In the middle of a firestorm over Critical Race Theory, the general counsel’s office for the Palm Beach County School board, in an unprecedented move, emailed pro-Black Lives Matter talking points to school board members.
Critics questioned the ethics of the decision, noting that the purpose of the board’s general counsel is to provide legal advice and defend its actions, not offer political or policy guidance on issues to elected officials.
The document from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, “Talking Points on Anti-Semitism and Black Lives Matter,” contains several statements suggesting that the BLM organization as a whole is not anti-Semitic.
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The talking points conflict with allegations about BLM made in a demand letter from attorney Daniel B. Rosenthal on behalf of his client, Bryan Rudnick, parent of a student attending the school district. The letter alleges that BLM supports undemocratic principles and has anti-Semitic leanings.
The board’s general counsel, Shawntoyia Bernard, admitted the talking points were sent from her office but denied any personal knowledge of the document, saying in a brief interview that her “staff often grabs this kind of thing from online” and she “didn’t believe they were sent to her.” (By JCPA)
Bernard is married to Mack Bernard, a left-of-center County commissioner in Palm Beach County.
Bernard said they don’t often send talking points to the board, but “they were sent because of the lawsuit letter.” (You can read the letter here)
Morton Klein, a German-born American economist and head of the Zionist Organization of America, said there’s no question in his mind regarding BLM’s anti-Semitism.
“The Black Lives Matter group is antisemitic and hates the Jewish State of Israel,” Klein, who was born to Holocaust survivors, told BizPac Review. “In the last two weeks, its leaders supported the terrorist group Hamas in its war against Israel and said BLM’s goal is the destruction of the colonialist apartheid project called Israel.”
“Black Lives Matter should be understood as the new civil rights movement in America, not as a particular set of policies or organizations,” one of the JCPA talking points states. “The Jewish community is proud of its strong solidarity and participation in the civil rights movement of the past and should be equally eager to engage in the present.”
Another talking point says although “some in the Jewish community” view BLM as “antisemitic,” especially among “Jewish thought leaders on the right,” those views are not “based in fact.”
In his letter asking the school district to delete linked references to BLM from its website, Rosenthal called out the organization over its “educational content that discusses structural racism.”
“BLM’s stated positions and values and the theory of ‘structural racism’ are antithetical to those of the District and its student body,” Rosenthal wrote, going on to point out that its co-founders have described themselves as “trained Marxists.”
In addition, Rosenthal noted that BLM supports a “progressive restructuring of tax codes at the local, state and federal levels to ensure a radical and sustainable redistribution of wealth.”
The attorney also cited BLM for its public support for the Palestinians as they engaged with Israel in recent weeks as fighting flared between the Jewish state and the Iran-backed Hamas terrorist group.
“Most recently, BLM, through an official Twitter account, tweeted its support for Palestinians, led by Hamas terrorists who have fired nearly 4,000 rockets at Israel,” Rosenthal wrote.
Rosenthal concluded: “On behalf of Mr. Rudnick, I hereby request that all links and references to BLM be removed from the District’s website and any school curriculum.”
One of BLM’s co-founders, Patrisse Cullors – who recently resigned as head of the national organization amid reports of financial self-dealing – has admitted during an interview in 2015 that she and her co-founders are Marxists.
In addition, during a seminar at Harvard that same year, Cullors called for an end to Israel.
“Palestine is our generation’s, South Africa. If we don’t step up boldly and courageously to end the imperialist project that’s called Israel, we’re doomed.,” she said.
“We could have a whole conversation about the settlements that we witnessed and the stories of
murder and death at the hands of Israelis and Zionists,” she added before describing Palestinian solidarity as “crucial” to the BLM movement.
In May, Governor Ron Desantis said, “Let me be clear, there is no room in our classrooms for things like Critical Race Theory…Teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money.”