Closet Zionist? Linda Sarsour’s ‘On the Down Low’ Visit to Israel
Linda Sarsour made news in April, when the Geico insurance company canceled a company event with the prominent pro-Palestinian activist. Sarsour has a record of trafficking in antisemitic comments about the Jewish people and Israel, and the event was cancelled after backlash from Jewish groups.
Ironically, Sarsour had been invited to speak at an event celebrating Middle Eastern and North African Heritage Month, as part of Geico’s diversity and inclusion campaign.
So what has Sarsour — one of the founders and former co-chair of the Women’s March, who was forced to step down because of her vocal support for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanction) movement, whose ultimate goal is the end of Israel — been up to since the Geico fiasco?
Related coverageSeptember 30, 2022 11:23 am
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) October 31, 2012
Turns out that in order to decompress, Linda Sarsour has been enjoying the sights and sounds of a city renowned for its diversity.
But while images of San Francisco, Amsterdam, or Paris may come to mind, Sarsour in fact visited one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse cities in Israel.
— Jewish Voice for Peace (@jvplive) March 13, 2017
Yet Sarsour’s views are in stark contrast to what she saw during her secret getaway to Israel.
As noted by Kweansmom:
“According to publicly available social media posts from others in her touring group, Linda Sarsour walked along Rehov Yefe Nof (literally, the Street with the Beautiful View) from where she could view Haifa Bay and almost all of Haifa itself. The view includes the spectacular Bahai Gardens and the spiritual center of the Baha’i faith. The Bahai sect originated in Iran, where it is persecuted, but in Israel, the Bahai enjoy full freedom of religion.”
Sarsour could not have picked a worse place to confirm her biases against Israel. Muslim and Christian Arabs account for nearly 11 percent of Haifa’s population.
The city has welcomed Protestant migrants from Germany, Jews from Romania, Bahá í believers, and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a reformist movement founded in India. Haifa’s tapestry of backgrounds is enhanced even more by the presence of Muslim Sunni, Catholic and Orthodox Christians, as well as Druze.
The city is widely considered to be Israel’s most ethnically mixed.
And while Sarsour has in the past collaborated with Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, which has a long “record of antisemitism and bigotry,” over in Haifa, a “bubble of inclusivity, multiculturalism and co-existence that serves as an example to Israel, and indeed the world,” is in full flower.
Israel experiences the same racial tensions as any other modern, Western-style, liberal democracy. However, the legal, state-sanctioned discrimination that is the essence of the apartheid libel that Linda Sarsour regularly tars Israel with is not only absent, but it is combated by the country’s laws and court system.
The mainstream media doesn’t like centering Palestinian voices because they know we have the higher moral ground and have the ability to convince millions around the world of the truth – Israel is an Apartheid State and it is the aggressor and the oppressor.
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) May 10, 2021
Maybe Linda Sarsour’s hush-hush summer detour to Haifa will affect her thinking about Israel.
If not — as we suspect — then it will be clear that she is even worse than a garden-variety antisemite and demonizer of Israel.
Because to simply negate everything she experienced in Israel would make Linda Sarsour guilty of rank hypocrisy.