Feminist Movement Grapples with Antisemitism — Again

From The New York Jewish Week:  https://jewishweek.timesofisrael.com/feminists-and-anti-semitism-then-and-now/

Its leaders need to forcefully condemn it.

By Dr. Rafael Medoff
November 15, 2018

Prominent feminists are split over the issue of condemning anti-Semitism—just as they were in the 1930s. How sad that some things never seem to change.

Actress and women’s rights activist Alyssa Milano ignited the latest controversy when she said recently that she will not take part in the upcoming 2019 Women’s March unless its leaders publicly condemn the anti-Semitic demagogue Rev. Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation of Islam. Those leaders responded with a vague and inadequate statement about anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry.

The problem is rooted in the fact that several Women’s March leaders are unabashed admirers of Farrakhan. Last year for example, Tamika Mallory, co-chair of the Women’s March, posted a photo on Instagram with her arms around Farrakhan. The caption read: “Thank God this man is still alive and doing well. He is definitely the GOAT [Greatest Of All Time]. Happy birthday @louisfarrakhan.”

Speaking in Chicago in February this year, Farrakhan said “the Jews were responsible for all this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out.” Mallory attended the event. When Mallory was criticized for not speaking out against Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic remarks, Women’s March board member Linda Sarsour came to her defense.

“I will not sit back while a strong, bold, unapologetic, committed Black woman who risks her life every day to speak truth to power and organize and mobilize movements is questioned, berated and abused,” Sarsour declared on Facebook. “I stand with Tamika Mallory every day, with every fiber of my being because she has so much of what we need in the movement right now to win.”

Sarsour has her own record of troubling statements and actions, such as saying “nothing is creepier than Zionism”; championing the cause of Rasmea Odeh, a convicted killer of two Hebrew University students; and asserting that there is no room in the feminist movement for anybody “who supports the State of Israel.” Anti-Defamation League director Jonathan Greenblatt has said Sarsour’s anti-Israel activity “encourages and spreads anti-Semitism,” and his predecessor, Abe Foxman, has described Sarsour as “bigoted.”

Carmen Perez, another of the four leaders of the Women’s March, not only reposted Mallory’s photo with Farrakhan, but has also posted a photo of herself holding hands with the Nation of Islam leader. On one she posted the caption read: “There are many times when I sit with elders or inspirational individuals where I think, ‘I just wish I could package this and share this moment with others.’ ” It continues. Mallory and Sarsour both commented voicing their admiration and support for The Nation Of Israel leader.

In response to Milano’s call for them to denounce Farrakhan, the Women’s March leadership last week issued a remarkable statement. “We recognize the danger of hate rhetoric by public figures,” it asserted. “We want to say emphatically that we do not support or endorse statements made by Minister Louis Farrakhan about women, Jewish, and LGBTQ communities.”

Note how they oppose “hate rhetoric” by “public figures,” but do not actually name those individuals. They say they “do not support or endorse” Farrakhan’s statements about Jews (and others), but they do not acknowledge that those statements were bigoted. Call it anti-Semitism without anti-Semites: they are against anti-Semitism in general, but will not admit that the man they admire is an anti-Semite.

Continue reading at: https://jewishweek.timesofisrael.com/feminists-and-anti-semitism-then-and-now/

See also:

Women’s March Award Rescinded by German NGO Due to Anti-Semitism

Embattled Women’s March Finally Releases Financial Records

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