Early this month, Tufts University caused a stir when a student-made “disorientation guide” called Israel a “white supremacist state” and touted “Israel Apartheid Week.” The university administration removed the guide from its official Facebook page, but the damage had been done. A black radio host connected this anti-Israel attack to the deceptive far-Left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
“The fact is that Israel is depicted as an Apartheid state against Palestinians, not unlike South Africa or America under Jim Crow laws,” Lonnie Poindexter, radio host and director of the Urban Family Pastors Network, told PJ Media in an interview Monday. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Poindexter, who recently spent over a week in Israel with a group of 30 African-American pastors, described an experience utterly removed from racism.
“We saw an Ethiopian community, it’s really something to see,” the radio host said. He described running into a group of “IDF troops between 20 and 25 years old, all female, with a lieutenant who was a black Ethiopian Jew, with an AK strapped on her back.”
Even so, the Tufts “Disorientation Guide” attacked the Jewish group Hillel in a rather eye-opening way.
“During the winter, students found out that Hillel was inviting Trayvon Martin’s parents to speak on campus about ‘gun violence’ as a way to ‘open up’ the conversation about race among ‘their’ community of students,” the guide read. Such an event seems innocuous enough for Social Justice Warriors (SJWs), but the PC police complained that the Jewish organization tried to talk about race while supporting a “white supremacist” state.
“Hillel is a Zionist space at Tufts, equating anti-Zionism with terrorism and not allowing anti-Zionist students to join the charter,” the guide explained. “Hillel is committed to upholding the legitimacy of Israeli occupation. Students were outraged that Hillel, an organization that promotes a white supremacist state, were bringing Trayvon’s parents to exploit black voices for their own pro-Israel agenda” (emphasis added).
This idea of Israel as a “white supremacist state” also emerged in the guide’s support for “Israeli Apartheid Week.” This protest event aims to promote “solidarity between the Palestinian struggle and that of Black, Brown, and indigenous movements as well as unpacking the connections between capitalism, racism, and militarism in the US and Israel.”
The guide described Israel’s existence as an “occupation.”
The SPLC, a nonprofit which claims to monitor hate groups and report on incidents of hatred and bias, did not mention this blatant anti-Israel slur, despite the fact that the Tufts administration originally saw it fit to publish on official Facebook pages.
The Christian nonprofit Family Research Council (FRC) and the Jewish nonprofit Jewish Institute for Global Awareness issued a joint statement condemning the SPLC for refusing to condemn this slander.
“This week a Tufts University student-made handbook smeared a Jewish campus group for supporting what the handbook ludicrously called the ‘white supremacist state’ of Israel,” FRC President Tony Perkins and Jewish Institute Co-Directors Arthur Goldberg and Elaine Silodor Berk, said in the statement. “University administrators removed the handbook after media outlets reported on the anti-Semitic incident.”
“However, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which aims to establish itself as the preeminent authority on hate groups, made no public comment on the anti-Semitic smear. This is no surprise,” Perkins, Goldberg, and Berk continued. “Its deafening silence on incidents outside its preferred targets on the religious right cannot be ignored.”
Damningly, the statement concluded, “While the SPLC wants to be viewed as a referee on the field of political debate, their demonization of mainstream conservatives and predictable silence on incidents like Tufts University’s anti-Semitic handbook can only lead to one conclusion: the SPLC wants to be both referee and player. It’s time the media recognize the SPLC for what it is — a discredited left wing political group.”
Indeed, the SPLC has branded as “hate groups” Christian organizations like FRC, Liberty Counsel, the American Family Association (AFA), and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), along with other groups like the American College of Pediatricians and the Center for Immigration Studies. It has even listed Muslim reformers like Maajid Nawaz “anti-Muslim extremists,” citing ever-changing excuses for doing so.
“My show is on Urban Family Communication, a ministry outreach of the AFA,” Poindexter said. “The SPLC has deemed AFA a hate group.” But the radio host said this did not make him ashamed. “It’s a badge of honor we wear now.”
“I find it appalling that the SPLC is silent when universities like Tufts are allowed to have free reign spewing hate, half truths and propaganda concerning Israel,” the radio host added. “Yet simply because Christian institutions stand on biblical principles they are depicted as hatemongers and bigots by their absurd rating system.”
While Poindexter agreed wholeheartedly with the FRC-Jewish Institute statement, he argued that the very idea of Israel as a racist country came “from the talking points Tufts students pull from the SPLC website.”
The radio host suggested that the SPLC’s “listing of organizations who have a strong support for the state of Israel being hate groups supports [students’] narrative that anyone who supports the state of Israel is a white supremacist.”
He argued that “Tufts is typical of what’s happening at university campuses across America.”
The SPLC’s influence has spread far and wide, especially in recent months. Following the white nationalist riots in Charlottesville, Va., Apple pledged $1 millionto the SPLC, along with other key benefits, while J.P. Morgan chipped in $500,000. Companies like Lyft and MGM Resorts have partnered with the group, while Pfizer, Bank of America, and Newman’s Own have each contributed over $8,900 to the SPLC in recent years.
The group has also received support from the mainstream media and notable Democrats. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) cited the SPLC, comparing an organization on its list of “hate groups” to the genocidal Cambodian dictator Pol Pot. CNN, NBC, and ABC have parroted the SPLC’s “hate group” designations (which compare mainstream Christian and conservative groups to the Ku Klux Klan). CNN even posted the group’s “hate map,” which inspired a terror attack in 2012.
But the SPLC has also exercised a subtle influence on K-12 education across America. Since 1991, the group has used a program called “Teaching Tolerance” to spread the LGBT agenda among children and teenagers.
In December 2014, the group launched “SPLC on Campus,” a website and organization aimed at spreading its activism on college campuses.
Besides the SPLC connection, Poindexter argued that the attacks on Israel as a racist country overlook the “historically strong connection” between the Jewish community and the black community. He pointed at identity politics as the reason why some people have adopted the view that Israel is racist.
“Today it’s all based upon paint job,” the radio host said. “The Palestinians are more our brothers because they look like us because they have our hue, the Israelis are imposters. Then you can say it’s no different to how whites treated blacks in the Jim Crow movement.”
But this is wildly inaccurate. “Judaism has nothing to do with your paint job or ethnicity,” Poindexter noted. “To depict Israel as a bastion of racism or some kind of apartheid state is a bald face lie.”
He explained that this kind of identity politics was one of the reasons he “left the Democratic plantation.”
The radio host lamented the way liberals identify any supporter of President Donald Trump as a racist. He cited a recent video from “comedian” Chelsea Handler which branded black Trump supporters “black white supremacists.” Specifically, Hander attacked Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, former Sheriff David Clarke, and actress Stacey Dash.
“I happen to know those individuals,” Poindexter said. He described Carson and Clarke as “stellar human beings and fearless.”
The radio host insisted that Americans need to learn their own history, not just accept liberal talking points, and that the “Southern Poverty Law Center needs to be deemed illegitimate.” That’s a tall order, but every time a university like Tufts calls Israel a “white supremacist state,” SJWs make their own narrative just a little bit weaker.