At the end of February, while others were preparing for the imminent hate-fest known as Israel Apartheid Week, Richard Silverstein, a particularly vehement anti-Zionist, got the ball rolling with a fierce attack on Chloe Simone Valdary, an undergraduate student and a supporter of Israel.
Valdary had written a piece for The Times of Israel about the debacle at the Jewish Museum in New York, when arch-BDS supporter Judith Butler was invited to speak, then declined the invitation after a blacklash against her.
Silverstein took to Twitter to respond to Valdary’s article, using shocking, racist language that seemed extreme even for him:
They finally did it: found a Negro Zionist: Uncle Tom is dancin’ for joy! http://t.co/O6Yx2WvOal
— Tikun Olam (@richards1052) February 22, 2014
Silverstein was pilloried as a racist on Twitter from dozens of critics outraged not only by his language but also by his stunning insistence that the comments were correct. But the reaction against him appeared to be limited to Twitter, and a few blogs.
Until now. The New York Post published an article by Anthony Hardy Williams, Democratic whip in the Pennsylvania state Senate.
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It turns out, Silverstein was not the only anti-Israel activist to fall into crude racism in response to Valdary. Notable BDS figures, such as Zaid Jilani, were also tweeting vile attacks in reference to Valdary’s race.
Williams noted that BDS is seen as a progressive movement, “so it’s astounding to see its supporters turn to racism.” He added:
Why should such hate speech go unchallenged, just because it’s cloaked as criticism of Israel?
As a civil-rights activist and leader in the African-American community, I’m exceptionally disturbed to discover that the response to this attack on Valdary has been subdued, almost nonexistent.
Just as Jews stood with African-Americans during the fight for civil rights in the 1960s, so too must we as leaders of the Black community stand together today with Chloé Simone Valdary, on the one hand, and the Jewish community, on the other hand.
Williams also called the response to Valdary, a “deeply troubling trend in an anti-Israel movement that goes way beyond honest criticism of Israeli policy to dehumanize and vilify Israel, Israelis and anyone who supports the Jewish state.”
As we’ve said before, you can’t fight for justice with hypocrisy, and whether its anti-Semitism or classic racism, BDS is so loaded with hypocrisy, it’s hard to see anything else.
And here is a video of Chloe Valdary speaking out against the BDS movement: