Surprise, Surprise: Controversial Activist Group Supports Hamas 

Gary Varvel /
Gary Varvel /

In the aftermath of a recent violent attack on Israel by Hamas, a significant Black Lives Matter organization has extended its support to the Palestinian cause. Black Lives Matter Grassroots, a coalition encompassing 26 chapters across the United States and the United Kingdom, made a stunning statement showcasing its support of Palestine. 

Published on their Instagram page, the statement read, “Black Lives Matter Grassroots stands in solidarity with our Palestinian family, who are currently resisting 57 years of settler colonialism and apartheid.” A caption added a correction, noting the correct duration as “75 years” instead of 57. 

The statement went on to draw parallels between the challenges faced by Black Americans and Palestinians, discussing issues such as surveillance, dehumanization, family separations, property seizures, and more. It called for an end to militarism, mass incarceration, and the oppression of communities, emphasizing the need to dismantle the systems that perpetuate these issues. 

Rather than expressing condolences for the tragic loss of over a thousand Israeli lives due to Hamas attacks, Black Lives Matter Grassroots chose to declare its solidarity with the Palestinian people. They maintained that their support for the Palestinian struggle was based on a shared experience of oppression. The group argued that the Palestinians, having endured decades of apartheid and unimaginable violence, deserved understanding rather than condemnation. Black Lives Matter Grassroots pointed out “clear parallels” between the struggles of Black Americans in the United States and the Palestinian people under Israeli oppression. 

The concluding message urged the United States government to cease funding wars and military spending in Israel, advocating for a redirection of the annual $4 billion allocation towards repairing the damage caused by U.S.-backed wars and military interventions across the globe. The group’s stance on these critical international issues has generated significant debate and attention. 

But other individual chapters of BLM have gone public with their support of Palestine. BLM Chicago posted an image of a Hamas terrorist parachuting into Israel on social media, captioned “I stand with Palestine.” In addition, the group released information about celebrities who support Israel and those who support Palestine, drawing a stark contrast between the two.  The individuals in solidarity with Palestine predominantly included people of color, with Angela Davis being among those featured, while those supporting Israel were white, featuring Sarah Paulson, Madonna, and David Schwimmer. 

The BLM movements in Detroit, Washington D.C., Louisville, and Los Angeles are also voicing support of Palestine, with the Louisville chapter posting on Instagram, “We stand in love and solidarity with the Palestinian people. It is without a doubt that imperialism must be dismantled if any nation is to know peace.” 

Despite being distinct from the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF), the Grassroots group has continued to advocate for the BLM message on an international scale. But Black Lives Matter Grassroots is facing stark criticism for its vocal support of Palestine. Even former BLM members, including Amar’e Stoudemire, an NBA player who converted to Judaism in 2020, have criticized Black Lives Matter Grassroots for their responses to the Israeli events as well as BLMGNF’ for its refusal to condemn the group for its pro-Palestinian stance. 

The conflict in Israel is uncovering deeply rooted pro-Palestinian rhetoric in some unexpected places. A joint statement by 35 Harvard Palestine Solidarity Groups, along with a separate statement from the New York University (NYU) Law School Bar Association president, expressed unwavering support for Palestinians in their struggle against oppression and called Israel responsible for the ongoing violence. The resulting backlash has blocked some University students from future employment. 

Constitutional lawyer Jonathan weighed in on the reactions to the recent attacks by Hamas, a U.S.-designated terror organization. He expressed opposition to efforts to defund groups based on their underlying ideology, including pro-Palestinian groups, and opposed calls to prevent law students with anti-Israeli sentiments from becoming lawyers.  

Turley emphasized the importance of upholding core free speech protections in the face of atrocities committed by Hamas, despite the disgust many feel towards the group’s actions. He cautions that these protections are fundamental rights for American citizens, pointing out that groups like Hamas oppose these rights. While he stressed that support for the Palestinian cause should never justify support for Hamas’ attack, he warned against sacrificing free speech during times when people are angered by opposing views. 

It’s not unexpected that a radical group like BLM is expressing support of groups like Hamas, which embody the violence and chaos they themselves embrace. What BLM should remember is that while America upholds its right to publicize controversial views, Hamas takes a slightly different approach to opposition. 

Just ask Israel.