By Joshua Washington, Times of Israel—-
In the early 1980s, African-American professor of history at Stanford University, and director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute, Clayborne Carson published a paper called “BLACKS and JEWS in the CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT: The CASE of SNCC.” In this paper, Carson gives much needed clarity on black-Jewish relations in the US, and what caused tensions to rise. Arguably the most visible turning point was the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s (SNCC) publication of “The Palestine Problem,” a paper that sent a very loud and clear message to their Jewish supporters and Jews everywhere that so long as Jews supported a Jewish state, they were SNCC’s enemies.
Caron’s paper addresses this progression and gives crucial context to what otherwise seems like an abrupt shift in attitude. One thing Carson notes is the SNCC’s biased investigation on the 1967 war. He writes:
“SNCC’s Central Committee meeting in the midst of Israel’s six-day victory over Arab forces in June 1967, requested that SNCC’s search and communications staff investigate the background of the conflict. Ethel Minor, editor of SNCC’s newsletter, volunteered for this task. She recalled that the committee wanted an “objective critique of the facts.” Minor was not impartial on the issue, however, for she had been close friends with Palestinian students during her college years and was acquainted with the urban black nationalist tradition through her involvement with the Nation of Islam. Minor never wrote a position paper, nor did SNCC ever conduct an extended discussion of the Middle Eastern dispute.”
Carson says further:
“In the SNCC Newsletter, she listed thirty-two ‘documented facts’ regarding ‘the Palestine Problem,’ including assertions that the Arab Israeli war was an effort to regain Palestinian land and that during the 1948 war, ‘Zionists conquered the Arab homes and land through terror, force, and massacres.’”
The newsletter was full of falsehoods; many of which have long been categorically refuted. At the very least, a real investigation would mention the fact that Arab leaders were largely responsible for Palestinians leaving their homes, as they rejected compromise and launched a war to destroy the Jewish State.
It would at least mention that Mizrahi Jews only arrived in Eretz Israel because they were expelled from the Middle East and North African countries they had been living in for generations. It would at least mention that there was always a Jewish presence in the Levant, and the small Jewish population in British Mandate Palestine at the time suffered many massacres at the hands of the Arabs simply for existing and being Jewish. Continue Reading….