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Ex-NBA player slams Black Lives Matter silence on Israel

Former NBA player Amar’e Stoudemire called out Black Lives Matter (BLM) following Saturday’s attacks in Gaza and Israel.

Hamas fired rockets from Gaza into Israel as part of a multi-faceted act of aggression conducted via land, air and sea. Israel carried out strikes on Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas to the west of Israel, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaring: “We are at war, not an operation, not an escalation, a war.”

The Hamas attack was deemed by James Stavridis, a former high-ranking leader within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as comparable to a “9/11 level event” due to the scale and number of deaths and injuries. At least 700 people have been killed in Israel and more than 400 in Gaza as of Monday morning, according to the Associated Press. Thousands of others have been wounded on each side.

“I woke up this morning to some disturbing news out of Israel, of Hamas kidnapping children, putting them in cages,” Stoudemire said in a video posted on his Instagram page. “Killing women, killing the elderly—that’s some coward s***. That’s cowardly.

“And for all y’all Black Lives Matter [supporters] who ain’t sayin’ nothin,’ or ‘let me figure out exactly what happened before I say anything,’ f*** you. Figure out what? It ain’t never been cool to kidnap kids and put ’em in cages. It ain’t ever been cool to kill women and elderly, never been no matter where you from, what you represent, what tribe you from. Don’t matter. It ain’t never been no cool thing, never been nothing nobody supported.”

Newsweek reached out to Stoudemire via social media and Black Lives Matter via phone and email for comment.

Stoudemire, a six-time NBA all-star who played 14 seasons, is currently an American-Israeli professional basketball coach who previously served as a player development assistant for the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.

In August 2020, Stoudemire posted on Instagram that he completed his two-year conversion to Judaism. He was granted Israeli citizenship in March 2019 while playing professional basketball in Israel.

His Hebrew name is Yahoshafat Ben Avraham, identifying with the Hebrew Israelites—African Americans who believe they are connected to the biblical Israelites, which involves the observation of Jewish holidays.

He reportedly stepped down from the Nets organization due to conflicts with his religious observance.

“And then you’re gonna hide and put the kids in front of you like a barricade,” Stoudemire also said over the weekend. “That’s some coward s***. All you politicians who always have something to say on the contrary, I see you. F*** you. All you Black Lives Matter people who always have something to say and always support everything else and you’re quiet now? F*** you, too.

“[Israel is the] only place in the world where I can go and study, tour and eat cultured food. Only place in the world. Some coward s***, dog. And all you support it. F*** you. On my mama, we don’t respect none of y’all for that. Peace,” he said.

As American and European politicians and diplomats have expressed support for Israel as the conflict has escalated in Gaza, Iran and Iraq have pledged support to Palestinians.

The attacks translated to protester clashes domestically, including in New York City, where upwards of 1,000 pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered in Times Square on Sunday. They were met with dozens of Israel supports who waved Israeli flags, according to multiple reports.

Pro-Palestinian supporters were also reportedly present in other cities including Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco. In Atlanta, about 75 people attended the event, the Associated Press wrote, calling for an end to U.S. aid to Israel.

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