Black Lives Matter Will Not Condemn Affiliates That Glorified Hamas Attacks

The national group has a history of aggressively policing local chapters

BLM, Hamas supporters (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images, Burak Kara/Getty Images)
October 11, 2023

The national Black Lives Matter group refused to condemn statements from local chapters glorifying Hamas and the terrorist group's indiscriminate murder of at least 1,200 Israelis and 22 Americans.

Black Lives Matter chapters across the United States could hardly contain their glee following the terrorist attacks against the Jewish nation. Black Lives Matter Chicago on Tuesday posted an image exalting a paragliding Palestinian terrorist, a clear reference to the Hamas gunmen who flew into a music festival Saturday morning and massacred at least 260 Israelis. On Instagram, the Chicago chapter posted graphics claiming it is "racist and Islamophobic" to criticize Hamas's brutality and said the terrorist group had the "legal right to resist" Israel by slaughtering innocent civilians. Black Lives Matter Grassroots, which represents 26 of the movement's chapters, on Monday justified Hamas's terror as a "desperate act of self-defense."

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Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, the group that launched the movement in 2013 and purports to represent BLM activists worldwide, refused to say whether it condemns the messages from the local chapters.

"We don't have any comments on your story," the national Black Lives Matter group told the Washington Free Beacon. "To clarify, we are not affiliated with BLM Grassroots or BLM Chicago. We are the global/main BLM."

But the national Black Lives Matter group has a history of aggressively policing the activities of local chapters. A coalition of local Black Lives Matter chapters issued a statement in 2021 attacking the national group for barring local activists from participating in the movement if they did not align with its policies.

The national Black Lives Matter group hasn't issued any statements in support of or against the attacks over the weekend. It has on several occasions, however, expressed opposition to Israeli "oppression."

"From Ferguson to Palestine, we always resist," the group tweeted in July 2016.

Black Lives Matter cofounder Patrisse Cullors during a 2015 talk called for Israel's destruction, saying black people are "doomed" as long as the Jewish state continues to exist.

"Palestine is our generation's South Africa," Cullors said. "If we don't step up boldly and courageously to end the imperialist project that's called Israel, we're doomed."

Cullors stepped down as leader of the national Black Lives Matter group in 2021 amid widespread criticism of her real estate purchases across the country. The group, which raised more than $90 million during the 2020 George Floyd riots, later issued financial disclosures showing that it spent $12 million on luxury homes in Los Angeles and Toronto. It also enriched Cullors's family and friends with multimillion-dollar contracts under her leadership.

Black Lives Matter Chicago on Wednesday morning deleted its tweet of a paragliding Hamas terrorist, but the group seemingly justified its decision to post the image in a tweet reiterating its support of "Palestine & the people who will do what they must to live free."