Owners of a popular cabaret club near New York’s Times Square regretfully canceled a scheduled benefit for the Black Lives Matter movement after affiliated organizations published a platform claiming that Israel was committing genocide, The New York Times reported on Thursday.
The owners of Feinstein’s/54 Below e-mailed benefit ticket-holders informing them of the cancellation, and explained in a separate message that while they “strongly believe in and support the general thrust of the goals and objectives” of the movement, they had “become aware of a recent addition to the B.L.M. platform that accuses Israel of genocide and endorses a range of boycott and sanction actions.”
Black Lives Matter is a diffuse and loosely-organized movement; the Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of many Black Lives Matters groups, actually published the platform in question.
“As we can’t support these positions, we’ve accordingly decided to cancel the concert,” the message continued. The owners of Feinstein’s/54 Below declined to comment further on matter.
Last month, a group of African-American pastors representing 9 million congregants issued a statement distancing themselves from the Movement for Black Lives’ anti-Israel libels, describing those portions of their platform as “a vitriolic attack against Israel laced with misinformation and anti-Semitism and an agenda that is not embraced by the broader African-American community.”
“The anti-Semitism and misinformation found in this small segment is so misleading that it makes an experienced leader question the entire document and thus the intentions of the organization,” the pastors added. “The Jewish community has been an ally of black America, most significantly during the civil rights movement and even today. Together these two communities have been the conscience of America leading the fight for human and civil rights for decades. Jews have been our reliable friends, just like Israel.”
A poll published by the Pew Research Center in July 2014 found that black Americans support Israel by over a 2:1 ratio, with 43 percent of the demographic sympathizing with Israel compared with 20 percent for the Palestinians. A survey released by Pew in February of that year found that 67 percent of black American Protestants either backed current levels of U.S. support for Israel or wanted to see them increase.
[Photo: Feinstein’s/54 Below / YouTube ]