Bob Bland, one of the original chairs of the Women’s March on Washington, appears to have blamed the American Jewish establishment’s objections to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitic remarks as the cause of the far-right mosque attacks in New Zealand last week.
Bland shared a post by activist Jesse Rabinowitz on her Facebook page Sunday in which he claimed that “the same language and hate that folks spew against Sisters Linda Sarsour and Ilhan Omar killed 54 Muslim’s [sic] in New Zealand.”
Rabinowitz continued: “You can’t stand in solidarity with the Muslim community and simultaneously disavow Muslim women for speaking their truths.
“American Jewish Establishment, I’m looking at you.”
Bland shared the post after the Women’s March has been embroiled in months of controversy over allegations of anti-Semitism. Tablet Magazine reported in December that 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.”
Though a number of sources have cited this incident, Women’s March co-chair Tamika Mallory and Bland deny that any such mention of Jews was made at the first meeting.
Zioness Movement, a progressive female Zionist organization, sharply criticized Bland for blaming Jews for the far-right terrorist attack in New Zealand.
“Women’s March, Inc. is attacking Jews again. Somehow, we still aren’t desensitized to their never-ending cycle of deeply anti-Semitic slurs,” the group said on its Facebook page Thursday.
“Calling out antisemitism is not bigotry against Muslims,” the organization stressed in a statement. “We’ve witnessed this enough times: the zero-sum game these women are playing literally leads to horror. Jews and Muslims are in fact targeted by the same heinous actors within the white nationalist movement across the globe, which is why Jews and Muslims of conscience have come together in solidarity during crises like we witnessed in Christchurch and in Pittsburgh.”
Zioness Movement added: “This language from Women’s March leaders, like always, serves to divide, not unite; it serves to alienate, not empower; and it serves to create artificial walls between our communities that Zioness hopes to see torn down. We pray for leaders of the American women’s movement who are able to advance a domestic agenda for all women without exploiting their platforms to attack Jews.”
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