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“Deadly Exchange” Campaign Blaming Jews and Israel For U.S. Policing Helped Drive Wave Of Antisemitic Violence

“Deadly Exchange” Campaign Blaming Jews and Israel For U.S. Policing Helped Drive Wave Of Antisemitic Violence

The conflict provided a new opportunity for ‘intersectional’ anti-Israel agitators to portray Israel as the common denominator in oppressions all over the world, including racism in the United States. This rhetoric was engaged in not only by street thugs, but also by several members of Congress.

Attacks on Jews as part of “pro-Palestinian” activism have soared since Hamas sparked an 11-day fight by firing rockets at Israeli cities, while hiding among civilians themselves to ensure there would be civilian Palestinian casualties in the retaliation. An important factor in bringing the Middle East conflict to the streets of Los Angeles, New York, and elsewhere, is the “Deadly Exchange” campaign, seeking to blame American Jews and Israelis for alleged U.S. domestic police violence against minorities. While Deadly Exhange, created by the anti-Zionist Jewish Voice for Peace, has existed for years, it became an important talking point for anti-Israel activists since the Gaza fighting erupted. 

The conflict provided a new opportunity for ‘intersectional’ anti-Israel agitators to portray Israel as the common denominator in oppressions all over the world, including racism in the United States. This rhetoric was engaged in not only by street thugs, but also by several members of Congress.


As in every previous Israel-Hamas war, this round of fighting inspired fresh waves of outrage from thousands of western “useful idiots”. Apparently only too happy to augment the pet propaganda project of genocidal Islamists, politicians, pundits, and ill-informed celebrities alike joined fashionably biased media outlets in casting Israel as the story’s irredeemable villain. (Meanwhile, in the past three weeks alone, hundreds of incidents of verbal and physical attacks on Jews by “Palestine” supporters have been reported, along with dozens of events in which thousands of anti-Israel protestors have chanted warmongering anti-Semitic Islamist slogans and called for a renewed Intifada. You can see our coverage of just a few examples here, here, here, and here.)

In a year marked by racial tension and seemingly constant reports of police brutality, it makes sense that today’s anti-Zionist agit-prop emphasizes variations on the ludicrous Deadly Exchange campaign—a popular political warfare trope that seeks to turn Blacks and other ethnic minorities against Jews by blaming Israel and American Jewish groups for domestic police violence and other policing problems. Indeed, a key Deadly Exchange assertion is that educational exchanges between American and Israeli police involve Israeli forces teaching American law enforcement to single out and brutally attack people of color.

As we’ve noted previously, Deadly Exchange’s intellectual rubric is one of “intersectionality,” by which the struggles of all victim groups are inextricably “interconnected.”

Intersectional dogma thus allows anti-Israel activists to forge links with minority (particularly Black) rights activists by placing Jews and Israel on the “White”, “Colonialist”, “Capitalist” side within the Manichean “Oppressor vs Oppressed” paradigm through which they describe the world.

We’ve long followed various iterations of the Deadly Exchange campaign, first officially branded as such by the anti-Israel “Jewish” group, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), in 2017. Our coverage includes analyses of Deadly Exchange claims as well as documentation of instances in which anti-Israel agitators have deliberately exploited existing racial tension to advance their own agenda.

Below is a sampling of some of the most recent of these efforts—including by members of Congress, mainstream media outlets, and pop culture celebrities alike.


Congresswoman Cori Bush

Most recently (last Friday, May 14th), we reported on a speech by freshman Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO)—one of the newest members of the ‘Squad’-led congressional anti-Israel caucus—in which she echoed previous efforts to racialize the Israeli-Arab/Islamist conflict by inventing parallels between Palestinian Arabs and American Blacks.

In a speech yesterday on the House floor, Bush lashed out at Israel, summing it up in this tweet echoing “intersectionality” rhetoric that has been a staple of anti-Israel activism for years:

The fight for Black lives and the fight for Palestinian liberation are interconnected. We oppose our money going to fund militarized policing, occupation, and systems of violent oppression and trauma. We are anti-war. We are anti-occupation. And we are anti-apartheid. Period.

(If video does not load, click here.)

Bush’s speech and tweet simply reiterated her previous similar assertions. Only a few days earlier, Bush shared an article by AJ+ (the Millennial-focused branch of Qatari-owned and deeply anti-Semitic news conglomerate Al Jazeera) and professed empathy for Palestinians by virtue of having been “brutalized by police”: 

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley

On May 13th, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) delivered a flowery speech in which she, too compared the Black struggle for civil rights to Palestinian Arabs’ conflict with Israel:

I rise today to recognize the deep trauma and loss of life perpetuated by systems of oppression here in the United States and globally. Many times I have stood at this dais and affirmed that our destinies are tied. That was clear when protestors took to the streets in the face of police murders, seeking to build a nation where Black Lives Matter. 

…As a Black woman in America, I am no stranger to police brutality and state-sanctioned violence. We have been criminalized for the very way we show up in the world. Last summer, when Black Lives Matter protestors took to the streets to demand justice, they were met with force. They faced tear gas, rubber bullets, and a militarized police just as our Palestinian brothers and sisters are facing in Jerusalem today. Palestinians are being told the same thing as Black folks in America—there is no acceptable form of resistance.

You can watch the full speech here

Congressman Jamaal Bowman

Evidently not one to be outdone, freshman Congressman and fellow “Squad” member Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) joined in, bewailing the “brutaliz[ation] and murde[r]” of “Black and brown bodies” by Israel: 

Only hours later, Bowman doubled-down, and compared Israeli efforts to suppress Arab riots in Jerusalem to “police violence against Colombians, a military coup in Myanmar, an ignored genocide in Ethiopia, or the ethnic cleansing of the Uyghurs in China…”

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib

Arguably the most vocal and virulent of the congressional anti-Israel caucus, Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) never misses an opportunity to recite her favorite tenets of intersectional orthodoxy. For instance, in 2019, we documented her half-baked keynote address at the annual American Muslims for Palestine conference:

I would remember the history here in this country…still, the oppression of our black brothers and sisters. Every time I saw the different color license plates, the dehumanization at the checkpoints, everything. So interconnected…So when you think about the border, you gotta understand how interconnected it is with the oppression, of what’s happening in Falastine, the oppression that’s happening to our people. When I see…like, the police going after, killing innocent people, innocent, treating African American brothers and sisters like they’re disposable, I think of Filastine and what happens to our brothers and sisters in the occupation.

Last week, standing alongside an enthusiastic Representative André Carson,  Tlaib recycled this meme for the benefit of a Washington, D.C. “Free Palestine” rally

(If the video does not load, click here)


CNN and Lara Kiswani

Then, there are the media outlets. For example, on May 9th, Israel advocacy organization StandWithUs issued a scathing press release condemning CNN’s promotion of the Deadly Exchange falsehoods. A segment that was supposed to examine policing in the San Francisco Bay Area featured infamous anti-Zionist Lara Kiswani blaming exchanges with Israel for supposed misconduct by local police.

You can see a clip of the segment here or below.

Kiswani is the executive Director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC)); we’ve reported on her before, when she aggressively protested a 2017 vigil to honor the two Jewish civilian victims of Arab terrorist Rasmea Odeh’s 1969 Jerusalem bombing. At Kiswani’s protest, several vigil-goers reported being assaulted by anti-Israel detractors who ripped up images of Odeh’s victims, and photos captured Kiswani proudly waving the defaced memorial pictures high above her head.

Rest of World Editor Meher Ahmad

Rest of World bills itself as “a global nonprofit publication covering technology beyond the Western bubble.” Though it’s apparently only a year old, Rest of World has already collected its fair share of staffers who are happy to spread anti-Israel propaganda. Its “South Asia & Middle East editor” Meher Ahmad (who has also written for the New York Times and made films for Vice) took to Twitter to praise “BLM protests” as a “Palestine” teaching moment for “young Americans.” 

Teen Vogue (Again)

In one of the most bizarre examples of Deadly Exchange promotion, the fashion magazine Teen Vogue interrupted its regularly scheduled programming to retweet its 2018 article “How Policing in the U.S. and Security in Israel Are Connected“. Ironically, the piece was originally published under Teen Vogue’s “Do Better” section, which purports to be “an op-ed column by writer Lincoln Anthony Blades that debunks fallacies regarding the politics of race, culture, and society — because if we all knew better, we’d do better.” 

Pop Culture Celebrities

Bella Hadid 

A self-identified “Palestinian woman”, Hadid is a 24-year-old fashion model who grew up in California. Her father, multi-millionaire real estate tycoon Mohamed Hadid, is well-known for his longstanding business partnership with the now-defunct SAAR Foundation—a Saudi Arabian (purportedly) charitable organization that was credibly accused of funneling millions of dollars to overseas Islamist terrorist entities.

Bella’s Instagram feed is a cornucopia of emotional professions of “pain” at “Israeli colonization , ethnic cleansing , military occupation and apartheid [sic]”. Accordingly, she recently posted a staple of irrational “intersectional” politics: human and civil rights activists are not allowed to advocate for the human and civil rights of any marginalized group anywhere in the world unless they also fight “Palestinian oppression”. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Bella 🦋 (@bellahadid)


Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, or as she is professionally known, Halsey, is a 26-year-old musician from New Jersey. She has long been involved in leftist activism, and is a dedicated Bernie Sanders supporter. She apparently also partook in the Los Angeles Black Lives Matter protests in the immediate aftermath of George Floyd’s death (ostensibly the same protests during which multiple synagogues were targeted and Jewish businesses ransacked), and a clip purporting to capture Frangipane’s disembodied voice screaming at police during one of the rallies surfaced online. The video features someone off-screen hysterically shouting:

A true patriot is a person who is not afraid of rebelling against their Government for the greater good of their fellow citizens…We are patriots, you [police] are cowards!

Further, Frangipane evidently had no qualms about giving a speech at the 2018 Women’s March, months after controversy began to arise over the March’s connections with terrorists and Jew-haters. 

Accordingly, Frangipane added to the anti-Israel din by accusing the Jewish state of “murder[ing]” “brown children” and (somehow without even a hint of irony) scolding those who correctly note the overwhelmingly religious nature of the Arab/Islamist war against Israel for “willful ignorance”.  


Naturally, there are dozens more examples. It’s convenient for zealots to draw wild analogies between American political issues and a conflict half a world away because the analogies themselves—reliant on emotional sloganeering and drippy sentimentality—help people figure out how to feel without having to research at all. If the thought of Israel conjures up images of authoritarian law enforcement and the Jim Crow south, no further indictment—or evidence—is required (especially for Americans) to prove the Jewish State’s fundamental evil. 

So, as Ari Hoffman wrote in a May 12 column in The Forward, 

We are seeing the emergence of woke foreign policy, currently manifesting as an assault on the right of Israel to defend itself. Its method? Fold pro-Palestinian activism into the existing catechism of oppression and sympathy. The stakes are no longer about Israel winning the battle for public relations. It is about Israel defending its right to survive.

…social media slanders and Congressional crusades are not so far from real life as they might seem. And as Israel continues to legitimately defend itself — or simply continue to exist — there will always be another war to fight.


[Featured Image: Attack in Jewish diners in Los Angeles]

Samantha Mandeles is Senior Researcher and Outreach Director at the Legal Insurrection Foundation. You can reach her on Twitter at @SRMandeles.


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Albigensian | May 23, 2021 at 6:28 pm

“Blame the Jews!”

How, umm, original. I bet no one ever thought to do that before. Some fine company you’ve got there, too.

Of course, what’s new isn’t that there are Jew haters in the world. What’s new is that their positions regarding Jews and Israel is becoming the default position of one of America’s two major political parties.

    Unfortunately the recent history of the US shows that wherever the Communist Party leads, the GOP sooner or later follows. Open borders, gun control, government-run healthcare, handouts to woke international corporations, jailing “insurrectionists” without trial or charges, tossing away tens of thousands of American live fighting wars they have no intention of actually winning – the Republican Party leadership is steadily moving in the same direction that Biden*, Obama, Pelosi and Schumer have already staked out.

    So it wouldn’t surprise me if that included adopting the Communists’ fashionable antisemitism (under the guise of “Black Lives Matter”) as GOP leaders continue in their hopeless quest to somehow out-flank Communists on the political left.

    “Blame the Jews!”…

    Wait a minute: we sure can blame LIBERAL/progressive Jews: they got the rest of us into this.

      Samantha Mandeles in reply to | May 24, 2021 at 7:57 am

      Thank you for reading, FR. I must respectfully disagree with your comment. “Deadly Exchange”-esque propaganda against Jews in the U.S. surfaced long before the rise of what you might call the Jewish far-left in the West. It’s an old, old trope, dating back at least to the beginnings of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement in the 19th century.

    Alan in reply to Albigensian. | May 24, 2021 at 8:50 am

    Sad when Communism, Fascism, and now Black Lives Matter’s Racism all gather under the “DemonRat” tent.

This bullshit is one of the major demonstrations that it is SIMPLY IMPOSSIBLE for normal people to reconcile with the insane liberal left.

You know what the common denominator is? Everywhere in the world where Islam exists, there is constant war and civil strife. Islam can never get along with its non Muslim neighbors, because its doctrine tells it not to. Everywhere around the world where you look, Islam is in a death struggle with its neighbors. Africa, Asia, China, the Middle East, In South America. The only place where Muslims are not fighting and killing people is Antarctica. Because no one is there.

    The common demonioator is fascism, and it comes in all colors, shapes and sizes. Disfunctional humans often get consolidated power, and they often get it in less sophisiticated, less educated socieities. They even got it in the very sophisitiated, educated society of pre-war Germany (though degenerate liberals did a number on German society, throwing the whole thing out of kilter, making it ripe for a dictator).

    Idiots are idiots. The idea is not to let them gain power amongst us. Today, idiots are running our nation. The question is: who is running THEM?

The Dhimmi-crats are vile, evil and despicable apologists for Islamic supremacism, totalitarianism, belligerence and Jew-hate. That’s all that need be said.

This was such a helpful analysis. I could not understand this hatred. Still don’t, but at least what’s happening to create this is visible.