MidEast

Women’s March Founder Asks Co-Chairs to Resign over Anti-Semitism, Bigotry

The founder of the Women’s March has called on the movement’s current co-chairs to resign over anti-Semitic rhetoric and bigotry, just days after Linda Sarsour suggested American Jews have dual loyalties, CNN reported Monday.

Teresa Shook, a retired lawyer based in Hawaii, who first called for a women’s march after the election of United States President Donald Trump, said that board members – Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez – “have steered the Movement away from its true course,” as a result of “their refusal to separate themselves” from groups and individuals with “anti-Semitic and homophobic sentiments.”

Shook said in a statement that she had “waited, hoping they would right the ship.” Instead, she noted, “they have allowed anti-Semitism, anti-LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform.”

“I call for the current Co-Chairs to step down and to let others lead who can restore faith in the Movement and its original intent,” Shook added. “I stand in Solidarity with all the Sister March Organizations, to bring the Movement back to its authentic purpose.”

Shook’s critique comes following longstanding criticism of the group’s association with anti-Semitic hate preacher Louis Farrakhan and bigoted comments made by the organization’s leadership.

Just last week, Sarsour, a Palestinian-American activist who is one of the march’s current leaders, accused American Jews of a dual loyalty to Israel in a Facebook post calling for support for Congresswoman-elect Ilhan Omar, following a backlash over her announcement that she supports boycotts against Israel. The American Jewish Committee, one of the oldest Jewish advocacy groups in America, described her comments as anti-Semitic.

Sarsour previously promoted Rasmea Yousef Odeh, a convicted terrorist involved in a 1969 bombing of a Jerusalem supermarket that killed two Hebrew University students, as a feminist heroine. Sarsour also charged that Zionists who are not critical of Israel cannot be feminists because they ignore the rights of Palestinian women.

Accusations of anti-Semitism were lodged against Sarsour’s co-organizers, Tamika Mallory, when she was captured on video attending a Nation of Islam event in which Louis Farrakhan said, “the powerful Jew is my enemy.” The leadership of the March defended Mallory against charges of anti-Semitism. Sarsour had previously described Farrakhan on social media as the “GOAT,” meaning the “greatest of all time.”

Hours after Shook asked for the board to resign, the Women’s March leaders responded to her criticism in a statement, saying her attack was done “irresponsibly.”

[Photo: AP Archive / YouTube ]