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November 21, 2018 1:12 pm

In ‘Apology,’ Women’s March Leader Linda Sarsour Fails to Mention Her Own Antisemitic Statements or Farrakhan

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

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Linda Sarsour (right). Photo: Screenshot.

Women’s March co-chair and prominent anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour expressed “regret” on Tuesday over the antisemitism scandal rocking her movement, though she did not mention her own problematic statements or the links between Women’s March officials and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

In her statement, Sarsour asserted, “The Women’s March exists to fight bigotry and discrimination in all their forms — including homophobia and anti-semitism.”

Appearing to blame the press for the situation, Sarsour said, “It’s become clear, amidst this media storm, that our values and our message have — too often — been lost. That loss caused a lot of harm, and a lot [sic] pain. We should have been faster and clearer in helping people understand our values and our commitment to fighting anti-semitism. We regret that.”

“Every member of our movement matters to us — including our incredible Jewish and LGBTQ members,” she added. “We are deeply sorry for the harm we have caused, but we see you, we love you, and we are fighting for you.”

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“We are deeply invested in building better and deeper relationships with the Jewish community,” Sarsour claimed.

The statement was in stark contrast to a previous statement Sarsour issued several days ago, in which she portrayed herself as the victim of a smear campaign by the “opposition” and declared her loyalty to Tamika Mallory, a fellow Women’s March co-chair who has praised Farrakhan.

“It’s very clear to me what the underlying issue is,” she wrote then. “I am a bold, outspoken BDS supporting Palestinian Muslim American woman and the opposition’s worst nightmare. They have tried every tactic at their disposal to undermine me, discredit me, vilify me but my roots are too deep and my work is too clear and they have not succeeded so by proxy they began attacking my sister Tamika Mallory — knowing all too well that in this country the most discardable woman is a Black woman.”

“I will NEVER throw Tamika away,” Sarsour declared. “My loyalty to Black women who have risked their lives for all of us is and will be unshaken. I will continue to hold Tamika up because she has done that for too many people that society has written off.”

She also mentioned her need for a security detail. A Women’s March organizer recently revealed that Sarsour’s security is provided by members of Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam.

Appearing to dismiss Farrakhan’s racism and antisemitism, Sarsour declared, “The real threat is white nationalism and white supremacy. They want to destroy us all.”

Sarsour’s Wednesday statement came after Theresa Shook, a co-founder of the Women’s March, issued a scathing criticism of Sarsour and other Women’s March officials, saying, “Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez of Women’s March, Inc. have steered the Movement away from its true course. I have waited, hoping they would right the ship. But they have not.”

“In opposition to our Unity Principles, they have allowed anti-Semitism, anti-LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform by their refusal to separate themselves from groups that espouse these racist, hateful beliefs,” Shook added.

Mallory and Sarsour have both attended events with Farrakhan. Mallory has referred to him as “GOAT” or “Greatest of All Time,” while Sarsour has repeatedly declined to denounce him.

Farrakhan has a long history of antisemitic statements. Most recently, he compared Jews to termites.

In early November, as first reported by The Algemeiner, Farrakhan led chants of “Death to America” and claimed that “America has never been a democracy” during a visit to Tehran.

Sarsour also recently made an openly antisemitic statement in which she said critics of Congresswoman-elect Ilhan Omar, who supports a boycott of Israel, were  “folks who masquerade as progressives but always choose their allegiance to Israel over their commitment to democracy and free speech.”

Shortly after Shook posted her message earlier this week, Mercy Morganfield, former head of the Washington, DC, chapter of the Women’s March, issued her own statement, accusing the Women’s March leadership of financial impropriety.

“They refused to give the chapters any accountability for the money they receive in donations and grants,” Morganfield wrote. “They travel with a glam squad. They employ The Nation of Islam as security detail. They fly their family and friends everywhere. They stay in 5-Star hotels. They pay themselves a monthly stipend. They refuse to show financial records when asked.”

Several critics of Sarsour weighed in on her apology on social media. Israeli journalist Haviv Rettig Gur tweeted, “Why would Linda Sarsour’s not-actually-an-apology-for-associating-with-a-bigot be relevant? Where’s Mallory on Farrakhan? This is damage control, not growth or repentance. Nothing is conceded here.”

Pro-Israel activist Arsen Ostrovsky wrote sarcastically, “This ‘apology’ by Linda Sarsour is about as sincere as tobacco companies apologizing for causing lung cancer.”

Jerusalem Post reporter Lahav Harkov tweeted, “Sarsour is still deflecting, and btw the apology letter doesn’t say anything about cutting ties with antisemitic groups. Of course, it’s hard to cut ties with the Nation of Islam if they’re providing your bodyguards.”

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