What does the situation in Ferguson, Missouri have to do with Israel? In truth, nothing at all. The fact that BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) groups are linking the two demonstrates they will take any opportunity to promote their misguided agenda.
While it was previously just a small town in the Midwestern United States known primarily as a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, Ferguson is now a household name.
On August 9, 2014, an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer. As a result, racial tensions in the town of 20,000 people came to a boil, with the killing sparking a wave of rioting and violent protests that sent ripples throughout the United States.
In an attempt to bring calm to the area, police came out in full riot gear, using crowd dispersal methods, including tear gas. Trying to portray the clash between protestors and law enforcement as a war zone, some demonstrators made a bizarre connection between Ferguson and the situation in Gaza, where Hamas waged a war this summer against Israel.
Ferguson as the New Gaza?
Given the current trend of anti-Israel media bias, it didn’t take long for the staggeringly inaccurate comparison between Ferguson and Gaza to become fashionable.
One Facebook commentator observed, “Interesting how they didn’t say it felt like: Crimea, Hong Kong, Dimashq [Damascus], Baghdad, Kobane, Mosul, Argentina, etc but were so specific in their comparison.”
As protesting turned into uprising, the comparisons between Ferguson and Gaza became more frequent. People with no understanding as to the reality on the ground in Gaza characterized Ferguson as a place where people get shot because of their ethnicity.
Yesterday, after three long months, a St. Louis grand jury announced that it would not be indicting the police officer.
That decision set off a wave of anger among gathered protesters awaiting the verdict. Into the night, the violence grew more intense as rioters set buildings on fire and rampant looting ensued.
Meanwhile, in cities across America, people began to protest in the streets in solidarity with the community of Ferguson and what they deemed a grave injustice. In Seattle, Washington, for instance, protesters hit the streets in the hundreds to show their indignation at the decision.
What does Israel have to do with it?
BDS groups will do anything to promote their agenda. In this case, they tried to capitalize on a young man’s death and the unrest that erupted in its wake. This is yet another example of the movement’s desperate attempts to smear Israel.
Here at United with Israel, we are doing our best to combat media bias that fosters an environment in which such comparisons are tolerated. We need YOUR HELP to make sure we can continue our work. Click here to Donate and support the fight against mainstream media bias against Israel.
Author: Penina Taylor, United with Israel