In an interview set to air on Friday night, Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory refused to affirm Israel’s right to exist just moments after she refuted charges of anti-Semitism.
Mallory grew visibly annoyed over the question of Israel’s right to exist during the interview with PBS’s “Firing Line with Margaret Hoover.”
“The Palestinians are native to the land, you know, they were there for a very long time and so they’re native to the land,” Mallory said.
“Do you feel that the Jewish people are native as well?” Hoover asked.
“I mean, I know, I understand the history, that, you know, that there are people who have a number of sort of ideologies around why the Jewish people feel this should be their land,” Mallory responded. “I’m not Jewish. So, for me to speak to that is not fair.”
“If you’re willing to say that the Palestinians are native but not the Jews are native,” Hoover responded. “I mean you’re not Palestinian either.”
“Because I’m speaking of the people who we know are being brutally oppressed in this moment,” Mallory claimed. “That’s just the reality.”
“Is it your view that Israel has a right to exist as a nation?” Hoover asked.
“I have said many times that I feel everyone has a right to exist,” Mallory responded, not answering Hoover’s question. “I feel everyone has a right to exist. I just don’t feel that anyone has a right to exist at the disposal of another group.”
“In your view, does that include Israelis in Israel?” Hoover asked.
“I believe that all people have the right to exist,” Mallory replied. “And that Palestinians are also suffering with a great crisis. And that there are other Jewish scholars who will sit here and say the same.”
Mallory then became visibly angry over the question.
“I’m done talking about this,” Mallory said. “You can move on.”
“I just don’t think it requires scholarly knowledge to be able to say that Israel has a right to exist,” Hoover responded.
“If you are vigorously defending allegations of anti-semitism, seems like affirming Israel’s right to exist would be a no-brainer,” Hoover tweeted after a preview of the interview was made public. “Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.”
On Monday, Mallory appeared on ABC’s “The View” where she defended calling Louis Farrakhan — who has praised Hitler and compared Jews to termites — the “greatest of all time.”
“I didn’t call him the greatest of all time because of his rhetoric, I called him the greatest of all time because of what he’s done in black communities,” Mallory said.
During her appearance on “The View,” Mallory also repeatedly refused to specifically condemn Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic rhetoric, only stating generally, “I don’t agree with many of Minister Farrakhan’s statements.”