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Black Panthers Charge ‘jewish-zionist-racist’ Left Responsible for Party’s Decline

May 4, 1970
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The Black Panthers have discarded their barely concealed anti-Semitism, insisting in the past they were not against Jews but only against Zionism, and have now declared that Jewishness, Zionism and racism are identical. Connie Matthews, international coordinator of the Black Panther Party, now blames dwindling support for the organization since it “took its stand on the (support of) the Palestinian people’s struggle” on the “fact” that the “white left in the U.S.A. is comprised of a large percentage of the Jewish population.” Miss Matthews observes that since the BPP’s stand the white left “started floundering and became undecided. This leaves us with no alternative than to believe that a large portion of these people are Zionists and are therefore racists.”

This venomous diatribe by Miss Matthews appears in the latest issue of the BPP official organ. The Black Panther. As evidence of the basic Jewish-Zionist-racist character of the white left, she notes that a “Zionist judge, Judge (Julius J.) Hoffman” allowed “Zionist” defendants in the “Chicago conspiracy” trial to go free while jailing Bobby Seale to four years for contempt of court. Other evidence cited by Miss Matthews is that “it was a Zionist judge, Judge Friedman” who sentenced Huey Newton for allegedly shooting a white policeman. Mr. Newton is Defense Minister and Mr. Seale is chairman of the BPP.

PANTHER OFFICIAL URGES THAT GEN. DAYAN BE HUNTED DOWN AND KILLED

In this article. Miss Matthews declares that “other Zionists in the (Chicago) Conspiracy 8 trial were willing and did sacrifice Bobby Seale and his role in the conspiracy trial to gain publicity.” The BPP official reiterates the organization’s support of the Palestinian people’s struggle “against Israeli imperialism and Zionism aided and abetted by U.S. imperialism.” and declares: “The one-eyed bandit from Tel Aviv (General) Moshe Dayan must be hunted down and killed.” Miss Matthews does not elaborate further on this. In the Chicago trial, eight persons associated or closely identified as leaders of various New Left factions were charged by Chicago and federal law authorities with inciting young demonstrators to violence during the Democratic national convention in 1968. The eight defendants included Mr. Seale. During the hearings, however, Judge Hoffman order the Black Panther leader to be sentenced separately from his co-defendants on contempt charges.

What Miss Matthews did not state was that only two of the remaining seven defendants–Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin–were Jewish. Mr. Hoffman was sentenced to eight months, and Mr. Rubin to two years, one month and 23 days. Neither did Miss Matthews state that the two defense lawyers, William Kunstler and Leonard Weinglass–both Jewish–also received heavy sentences. Mr. Kunstler was sentenced to four years and 13 days, and Mr. Weinglass to two years, eight months and 15 days. All four have repeatedly disassociated themselves from Zionism and have persistently expressed hostility toward Israel. The only time, during the trial, in which the issue of Jewishness was raised was when Abbie Hoffman castigated Judge Hoffman for being a disgrace to the Jewish people. Yesterday, several days after Miss Matthews issued her statement Mr. Rubin addressed some 15,000 persons in New Haven who staged a rally to protest the upcoming trial of seven Panthers and Mr. Seale who has been charged with the torture-murder of another Black Panther member. Alex Rackley, last May in New Haven. Mr. Rubin, Mr. Hoffman, and Mr. Kunstler have been touring campuses and cities across the country speaking out against the verdicts and soliciting support for the Black Panther Party and for Mr. Seale and Mr. Newton in their continuing legal fight to appeal their sentences.

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