Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors called for the end of Israel in a 2015 panel at the Harvard Law School.
In an April 2015 panel hosted by the Human Rights Program at Harvard, entitled ‘Globalizing Ferguson: Radicalized Policing and International Resistance,’ Cullors shared her experience visiting the West Bank and Gaza with a delegation of other leftists.
She said she saw ‘violence’ and ‘terror’ being committed by ‘Israelis and Zionists’ at the expense of Palestinians.
Scroll down for video
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors called for an end to the ‘imperialist project that’s called Israel’ at a 2015 panel at Harvard Law School
She also claimed: ‘Nothing would’ve prepared me for the militarization and terror’ that she saw while she visited the area, and told the students ‘We’re complicit in that’ due to the United States’ alliance with Israel.
She encouraged supporters to join the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement, which seeks to put financial pressure on Israel to change its policies toward Palestine by boycotting and divesting from Israeli businesses.
Every year, the United States and Israel trade close to $50 billion in goods and services, according to the State Department. Additionally, the United States supports Israel’s security financially, providing $3.3 billion to Foreign Military Financing and $500 million for cooperative programs for missile defense every year under the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries.
The United States was the first country to recognize Israel as a state in 1948, and the Trump administration became the first to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 2017.
The Boycott Israel movement has thus far failed to have an affect on Israel’s economy, according to the Anti-Defamation League, but does serve to spread anti-Israel sentiment.
Smoke rose from a building in Gaza following a recent Israeli airstrike. Cullors said she witnessed ‘violence’ and ‘terror’ while in the West Bank and Gaza
Palestinian children took part in a protest against the statements of Matthias Schmale, director of the United Nations Operations in the Gaza Strip on May 27
Palestinian protestors participated in a demonstration in Jerusalem’s Old City on May 18
Cullors announced she was stepping down from Black Lives Matter on Friday, amid controversy over her $3 million property portfolio.
Hank Newsome, the head of Black Lives Matter Greater New York City, called for an ‘independent investigation’ into the foundation’s finances. The two organizations are not affiliated.
Cullors, a self-described Marxist, denies receiving a salary from the foundation, but critics claim she might be using donations to the foundation to line her pockets. She has denied those claims, and says her income comes from other sources, like book sales and a YouTube deal.
Still, she announced on Thursday she was stepping down from her position as executive director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation after five years in the position to focus on other projects, like the release of her second book and a television deal with Warner Bros.
‘I’ve created the infrastructure and the support, and the necessary bones and foundation, so that I can leave,’ Cullors stated. ‘It feels like the time is right.’
But her departure comes after it was revealed last month that she has amassed a $3 million property portfolio, despite describing herself as a trained Marxist”.
Cullors faced fierce backlash over revelations about her personal spending – including the recent purchase of a $1.4 million home in a ritzy L.A. neighborhood.
It caused many to question what percentage of BLM donations were actually going towards social justice programs, although there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing on the part of Cullors.
On Friday, Cullors was slammed by mothers of black sons and daughters killed by police over her alleged greed.
‘I don’t believe she is going anywhere,’ said Samaria Rice, the mother of 12-year-old Tamir Rice who was shot dead by Cleveland police as he played with a toy gun.
‘It’s all a facade. She’s only saying that to get the heat off her right now,’ she told the New York Post.
‘TRAINED MARXIST’ PATRISSE CULLORS’ $3M PROPERTY PORTFOLIO
In April, Cullors raised eyebrows when it emerged that she had spent $1.4 million on a Los Angeles property – her fourth home, and her third in the city – in an overwhelmingly white neighborhood.
The plush property, located in Topanga Canyon, comes complete with a separate guest house and an expansive back yard.
Cullors and her husband also purchased a ‘custom ranch’ on 3.2 acres in Conyers, Georgia last year for $415,000.
The residence boasts its own pool and airplane hangar.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Cullors raised eyebrows when it emerged that she had spent $1.4 million on this residence in ritzy Topanga Canyon
CONYERS, GEORGIA: Cullors and her husband also purchased a ‘custom ranch’ on 3.2 acres last year
Additionally, property records show Cullors has bought two other Los Angeles homes in recent years.
In 2016, she is said to have paid $510,000 for a three-bedroom home in Inglewood.
In 2018, Cullors added another home to her property portfolio, by laying down $590,000 for a four-bedroom home in South L.A., the Post says.
The New York Post reported that Cullors was also ‘eyeing property at the ultra-exclusive Albany resort outside Nassau in the Bahamas where Justin Timberlake and Tiger Woods have homes.’ The publication didn’t cite sources for its information.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: According to property records, Cullors also owns this LA home
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Cullors also owns a third LA property
Rice said that she had been in touch with Cullors over email in the hope of re-opening a federal investigation into her son’s death in 2014, but said the pair had never met face-to-face.
‘They are benefiting off the blood of our loved ones, and they won’t even talk to us,’ she said.
Rice’s view is shared by Lisa Simpson, the mother of Richard Risher, 18, who died in July 2016 as he was chased by LAPD outside a housing project.
Police said that Risher had a handgun leading police to fire 64 rounds.
Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, has also said that BLM failed her.
‘I have never personally dealt with BLM Louisville and personally have found them to be fraud (sic),’ she wrote in an April Facebook post.
Taylor was shot dead in a police raid at her home in Louisville, Kentucky in March 2020.
Her killing became one of the key talking points of Black Lives Matter activists, and anti-police brutality campaigners, throughout last year.
Speaking of Cullors’ sudden departure from the organization, Simpson, 52, was blunt: ‘Now she doesn’t have to show her accountability. She can just take the money and run.’
Simpson, who lives in Los Angeles, was told that her local BLM chapter raised $5,000 for her son’s funeral.
She has not received a cent.
Samaria Rice the mother of Tamir Rice, has never met Patrisse Cullors, and believes she is only leaving Black Lives Matter to escape the heat over her $3 million property portfolio. In November 2014, Tamir Rice was killed in Cleveland, Ohio, by Timothy Loehmann, a 26-year-old white police officer. Rice was carrying a replica toy gun at the time of his killing
Lisa Simpson the mother of Richard Risher has said she has not received a penny from BLM despite a local Los Angeles chapter offering to donate $,5000. RIght, Richard Risher was shot and killed by LAPD officers when he was 18-years-old in what police described as a ‘running gun battle’
Simpson blasted Black Lives Matter for ‘raising money in our dead sons’ names and giving us nothing in return.’
‘We never hired them to be the representatives in the fight for justice for our dead loved ones murdered by the police,’ Rice and Simpson said in a joint statement earlier this year.
‘The ‘activists’ have events in our cities and have not given us anything substantial for using our loved ones’ images and names on their flyers.
‘We don’t want or need y’all parading in the streets accumulating donations, platforms, movie deals, etc. off the death of our loved ones, while the families and communities are left clueless and broken.’
Simpson is hoping to secure justice for her son whom she claims was ‘shot for running while black.’
She set up the Richard Risher Foundation to raise funds after BLM activists did not help her.
‘They called me an agent provocateur, a liar and crazy. I am the boots on the ground in this fight, not Black Lives Matter.
‘I’m just a mother who lost my kid. I haven’t gotten any justice and I don’t even know what that looks like.’
Black Lives Matter was established nearly eight years ago in response to injustice against black Americans but the foundation has recently been mired in controversy over its finances and the personal wealth of its founder, Patrisse Cullors.
The BLM foundation revealed earlier this year that it managed to raise more than $90 million last year, following the May 2020 murder of George Floyd.
The foundation said it ended 2020 with a balance of more than $60 million, after spending nearly a quarter of its assets on operating expenses and grants to black-led organizations.
But critics of the foundation contend more of that money should have gone to the families of black victims of police brutality who have been unable to access the resources needed to deal with their trauma and loss.
Some have accused the group of profiting off the deaths including family members who have lost loved ones.
However, she insists her resignation has been in the works for more than a year and has nothing to do with the personal attacks she has faced.
‘Those were right-wing attacks that tried to discredit my character, and I don’t operate off of what the right thinks about me,’ Cullors told the Associated Press.
Last month, she described the criticism as ‘racist and sexist’ smears deliberately put out by the ‘right-wing media’.
In 2020, the BLM foundation spun off its network of chapters as a sister collective called BLM Grassroots, so that it could build out its capacity as a philanthropic organization. Although many groups use ‘Black Lives Matter’ or ‘BLM’ in their names, less than a dozen are considered affiliates of the chapter network.
In April, the foundation stated Cullors was a volunteer executive director who, prior to 2019, had ‘received a total of $120,000 since the organization´s inception in 2013, for duties such as serving as spokesperson and engaging in political education work.’
‘As a registered 501c3 non-profit organization, (the foundation) cannot and did not commit any organizational resources toward the purchase of personal property by any employee or volunteer,’ the foundation said in a statement.
‘Any insinuation or assertion to the contrary is categorically false.’
Cullors has made much of her money from consulting on racial justice projects outside of BLM. In 2018, she also released a best-selling autobiography titled: ‘When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir.
Meanwhile, Cullors has also been paid an advance for her second book.
Cullors founded BLM with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi in 2013, in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who killed Trayvon Martin.