Activist and Women’s March organizer Linda Sarsour drew criticism for stating that progressives who supported Israel choose their “allegiance to Israel over their commitment to democracy and free speech,” the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported Sunday.
Sarsour, in a Facebook post, was defending representative-elect Ilhan Omar, who had recently voiced her support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, after denying that she supported it during the campaign.
According to Sarsour, Omar was “being attacked for saying that she supports BDS and the right for people to engage in constitutionally protected freedoms.”
“This is not only coming from the right-wing,” Sarsour continued, “but some folks who masquerade as progressives but always choose their allegiance to Israel over their commitment to democracy and free speech.”
The charge of Americans having primary allegiance to Israel prompted the American Jewish Committee to respond, “Accusing Jews of dual loyalty is one of the oldest and most pernicious antisemitic tropes. No surprise to see it coming from @LSarsour. How long will progressive leaders continue to look the other way in the face of this hate?”
In a similar vein, Yair Rosenberg, a senior writer at Tablet Magazine, wrote, “Linda Sarsour is now openly saying that U.S. Jews secretly work for Israel against American ideals, which is a classic anti-Semitic libel.”
Sarsour has previously sparked outrage by saying that Zionists cannot be feminists and that “nothing is creepier than Zionism.” She also has been criticized for supporting hate-preacher Louis Farrakhan along with other leaders of the Women’s March.
The ties of Sarsour and other leaders of the Women’s March to Farrakhan prompted actress and activist Alyssa Milano to say that she would not speak at the next March unless its leadership spoke out in opposition to Farrakhan’s hate-mongering.
“Any time that there is any bigotry or antisemitism in that respect, it needs to be called out and addressed,” Milano told The Advocate. “I’m disappointed in the leadership of the Women’s March that they haven’t done it adequately.”
Last week, fellow actress and activist Debra Messing expressed her support for Milano.
“Maybe I’ll be accused of siding with the alt-right or tarred as Islamophobic. But what I stand against is embracing terrorists, disdaining independent feminist voices, hating on democracies and celebrating dictatorships,” New York Times editor Bari Weiss wrote in August of last year, critiquing the support Mallory and Sarsour give to extremists. “If that puts me beyond the pale of the progressive feminist movement in America right now, so be it,” she concluded.
In a critique of Linda Sarsour, Julie Lenarz observed in The Tower, “Linda Sarsour is not a feminist. She supports a culture that is forcing millions of women into religious slavery. She is a false apostle selling her regressive views to a blinded liberal audience.”
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