Black Lives Matter Group Throws Support Behind Hamas Attacks, Calls Murder of Israelis 'Self-Defense'

BLM, Hamas supporters (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images, Burak Kara/Getty Images)
October 10, 2023

Black Lives Matter Grassroots threw its support behind Hamas in a statement Monday evening, calling the terrorist group’s indiscriminate murder of Israeli citizens over the weekend a "desperate act of self-defense."

The group, which represents 26 local Black Lives Matters chapters across the country, said it had no choice but to "stand unwaveringly on the side of the oppressed" and support "Palestine" after Hamas terrorists invaded Israel, killing over 1,000 Israelis and 11 Americans and injuring thousands more.

"As Black people continue the fight to end militarism and mass incarceration in our own communities, let us understand the resistance in Palestine as an attempt to tear down the gates of the world’s largest open air prison," BLM Grassroots said. "As a radical Black organization grounded in abolitionist ideals, we see clear parallels between Black and Palestinian people."

BLM Grassroots echoed statements from "Squad" members Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) and Rep. Cori Bush (D., Mo.), saying the only way to ensure peace in the region is to cut Israel off from U.S. military aid.

"For lasting peace to come, the entire apartheid system must be dismantled," BLM Grassroots said. "The war on the Palestinian people must cease. We call on the United States government to immediately stop funding war and redirect the $4 billion in annual spending to repair the damage caused by U.S.-backed wars, military air strikes, coups, and destabilizing interventions against oppressed people around the world."

BLM knows a thing or two about using violence to achieve its goals. Its activists were behind the most destructive riots in U.S. history, which followed the 2020 police killing of George Floyd. The riots caused upwards of $2 billion worth of damage and left at least 25 Americans dead.

BLM Grassroots shared close ties with Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, the national BLM group, during the 2020 riots. But BLM Grassroots cut ties with the national group in 2022 in protest of its cofounder Patrisse Cullors’s financial profligacy. The national BLM group, under Cullors’s leadership, spent $12 million on luxury homes in Los Angeles and Toronto and enriched her friends and family with multimillion-dollar contracts.

BLM Grassroots sued the national BLM group in September 2022, alleging the charity siphoned more than $10 million to enrich its board secretary, Shalomyah Bowers, in fake contracting fees. A California judge threw out the case in June.