The co-chair of the national Women’s March, Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, used her address to thousands of protesters in Washington, D.C., at the annual rally on Saturday to advocate on behalf of the anti-Semitic boycott movement against the Jewish State, The Times of Israel reported.
The Women’s March, Sarsour vowed, would defend “freedom of speech and the constitutional right to boycott, divestment, and sanctions in these United States of America.” The announcement came as the national leadership of the movement struggles to calm fears among members of the Jewish community that the group was not inclusive toward Jews.
Sarsour’s controversial co-chair, Tamika Mallory, stood next to her on the stage when she declared the movement’s support for the discriminatory Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which seeks the total destruction of the Jewish State, as acknowledged by leaders of the campaign.
In an interview with the ABC program, The View, last week, Mallory repeatedly refused to explicitly condemn anti-Semitic hate preacher and leader of Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan. “You condemn them?” Mallory was asked by host Meghan McCain. “I don’t agree with these statements,” replied Mallory, prompting McCain to retort, “You won’t condemn it.”
In a subsequent interview on PBS, Mallory refused to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist or say if she thought Jews were indigenous there. The Women’s March leader told host Margaret Hoover that “the Palestinians are native to the land.”
When asked by Hoover if she thought Jews were also native to the land, Mallory replied, “I’m not Jewish. So for me to speak to that is not fair.” Hoover fired back, pointing out that Mallory also is not Palestinian. “I’m speaking of the people who we know are being brutally opposed in this moment,” Mallory answered. “That’s just the reality.”
When Hoover asked Mallory to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, she replied, “I have said many times that I feel everyone has a right to exist….I just don’t feel that anyone has a right to exist at the disposal of another group.”
The Women’s March on Friday released a 71-page document detailing for the first time its policy agenda, including fighting anti-BDS laws. “One of the biggest threats to speech today are the attempts to silence social movements, including those advocating for Palestinian rights, Black liberation in the United Sates, Indigenous rights and environmental progress,” the platform reads.
“Whether it’s the attempts to create federal or state laws banning political boycotts or criticism of Israel (including the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions tactic), targeting environmental protest or preventing students and faculty on college campuses from expressing their views or engaging in peaceable assembly, the silencing of one side of the debate is precisely what our First Amendment protects against.”
In fact, legal expert, Eugene Kontorovich and others have written that the anti-BDS laws target unlawful boycotts, but do not restrict speech.
Anti-BDS laws have been passed or enacted in 26 states across the United States with broad bipartisan support.
The national Women’s March has been rocked in recent months by allegations of anti-Semitism by the group’s co-chairs, leading to numerous organizations breaking away from the movement, including The Democratic National Committee, The Southern Poverty Law Center, Greenpeace, The National Council of Jewish Women, and The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
[Photo: CeCe Cole / YouTube ]