Over the Christmas weekend, Chicago surpassed the 750-murder mark for 2016. But as blacks lay dying on the streets of Chicago’s South and West Sides, a Black Lives Matter offshoot is more interested in traveling overseas to learn “resistance” from terrorists.
The Dream Defenders bills itself as “an uprising of communities in struggle, shifting culture through transformational organizing.” But an investigation conducted by the Haym Salomon Center reveals the group’s embrace of anti-Semitism and collaboration with a State Department-designated terror group.
In August, Black Lives Matter singled out Israel for condemnation, declaring it an “apartheid” state engaged in “genocide.” These accusations angered Jewish leaders, many of whom had steadfastly supported the BLM cause. Nonetheless, despite what can only be described as a total lack of relevance to its own agenda, BLM did not back down.
Just like BLM, Dream Defenders proclaims solidarity with Palestinians. DD claims that the black community in America, together with Palestinians in the “occupied” territories of Israel, are all victims of state-sanctioned violence. As such, the two causes are related and should learn “resistance” from each other. After leaders from BLM and DD made their first trip to Palestinian territories in January 2015, BLM’s anti-Israel advocacy remained steady, mostly lashing out at the Jewish state at rallies and protests. DD stepped up their disdain for Israel, engaging in what the U.S. government defines as anti-Semitism.
Dream Defenders’ website dedicates an entire page to Palestinian solidarity. While accusing Israel of existing on “stolen land,” there is no mention of Palestinian terrorism, including the targeting of civilians.
During the 2016 trip, the group was led around East Jerusalem by convicted terrorist and member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Mahmoud Jedda. Jedda served 17 years in Israeli prison for planting bombs.
Jedda’s well-known link to the PFLP was cause for celebration among the group of American activists he guided around East Jerusalem and several refugee camps in the West Bank. Last year, PFLP took responsibility for a killing spree in a Jerusalem synagogue, leaving four worshippers dead. This is the repository of wisdom from which Dream Defenders is learning “resistance.”
One of the Dream Defenders who participated in this past May’s trip was Florida Green Party spokesman Didier Ortiz. During his trip, Ortiz took to social media claiming Jews in Hebron “are there simply to try to take as much land as possible and kill as many Palestinians as possible,” concluding that “#zionism must be eradicated.”
As a public speaker representing the Dream Defenders, Ortiz has stated, “Zionism is racism, it’s colonialism, it’s fascism – liberation will not come until Zionism is utterly destroyed.”
Terrorism expert and Haym Salomon Center senior fellow Bridget Johnson recently raised concerns about anti-Israel advocates hijacking the Black Lives Matter movement. In an editorial published last week in The Hill, Johnson wrote:
It’s critical to ensure that the movement does not get hijacked by interests some claim are “intersectional,” but are unrelated at best and nefarious at worst.
Johnson singles out the Dream Defenders for scrutiny, taking them to task for their support of the PFLP:
Declaring solidarity with an intifada puts you on the side of terror, not justice or the rule of law.
But is it possible Dream Defenders was set up to do exactly that? The list of its founders and advisory board includes name after name associated with the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. DD co-founder Ahmad Abuznaid is the son of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) ambassador and former Yasser Arafat advisor Dr. Nabil Abuznaid.
Strange bedfellows for group that began to protest Florida’s Stand Your Ground laws in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting.
One of the more disturbing collaborations, presaging violent intentions, is an educational series produced by Dream Defenders that lionizes the PFLP. The curriculum, titled “Blacked Out History – Rebellion Curriculum Toolkit,” justifies acts of violence and terrorism under the euphemism “struggle.” The “common core-compatible” curriculum mentions various violent PFLP strategies such as “hijackings, assassinations, car bombings, suicide bombings, paramilitary operations against civilian and military targets.”
Hasn’t black America endured enough violence already?
Paul Miller is president of the news and public policy group Haym Salomon Center. Follow @salomoncenter.