At 8:45 a.m., District 6 (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury, Mission Hill) City Councilor Kendra Lara unleashed a firestorm of criticism with the above tweet.
One of the milder criticisms came wo hours later, when Michael Benezra, one of the founders of the non-profit GK Fund, responded:
I understand that intent matters and I try to keep this in mind when assessing rhetoric. But Councilor..this is the kind of language used by Neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers. I know that you are neither - but it’s important to understand why this is incendiary.
Oh I get it! the use of the phrasing was lost on me but I have been told now, thank you!
"I am sorry," she replied to another critic.
She then tweeted some more, declaring her tweet was not out of the blue, even though it provided no context whatsoever, but in reaction to an Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that boycotts are not protected by the First Amendment, in a case that involves public contractors who could be fired if they refuse to sign a document that they won't boycott Israel over its actions against Palestinians.
Alright ya’ll, my mentions are in shambles so just to be clear, I was responding to this ruling here.
I maintain my disappointment with the eighth circuit courts ruling and believe that conflating anti-Zionism with antisemitism will ultimately prevent us from being in true solidarity with both Jewish people and Palestinians.
It was made clear to me, that the use of the phrase ‘shake them down’ reinforces Anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish people.
Although that was not my intention, the impact - especially in a moment when we’re seeing alarming rates of violence against Jewish people— is the same and I should’ve known better.
I’m grateful for folks like Prof. Ben Siegel who called me in on this and for the Jewish community in D6 who I get to keep learning from.
This stuff is insidious and I’m committed to keep weeding it out in myself and my community.