AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico
Angela Davis

The keynote speaker at this year’s Courageous Conversation summit, held on Yom Kippur, will be Angela Davis, who is a vocal supporter of the BDS movement, which seeks the Jewish state’s elimination.

By United with Israel Staff

Angela Davis built a name for herself during the civil rights era as an outspoken communist and member of the Black Panther Party.

She was tried on murder, conspiracy, and kidnapping charges related to a 1970 courthouse shooting in which four people were killed.

Davis was found not guilty and went on to a career in academia.

She was recently tapped to serve as the keynote speaker at this year’s Annual National Summit for Courageous Conversation® (NSCC), which “assemble[s] racial equity leaders from across the nation and around the world.”

The event was scheduled on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, making it impossible for any religiously observant Jew to attend.

Davis has battled accusations of antisemitism throughout her career, beginning in the 1970s when she allegedly labeled Jewish political prisoners fleeing the Soviet Union “Zionist fascists and opponents of socialism” who “deserve what they get.”

In addition to supporting repressive communist regimes that brutalize their own populations, she has also supported “Palestinian terrorists … convicted of murders of Israeli civilians,” explained political commentator Jonathan S. Tobin in a 2019 National Review piece. The article also discusses Davis’ role as a mouthpiece for the BDS movement, which seeks the Jewish state’s destruction.

In 2019, the editor of an Alabama-based periodical called Southern Jewish Life, Larry Brook, published an article underlining Davis’ record with regard to antisemitism and demanded that a prominent civil rights organization rescind an honor it planned to bestow on her.

With regard to Davis’ support for boycotts of the Jewish state, Tobin noted in in the National Review, “BDS is not a protest against Israeli policies or a tactic by which it can be pressured to withdraw from [Judea and Samaria], in order to facilitate the implementation of a two-state solution. To the contrary, it is a movement dedicated to the eradication of Israel and to the denial of rights, including a people’s self-determination and ability to live in peace and security in their own homeland, that BDS advocates seek to deny no one else: It is an act of bias against Jews. Wherever BDS raises its banners, invariably anti-Semitic statements (like that of [Rashida] Tlaib) or acts of intimidation or even violence soon follow.”

According to the NSCC, it was “unable to change the dates with the host venue” so that the event did fall on Yom Kippur, but it “wishes to acknowledge respect for our Jewish Community and this Holy Day.”

Does having a speaker who promotes the elimination of the world’s only Jewish state “respect the Jewish Community,” NSCC?