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“Free Palestine” Vandalism of Kenosha Synagogue During Riots is Par for the BLM Course

“Free Palestine” Vandalism of Kenosha Synagogue During Riots is Par for the BLM Course

For BLM rioters, attacking Jewish symbols is not an aberration. It’s a routine.

Late August’s surge of riots and protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, has stirred much political debate. In that debate, we should not overlook one incident during the rioting that reflects one aspect of the larger Black Lives Matter organized movement: Graffiti in front of a local synagogue proclaiming “Free Palestine.”


Kenosha’s “Free Palestine” vandalism…

Even after several days, Kenosha protests stretching into August 27th’s wee hours saw Townhall reporter Julio Rosas continue to live-tweet his way through the din. Around 1 AM that morning, Rosas caught a BLM demonstrator who had momentarily broken away from the nearby mob; Rosas’ posted clip shows the masked protester is spray-painting “Free Palestine” in a large, black scrawl on the driveway of Beth Hillel Temple—Kenosha’s 93-year-old Reform synagogue, and a National Historic Landmark. Rosas pointedly included temple’s flagpole in his shot; set prominently near the building’s front doors, it proudly displays both an American and an Israeli flag. (See our featured image for a still of Rosas’ video showing the vandal in action.)

In the background of Rosas’ video, one can hear car horns honking, ambulances howling, and protesters endlessly chanting “Black Lives Matter” and beating on drums. Meanwhile, though multiple onlookers film his vandalism, the black-clad graffitist hardly seems to notice as he saunters away.

…is Nothing New for BLM

This one act of vandalism might not seem like much in comparison with, in Jonathan Tobin’s words, “the toll of dead and injured, the businesses and homes that have been destroyed along with the savings and lifetimes of hard work they represented, as well as the concerns about the shooting of Blake…” Still, Tobin continues, that makes it all the more:

…important to ask why, with so much else going on, there seems to almost always be both time and effort available to lash out at symbols of the Jews. It’s also worth wondering why it is when people do that, they seem inevitably to do so in a manner that links houses of prayer to the grievances of Palestinian Arabs and the alleged villainy of Israel.

He’s right; the Kenosha instance is not exactly a fluke.

Kenosha’s Beth Hillel is the latest Jewish house of worship to be tagged with the “Free Palestine” slogan—widely understood to mean the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state and its subsequent replacement with an Arab-Muslim majority Palestine in which Jews would, once again, be a vulnerable minority—during recent BLM protests (much less the only synagogue to be targeted for vandalism in general).

Los Angeles

As I documented in June, the protests and riots in Los Angeles directly following George Floyd’s murder saw the same tag (accompanied by a large “Fuck Israel” for good measure) sprayed across the facade of Beth Israel synagogue.

[A screenshot of JTA’s published photograph of Beth Israel’s vandalized outer wall. Screenshot accessed May 31, 2020.]

During the same protests, the nearby Baba Sale and Kehillas Yaakov synagogues were defaced with multiple spray-paint scribbles, including the words “racists”, “pig(s?)”, and the number 12—a slang term referring to police.

Rioters also reportedly attempted to graffiti Temple Shaarei Tefila, but were fought off by a Jewish volunteer security guard (though they did manage to paint “Black Lives Matter”, and anti-police epithets on the adjacent sidewalk). All four synagogues are located in L.A.’s Fairfax District, which has been a famously Jewish area for decades.

[A screenshot of reporting about Kehillas Israel’s vandalism. Circled in red are the words “racists” and “pig(s?)”.]

Jewish businesses and Jewish schools in the area were also vandalized, as was a statue of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, famous for saving hundreds of Jews from the Nazis. Owner of several stores in Fairfax, Aryeh Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post that during Saturday night riots, he witnessed

 people driving down the Fairfax district streets screaming, “effing Jews,” at them.

He also told The Jewish Journal that “looters smashed his windows and glass cubbies, damaged the air conditioning system and stole the cash drawers, the iPad checkout stand, suits and hats. They threw yarmulkes onto the street and merchandise around the store.”

Richmond, VA

While the physical attacks on Jewish interests in LA during BLM riots are arguably the most severe so far, there have been others. The same weekend also saw a BLM riot across the country in Richmond, Virginia, in which a protester hurled a brick through the window of a historic synagogue—Beth Ahaba (the brick-thrower was treated to a loud scolding from several other protesters for doing so).

New York City

Thinly veiled threats and anti-Jewish dog whistles have emerged as well. On June 6 (0nly days after the May 30-31 riots gripped so many areas of the country), a self-identified “leader of the…movement” insinuated on live television that its adherents would set fire to New York City’s Diamond District if policy-makers did not concede to the movement’s demands.

Paris, France

Other BLM actions have readily adopted the myth that Israel trains American police to deliberately brutalize ethnic minorities; popularized by inaptly named Jewish Voice for Peace and its “Deadly Exchange” campaign, the conspiracy theory builds on old, anti-Semitic tropes alleging a shadowy and powerful Jewish cabal that seeks world domination. According to Deadly Exchange, Israel exports police racism and violence to the United States in an effort to preserve and spread its own so-called white supremacist, capitalist, imperialist system.

(We’ve covered the Deadly Exchange lie extensively, including in:

Only days after the above televised threat, on June 13, “anti-racism” protesters in France assembled in solidarity with Black Lives Matter-USA; demanding an end to police violence, some of the protesters also accused “dirty Jews” of fomenting police brutality and racism. Accordingly, Palestinian flags and signs blaming Israel for racist violence were evidently a popular choice with members of the crowd; television coverage shows the French protesters echoing Deadly Exchange-esque claims that Israel is a “laboratory of police violence.”

Washington, D.C.


It doesn’t stop there. On July 1, a Black Lives Matter march in our nation’s capital featured demonstrators with Palestinian flags screaming “Israel we know you, you murder children too!” interspersed with the usual “Black lives matter!” and “Palestinian lives matter!”.

In its coverage of the event, The Washington Examiner noted,

The march, led by Harvard University rising senior Christian Tabash, attracted about 200 people…[and] was held in tandem with a series of “Day of Rage” demonstrations against Israel’s territorial claims on the West Bank.

…Tabash also led the group in the reading of poetry detailing the crimes of Israel against Palestinian Muslims. One poem entitled “Mr. War” decried the Israeli government: “Curse thee, the corrupters of Zion. F— this occupation!” The poem later referred to the Jewish state as the “puppet master of continents,” a reference to a centuries-old conspiracy that Jewish people secretly rule the world.

While Tabash walked out in front of the marchers, he paused several times to say that the Palestinian movement is “intrinsically tied to Black Lives Matter” and calls to defund police departments. Tabash said that “American capitalism” and the Israeli state were built on the same principle: repression of minorities.

“And that’s why we say police from Palestine to Mexico to the United States — police as a whole — need to go!” he shouted.


Only days ago, at least two protesters commemorating the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington led by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., proudly wore matching t-shirts emblazoned with an image of the a controversial and openly anti-Semitic painting. The Jerusalem Post reported:

Two protesters at the March on Washington 2020 were photographed on Friday wearing t-shirts depicting the image first painted as a mural in London by the artist Mear One. The image depicts Jewish bankers playing a game similar to monopoly on the backs of people of color, underneath the masonic Eye of Providence.

…The image on their shirts was flanked by the phrase: “All we have to do is stand up and their little game is over.”

Celebrities Weigh In

The image had been tweeted approvingly on June 6th by the famed rapper Ice Cube; backlash against him for sharing the anti-Semitic painting helped ignite a firestorm of celebrities coming to his defense, endorsing his sentiments, or sharing Nation of Islam-inspired content, and—in the same breath—stating their support for BLM.

Among them were professional athletes DeSean Jackson and Stephen Jackson, and musicians Nick Cannon, Wiley, and Jay Electronica. USA Today reported:

In a June episode of his “Cannon’s Class” podcast, Cannon talked about race and division with Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin, a former member of Public Enemy who was fired for making anti-Semitic remarks in 1989.
During the controversial discussion, Cannon promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about the Rothschild family and “the bloodlines that control everything even outside of America.” Cannon also praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and his ideology.

Disturbingly, BLM leadership, including Lawrence Nathaniel—a prominent activist and founder of an official South Carolina BLM chapter—spoke out in defense of Cannon’s remarks. Nathaniel asserted that he saw “nothing wrong” in Cannon’s use of Louis Farrakhan-inspired anti-Jewish stereotypes.


The above examples are only a few of many instances in which supposedly “anti-racist” organizing in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic killing has invited or promoted anti-Semitism. Yet Rabbi Dena Feingold of Kenosha’s Beth Hillel has dismissed her own synagogue’s defacement as “trivial”; she maintains that the vandal is not representative of the broader BLM movement, and that any anti-Semitism expressed during BLM protests is “not about us [Jews]”.

In a recent interview, Rabbi Feingold insisted:

[The graffiti is] a trivial matter. What’s happened these last few days is not about us and what’s happened to us. It’s about the issues of systemic racism that plague our society. About police policy, about implicit bias, white privilege and those bigger issues is what this is about. It doesn’t change anything at all.

…We can clean up graffiti. It’s not something that lasts, like the killing of a human being or paralyzing of someone, and people of color living in fear when they go about their daily lives.

On the one hand, I sincerely appreciate Rabbi Feingold’s declaration of her community’s continued, determined opposition to racism; no amount of anti-Semitism from BLM proponents (or anyone else) should be enough to end Jews’ long, rich history as empathetic and committed fighters for others’ civil rights.

On the other hand, I think Rabbi Feingold is missing the forest for the trees and ignoring a dangerous trend; the vandalism of her synagogue by a BLM rioter did not emerge in a vacuum. Instead, the sentiment and action are consistent with the stated worldview of most BLM organizations. Nor were Temple Beth Hillel’s decades-long history of anti-racist activism, vocal support for Black Lives Matter, and Rabbi Feingold’s involvement with left-wing anti-Israel groups enough to inoculate the synagogue from attack (however easy to clean) by a BLM participant.

As historian Yisrael Medad wrote in response to Rabbi Feingold’s remarks:

Earlier this year, the synagogue had signed an interfaith letter that condemned “a broken societal system which disproportionately affects communities of color.” Incidentally, it was originally built with a gym and basketball court because, back in the 1920s, Jews were not welcome at the nearby YMCA.

…Progressives, in lending their support to the radical movements we witness rampaging through America’s streets, in identifying with their goals and, most importantly, in subjugating the interests of Jews to these, they increase not only the probability of Jewish community debilitation but in physical attacks on Jewish institutions as well. Physical attacks on Jews is the next stage.

If BLM and Rabbi Feingold seek toward a truly healed, egalitarian society, they should condemn in equal measure all “racist systems”—even systems that define and perpetuate certain bigotries as aspects of “justice”.

Samantha Mandeles is Senior Researcher and Outreach Director at the Legal Insurrection Foundation.


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In honor of the Palestinian violence that sparked a hundred year war in Israel, Jordan, and beyond. Some, Select [Black] Lives Matter… a Pro-Choice sect. Sounds about left.

JusticeDelivered | September 13, 2020 at 7:56 pm

Declare BLM a terrorist organization, place a dead or alive bounty on their dangerous leaders. I have no doubt that there are plenty of people who are ready and willing to haugh them in.

    Samantha Mandeles in reply to JusticeDelivered. | September 15, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    Hi JD, thank you for reading! On the subject of terrorist designation: There are many practical roadblocks to designating BLM as a terror group in the US. For example, the US only has legal mechanisms for designating *foreign* organizations as terrorists. These mechanisms include designation by the Dept of State or Treasury via inclusion on the Foreign Terrorist Organization list. Similarly, foreign orgs can also be designated under Executive Order 13224, which labels them “Specially Designated Foreign Terrorists” and criminalizes any type of material support to those groups. We can convict domestic *individuals* as terrorists, but only as participants, planners, or material supporters of a specific terrorist attack (think Dzhokar Tsarnaev). Other individuals can be designated as material supporters of foreign organizations, and placed on the Terrorist Exclusion List. But, there is no statute in the US for criminalizing membership in a domestic organization alone.

    Given that there is no legal mechanism for designating a purely domestic organization as a “terrorist”, it would be hard to designate BLM in this way; the KKK, for instance, has long engaged in behavior that fits much of the literature’s definition of domestic terror, but also has not been designated as an official terror group.

    Moreover, should we enact a legal mechanism to designate purely domestic groups, the problem then becomes assembling a body of proof for each BLM branch; since many BLM orgs have their own EIN numbers, designating BLM-Portland, say, may not also designate BLM-DC. Assembling the proof of enough terror activity for each individual org to be officially designated would be a cumbersome task, and one that would take a long time–not least because it’s often impossible to prove which branches exactly contributed to which instances of violence, and *how* exactly they contributed. Then, the question becomes: what constitutes “membership” in BLM orgs, and how can that be proven for each “member”? It can be tough to say, and it can vary with each group.

    These are just some of the many issues that make BLM’s (or Antifa’s, as the President mentioned) designation as a terrorist entity very unlikely, at least in the near future. For the purposes of prosecuting violent offenders associated with BLM, it’s probably more efficient to go the normal route, as in the case of the BLM molotov cocktail throwers in NY a few months back.

    Just some food for thought, hope it helps. Cheers!

JusticeDelivered | September 13, 2020 at 7:58 pm


JusticeDelivered | September 13, 2020 at 8:01 pm

When will an effort to free Palestine of all those awful people finally be underway?

Leftists and Anti-Semitism go hand in hand, always have always will.

    Barry Soetoro in reply to Skip. | September 14, 2020 at 12:27 am

    Then why do Jews support Antifa?

    Trump’s Attacks on Antifa Are Attacks on Jews
    American Jews cannot support Trump’s ‘war’ on anti-fascism and his camp’s conspiracy theories about the ‘hidden hand’ behind legitimate protest and dissent
    -Ari Paul, 07/06/20, Haaretz

    “Trump’s public statement about Antifa should be terrifying, as any attempt to vilify anti-fascism by nature defends fascism a positive thing. But picking on anti-fascists as the scapegoat and hidden hand of the ongoing unrest is inherently anti-Semitic.”

    Your top 9 Yiddish antifa anthems: a revolutionary playlist
    -Seth Rogovoy, 06/05/20, The Forward

    “The Yiddish roots of antifa – the anti-fascist movement whose precursors date back at least as far as opposition to the Russian czar – have been well documented. They are also enshrined in a canon of Yiddish antifa songs – songs of resistance, anarchism, revolution, and workers’ rights – that listeners might find eerily resonant and applicable to our present moment.”

      Sounds like a “social” member of the tribes. Ari…which was worse…The Czar or Communism? Ah…The romance of Marxism where everything and everyone opposing it are fascists.

      Yiddish, Russian and anti-Bolshevik, and anti-Nazi German “Antifa” is certainly not identical — but, rather, only remotely, if at all similar — to “Antifa” in Germany recently, and to “Antifa” in the US today, in terms of its respective origin, membership, aim, and function, in case you’re unaware.

      (To illustrate my point, the word “fascist” is mistakenly identified strictly as Mussolinian and Hitlerian, especially by the Left. And yet, from whom did Lenin and his comrade Bolsheviks derive their initial ideas to strengthen and nail down the socialist state into a more totalistic communist one, in his aim to prevent any “counterrevolutionary,” read politically competitive, reaction to his politics and tactics? Would you believe the die-hard fascist Mussolini? And Hitler, for his own National-Socialist-Workers Party’s totalitarian agenda? In part, Lenin. Rich, isn’t it?)

      Check out Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism for eye-opening, shocking and amazing facts the Communists in particular neglected to publicize, or admit, and largely distorted and misrepresented

      “The Jews,” you see, is a very risk-laden oversimplification of a historically complex, multifaceted, and intellectually diverse nation of people.

      (I really wonder if the Jewish authors, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John of the Four Gospels, and Paul himself, actually wrote — centuries before St Jerome’s translation of the (Koine Greek) Septuagint into the (Common Latin) Vulgate, and as numerous centuries of version and edition after version and edition state, to this date — “the Jews” in so many NT places, and not maybe the far more demographically and culturally precise phrase “some of the Judean Jews,” vs maybe, “some of the Galilean Jews, as classical Aristotelian, categoric logic would dictate, so familiar to the Hellenized Gospel writers and the great rabbi himself — showing enough care and precision to distinguish between two very different cultures and socio-political patterns of Jewish life in the historic homeland of the Jews in Rome-governed, 1st-century Palestine.

      (Much antisemitism — or even antisemitism itself — might not have had such an authoritative platform from which to develop a few centuries later, when a far more institutionalized, now-Judaism-jettisoned “Christianity” — better, official Christendom — came into stronger and stronger being. The many wars to be fought in material and spiritual defense of kings and popes depended, it seems reasonable enough when compared to present-day military-industrial-political antics, an efficacious, morale-boosting, solidifying scapegoat, and “the Jews” of the (much revised NT?!) fit the bill perfectly.)

      So — and with all respect, bro, friend, and ally — as a Jew, one of the class of “Jews,” as you put it — are you in complete, monolithic, absolute agreement with DC’s K Street — (The Jew) Soros-supported, (the Jew) Sanders-loving, Globalist-steered, Biden-propping, BDS-promoting, often vilely anti-Israel — mob of “Jews”?

      What’ll it be?

      Enough said, I believe. Grasp it. Feel it. Understand it. Know it.

The Friendly Grizzly | September 13, 2020 at 8:23 pm

Free Palestine. Operators are standing by.

Bidens peeps. Linda Sarsour (sore sewer is probably closer to the truth) gets her picture towards the end of his outreach program.

BLM/ANTIFA is basically an anti-anybody who has achieved wealth and success movement. They think the only way anybody gets anything is by stealing it from somebody else.

600-plus Jewish groups sign full-page ad supporting Black Lives Matter:

    Liberal Jews don’t really identify with their religion, let alone ethnic sub-group. Like the German Jews of the 1930s, they think their secularism will protect them. They’ll find out, if they are unfortunate enough to have a ‘President Biden’ that, like the Germans, to the left all Jews are Jews for all intents and purposes.

      Barry Soetoro in reply to rabidfox. | September 14, 2020 at 6:46 am

      “We are Jewish organizations and synagogues from across the racial and political spectrum; from different streams of Judaism; whose members trace their lineage from countries around the world,” state the groups in the Friday ad.

Marxism is a false religion based on hatred, envy, and greed.

The vile Dhimmi-crats are happily stepping into the shoes of goose-stepping German National Socialists and Muslim jihadists.

This is why I say that the biggest Jew-haters in America, today — despite what the Dhimmi-crat media lamely state — reside, in welcoming arms, in the Dhimmi-crat Party. A party that has consciously and gleefully embraced Black Jew-haters, Black Muslim Jew-haters, and, white “progressive” Jew-haters.

I’ll expect crickets from the media prostitute-propagandists, on this latest

The vile Dhimmi-crats have spend decades helping to propagate the despicable lie, fallacious propaganda and vicious slander of Arab Muslim jihadists, alleging Arab Muslim victimhood at the hands of alleged Israeli Jew “oppressors.” The Dhimmi-crats have tried to turn Israel into an alleged white South Africa, with the jihad-loving, infantile and belligerent Arab Muslim “Palestinians” cast as alleged South African blacks. The Dhimmi-crats have fed and propagated the ridiculous lie that Israel is an alleged “colonial” project, ignoring the inconvenient fact that Jews resided in the Middle East for millennia before the supremacist and totalitarian ideology of “Submission” was conceived; millennia before such a thing as a “Muslim” ever existed.

Then, after all this, the vile Dhimmi-crats feign suprise at why there is so much pervasive Jew-hatred in their miserable ranks.

By the way, the rabbi is a fool and has his head stuck up his read end — he is emblematic of the manifest naivete and willful blindness of myriad American Jews to the Dhimmi-crats’ manifest, decades-long Jew-hate. And, I criticize him as a Jew. He’s a disgrace as a leader, and, to his people.

The Friendly Grizzly | September 14, 2020 at 6:07 am

Let’s seeee…..

Reform synagogue
A she-rabbi.

This is my shocked expression. :-{|}}}

For those not familiar with it, the Rerform sect of Judaism is the Democrat party with holidays, and a sprinkling of badly-pronounced and often mis-used Yiddish. (I was brought up with this, and walked away from it decades ago.)

If Palestine is unfree, ask its own leaders, Why, how so?

Just keep in mind Israel’s peaceful, cooperative, helping spirit of late-19th to mid-20th-century through its steadily increasing number of immigrant-Jews, adding to the small number already there, into Palestine, and the later state’s unimpeachable record — together, for over 100 years — of being immediately ready, willing, and able to coexist, happily and peacefully, with the Arab population in both Palestine and, later, the Israeli state.

A very careful and exquisitely fair look at this record reveals only one, persistent fact: this population of Arabs, nearly all Muslim and for the very most part, are not interested in peaceful coexistence because, very simply put, they are consumed with hating Jews. And don’t let the “Zionist” issue fool you. (It didn’t fool MLK, Jr, and he had many allies who, in fact, hated Jews and Israel, but was truthful and brave enough to speak his mind, maybe being murdered, in part, for his expressed belief.) It’s the Jews they despise with utter and unmitigated disgust — because of ignorant, long-standing, institutional and regional bigotry — and not because the Jews there are Zionists.

For this reason and more, “Free Palestine” is a worn out, old Nazi/Marxist/Arabist, criminally continued, political fraud on a colossal, global scale that the larger, more reality-based Arab world can no longer pretend to understand and support.

The peace-making, diplomatic event between Israel and Bahrain, scheduled for tomorrow, 9/15, in DC, with more such events to follow, is all the evidence you need to get the idea, “Free Palestine” is a senseless and useless hoax before all the world.

Finally, the major Middle East players, recognizing this all too well, now officially — and the key difference now is publicly — intend to live and work around it. May the millennia-old hoax, blood libel, and fraud against the Jews, including those who created, and whose descendants now live to be the State of Israel, die a quick and merciful death.

Palestinians need to free themselves from themselves. That, and that alone, would be the justice needed to install a true and lasting peace between very, very old neighbors.

The eternal souls of father Abraham’s half-brothers, Ishmael and Isaac, would finally and forever re-embrace, along with their increasingly popular earthly descendants.

Salam, Shalom: Asalamu Alaykum, Shalom Alechem — Peace be Unto You.

Upon justice, and justice alone. That is the human way to redemption and restoration, if it is possible at all, between these two peoples on the same physical, but very different spiritual land.

Let Ishmael and Isaac reunite spiritually as brothers. It may lead to a reunion between the larger populace of descendants, those of Esau and his brother, Jacob or Israel. On that day, and we may pray that it comes, all the Patriarch’s souls might rejoice in unison.

And, then, something even bigger and better might still be awaiting us all.

    GatorGuy in reply to GatorGuy. | September 14, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    Correction for “The eternal souls of father Abraham’s half-brothers,
    Ishmael and Isaac”:
    The eternal souls of two of father Abraham’s sons,
    half-brothers Ishmael and Isaac, the elder

I agree with your conclusion 100%, Samantha. And the quality of the wide-ranging support and the crisp reasoning you employed to deliver your basic point were nothing short of top-drawer.

Excellent, exemplary journalism, IMO. Thank you for enabling me to improve the quality of my information base on this very current and critical topic.

One would wonder where the anarchist leaders are getting trained in some of their tactics. I know there are no “leaders” and everyone has just independently figured out these “resistence” tactics, but it seems strange to me that there are always Palestinian flags at every leftist protest. You know, on second thought, they must just be learning from old IRA members.

    GatorGuy in reply to Mr85. | September 14, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    I agree. Although I offer no documentary or testimonial evidence for support, I surmise that the IRA may indeed have a current hand in all this.

    Come to think of it, Joe Biden is. . . . Well, never mind. In fact, Joe Biden said, he deplores and condemns violent protesting (but three months after it started and soon began to seriously spread, and when, many observed, his poll numbers began to fall significantly). Anyway, he said it; and that’s that — period.