There doesn’t appear to be a ferocious Zionist backlash against Michelle Alexander for her excellent January 19th opinion piece in the NY Times titled “Time to Break the Silence on Palestine.” Perhaps that’s because it would be difficult for them to vilify & smear her as hateful toward Jews because of her important work about racist violence against the Black community. But it’s also because her case for Palestinian justice was so brilliantly constructed with reference to Martin Luther King. On January 29th, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) wrote a response titled “Michelle Alexander’s “Time to Break the Silence on Palestine” Omits Key Facts, Puts Entire Onus for Conflict on Israel.” But on February 7th, 100 American rabbis responded with “Rabbinic Letter in Support of Professor Michelle Alexander.” Alexander’s piece followed a December 7, 2018 opinion piece in the NY Times by Michelle Goldberg titled “Anti-Zionism Isn’t the Same as Anti-Semitism” which is an excellent elaboration of why that charge against most Palestinian supporters is so dishonest.

The opinion pieces by Michelle Alexander & Michelle Goldberg certainly don’t signify an editorial shift in the NY Times against Israel for apartheid & genocide but they do suggest that Zionism is on the defensive. Otherwise they wouldn’t have been published. That is almost certainly mainly due to the impact of BDS. Otherwise why would US Zionists & politicians be so willing to undermine the US Bill of Rights, the foundation of American democracy, to outlaw support for BDS?

Activists can use these opinion pieces in organizing opposition to the tsunami of laws in the US outlawing support for BDS. Alexander & Goldberg aren’t saying anything that Palestinians & their supporters haven’t said but by making such a strong case & by Alexander linking Palestinian justice to the Black civil rights struggle (as the Black Lives Matter movement did) they add authority to the struggle of Palestinians & to the campaign against outlawing BDS.

Alexander’s piece:

Goldberg’s piece:

ADL response to Alexander:

Rabbinical letter: