Beacon. “They hate the West. Jerusalem is one of the founding blocks of Western thought, so if they’re going to hate the West they have to hate Israel.”
American Muslims for Palestine, whose board includes a man, Salah Sarsour, who helped raise funds for a Hamas front group in the late 1990s, declared itself “firmly in solidarity with Black Americans” and demanded “Justice for George Floyd” in 2020. It organized Black Lives Matter rallies in Dallas in 2020 and the following year cosponsored a rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial to demand the Biden administration to sanction Israel.
Speaking at the American Muslims for Palestine event in 2021, one Black Lives Matter leader articulated the groups’ shared commitment to destroying Israel.
“Black people know when Zionists try to twist the words of black brothers across the world,” Black Lives Matter DC organizer Anthony Lorenzo Green said.