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September 17, 2019 9:06 am

Progressive Zionist Group Slams Women’s March for Appointing Anti-Israel Activist to New Board

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

A banner by the progressive group Zioness. Photo: Zioness.

Progressive Zionist group Zioness on Tuesday loudly criticized the national Women’s March decision to appoint a fervently anti-Israel activist to its new board.

Zahra Billoo was appointed to the 16-member board after three Women’s March leaders embroiled in antisemitism controversies — Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour — stepped down.

Mallory allied herself with notorious antisemite Louis Farrakhan and refused to denounce him even after he was caught making violent antisemitic statements, such as referring to Jews as “termites.” She later said Jews enjoyed “white privilege.”

Sarsour, a Palestinian American who rejects Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, also refused to distance herself from Farrakhan, said supporters of Israel were fake progressives and held that Zionists could not be feminists.

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Billoo, one of their replacements, who is the head of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) San Francisco chapter, has compared Israel to ISIS, accused it of being “pro-terror” and “pro-apartheid,” and promoted Farrakhan on Twitter.

Zioness addressed Billoo’s appointment in a Twitter thread, saying that the group saw the shakeup in the Women’s March leadership “as a sign that the leaders of the Women’s March were serious about a fresh start, and a truly inclusive movement committed to fighting antisemitism too.”

“Hearing Tamika Mallory, Bob Bland & Linda Sarsour were cutting ties with the org was welcome news, but our hearts sank as we learned others who share their views & have publicly used their platforms to legitimize antisemitic dialogue and ideas will once again be leading the way,” Zioness stated.

“To say that this is unacceptable and outrageous is an understatement,” it added.

“One of the newly announced WM leaders, Zahra Billoo, has repeatedly slandered Jewish orgs and attacked Muslim Americans who fight for women’s rights alongside Zionists, claiming they are ‘faithwashing,’” Zioness noted.

“Billoo’s numerous and unqualified attacks on Zionists leave no room in this coalition for American Jews, 95% of whom support Israel’s right to exist and consider Zionism an inherent part of our identities, alongside our commitment to progressive politics,” it continued.

“No amount of Jewish appointees to the new board can justify the appointment of an individual like Billoo,” Zioness asserted, “who has a well-established track record of anti-Jewish racism.”

“Anyone who cares about anti-oppression work will recognize immediately that Billoo’s many rabidly antisemitic comments contribute to a culture in this country and around the world in which Jews are being harassed, assaulted in the street, and gunned down in our houses of worship,” the group stated.

“It is truly astonishing –– and wildly disappointing –– that the organization’s effort to hit the reset button would so badly miss the mark,” it said.

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