The Women's March, whose leaders have openly embraced anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, tried to lead the "resistance" in opposition to President Donald Trump in the wake of the Pennsylvania synagogue shooting Sunday, holding a "vigil" outside the White House to protest anti-Semitism.
There was just one problem: it was led by noted supporter of anti-Semite Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan (and likely anti-Semite, herself), Linda Sarsour.
"Today we are turning our grief to action with @jewishaction," the Women's March tweeted, "to send a clear message that these anti-semitic and xenophobic attacks can never happen again."
Today we are turning our grief to action with @jewishaction to send a clear message that these anti-semitic and xenophobic attacks can never happen again.— Women's March (@womensmarch) October 28, 2018
If you’re not in DC, tune in around 3pm to our Facebook page to watch and share the livestream. https://t.co/14dQE6plY6
Notice they're conflating terms -- associating "anti-Semitism" with "xenophobia" in an effort to connect violence explicitly against the Jewish people with a broader campaign against opponents of unfettered immigration -- because it'll become important later.
The Women's March followed that tweet up, though, with a photo of Linda Sarsour addressing the crowd — unironically.
We’ve gathered outside the @WhiteHouse with @jewishaction and communities of faith to echo the call: #WeWillOutliveThem.— Women's March (@womensmarch) October 28, 2018
Tune into the livestream here: https://t.co/kcF8h34FTC pic.twitter.com/kdwx0429NO
Jewish Action is the same organization that today called on President Trump to stay away from any memorial for victims of the Pittsburgh shooting until he denounced white supremacy.
Sarsour and fellow Women's March leaders Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez are, of course, friends with arguably the nation's foremost anti-Semite, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who regularly delivers anti-Jewish messages from the pulpit of his mosque in Chicago, and just last week referred to Jews as "termites" who require extermination.
The Women's March, of course, hasn't denounced Farrakhan, nor has it forced its own leaders, who led a march against anti-Semitism yesterday, to denounce Farrakhan and distance themselves from his rhetoric.
Actually, it's just the opposite. The best the March could offer was a tepid statement of values: "Minister Farrakhan’s statements about Jewish, queer, and trans people are not aligned with the Women’s March Unity Principles.”
All three have reportedly been involved with the Nation of Islam since 2015, but Mallory is the most connected to Farrakhan, appearing at his Nation of Islam mosque and attending his "symposiums," where he openly preaches hatred against the Jewish people. She was present at his recent "Savior's Day" celebration, where Farrakhan told his audience, "White folks are going down, and Satan is going down, and Farrakhan by God’s grace has pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew — and I’m here to say, your time is up.”
Sarsour and Perez appeared at a Nation of Islam rally in 2015, and Sarsour addressed the crowd.
Perez defended Farrakhan when the Women's March was told to distance itself from the "controversial" leader (Farrakhan is often referred to as "controversial," of course, even by "reputable" publications like Vox.com, so as to hide the content of his speeches).
"In regards to Minister Farrakhan, I think that is a distraction,” Perez told Refinery29 when they asked why the Women's March didn't denounce Farrakhan's comments outright. “People need to understand the significant contributions that these individuals have made to Black and Brown people. There are no perfect leaders.”
There may be no perfect leaders, but there are certainly better leaders than Farrakhan.
In the wake of Mallory's controversy, none of the Women's March leaders have even avoided Farrakhan. Mallory even continued to defend him, tweeting, “If your leader does not have the same enemies as Jesus, they may not be THE leader!” Sarsour questioned if Farrakhan was still relevant rather than denounce his views.
But it's not just conservatives who have a problem with Farrakhan and Nation of Islam. The Anti-Defamation League says Farrakhan "has espoused anti-Semitism and racism for over 30 years as NOI leader," and has been the "leading anti-Semite in America” for years. The Southern Poverty Law Center — the standard by which most leftists judge non-profit organizations — has regularly denounced "the deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-gay rhetoric” of Farrakhan and other NOI leaders, whose conduct “earned the NOI a prominent position in the ranks of organized hate.”
That's only half the story, of course. Sarsour, herself, has made anti-Semitic remarks and is an open supporter of the anti-Semitic BDS movement, though she couches her own hatred as "anti-Zionism."
In remarks made to a panel on anti-Semitism at The New School last year, Sarsour outlined very clearly her anti-Semitic political platform.
"Just in case it’s not clear, I am unapologetically Palestinian-American and will always be unapologetically Palestinian-American. I am also unapologetically Muslim-American. And guess what? I am also a very staunch supporter of the BDS movement. What other way am I supposed to be, as a Palestinian-American who’s a daughter of immigrants who lived under military occupation and still has relatives in Palestine that live under military occupation? I should be expected to have the views that I hold,” she said.
She went on to blame a rise in anti-Semitism on ... who else ... President Donald Trump, and suggested that “antisemitism is redefined as criticism of Israel.”
If that weren't bad enough, Sarsour has cautioned Muslims to resist "humanizing" their "oppressors," has praised the Muslim Brotherhood, and openly embraced "anti-Zionist" efforts that are just thinly veiled threats against the state of Israel and the Jewish people.
All that, of course, could be why the Women's March quickly changed their tune Sunday from being openly against anti-Semitism to the more-acceptable-to-their-leadership "anti-xenophobia," connecting the shooter's obvious and open anti-Semitism to the larger issue of "white supremacy," and even retweeting commentators who blamed Jewish leaders for the slaughter of their own people.
"Bowers & his white supremacist brethren are wrong that Jews control the world. But they are right about one thing: Most American Jews support American Muslims, opposed the Muslim ban, and welcome in refugees from Muslim countries," writes @alexbkane.— Batya Ungar-Sargon (@bungarsargon) October 28, 2018
Their retweets include:
“President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully denounce white nationalism.”— Women's March (@womensmarch) October 29, 2018
A powerful letter to @realDonaldTrump from the Squirrel Hill Jewish community. https://t.co/UD6pRn15kz
We must remember ALL victims of white supremacist violence.— JewishAction (@jewishaction) October 28, 2018
Vickie Lee Jones. Maurice E. Stallard. They were targeted because they were Black.
We honor them. We grieve them. May their memories be for a blessing. https://t.co/uvz6QmqKzt
We are resolved to keep fighting to end white supremacy, including antisemitism and anti-Blackness, and to keep working and pushing towards a society of peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. We are in this together.— YWCA USA (@YWCAUSA) October 28, 2018
by @gracedchin, words from the Talmud pic.twitter.com/Ft2WKAg70h