MidEast

Women’s March Leaders Accused of Making Anti-Semitic Remarks at First Organizational Meeting

During the first meeting of the Women’s March in November 2016, leaders of the organization endorsed virulent anti-Semitic tropes, claiming that Jews were “leaders of the American slave trade” and “bore a special collective responsibility as exploiters of black and brown people,” Tablet Magazine reported on Monday.

The comments about Jews were made by two of the leaders of the Women’s March, Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez, and were allegedly informed by the teachings of anti-Semitic hate preacher Louis Farrakhan, including his book “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews.”

Though a number of sources have cited this incident, Mallory and Bob Bland, another senior figure of the movement, deny that any such mention of Jews was made at the first meeting.

Mallory and Perez were invited to join the Women’s March by the movement’s white founders, after the election of United States President Donald Trump to diversify the appeal of the campaign. The two women – along with American-Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour, who later joined the movement as a co-chair – have been harshly criticized for their longstanding support for the Nation of Islam, the anti-Semitic organization led by Farrakhan.

The leaders of the Women’s March have routinely celebrated Farrakhan, including in a social media post in which Sarsour described the hate preacher as the “GOAT,” meaning the “greatest of all time.”

Mallory, her co-chair, was captured on video attending a Nation of Islam event in which Farrakhan said, “the powerful Jew is my enemy.” The leadership of the movement later defended Mallory against charges of anti-Semitism. Sources familiar with the Women’s March also told Tablet that Nation of Islam members were acting as security detail and drivers for the co-chairs.

The accusations resulted in the splintering of the movement as several state chapters disaffiliated with the Women’s March. The president of the organization’s local chapter in Washington, D.C., Mercy Morganfield, told Tablet that Bland confided in her that, “they have been in bed with the Nation of Islam since day one: They do all of our security.’”

In November, Teresa Shook, the founder of the Women’s March, called on the movement’s current co-chairs to resign over anti-Semitic rhetoric and bigotry, just days after Sarsour suggested American Jews have dual loyalties. She charged that the organization’s leadership had “allowed anti-Semitism, anti-LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform.”

Earlier in the month, actress and activist Alyssa Milano said she would not speak at this year’s Women’s March because its leaders refused to denounce anti-Semitism. Fellow actress Debra Messing later announced her support for Milano.

In a separate incident, a German think tank, associated with Germany’s Social Democratic Party, rescinded a human rights award it had planned to present to the Women’s March movement on grounds that the latter group holds anti-Semitic views.

[Photo: CNN Business / YouTube ]