Women’s March Roiled by Accusations of Anti-Semitism

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/23/us/womens-march-anti-semitism.html

By Farah Stockman
Dec. 23, 2018

Within days of Donald J. Trump’s election, a diverse group of women united by their concern about the incoming administration gathered at a restaurant in New York to plan a protest march in Washington. They had seen the idea floating on Facebook and wanted to turn it into a reality.

The unity did not last long. Vanessa Wruble, a Brooklyn-based activist, said she told the group that her Jewish heritage inspired her to try to help repair the world. But she said the conversation took a turn when Tamika Mallory, a black gun control activist, and Carmen Perez, a Latina criminal justice reform activist, replied that Jews needed to confront their own role in racism.

The women who gathered that night would go on to organize one of the biggest protests in American history, remarkable not just for its size, but for its inclusive nature. The event on Jan. 21, 2017, inspired thousands of women who had never been involved in politics before to pour their energy into helping Democrats win elections this fall.

But the divisions apparent at that very first meeting continue to haunt the Women’s March organization, as charges of anti-Semitism are now roiling the movement and overshadowing plans for more marches next month.

Ms. Wruble was pushed out of the organization shortly after the march, and she now asserts that her Jewish identity played a role. She went on to help found an organization called March On, which supports local women activists.

The rift is now so dire that there will be two marches on the same day next month on the streets of New York: one led by the Women’s March group, which is billed as being led by women of color, and another by a group affiliated with March On that is stressing its denunciation of anti-Semitism.

Ms. Mallory, meanwhile, who is now co-president of the Women’s March group, has been criticized for attending an event by Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam who has been widely reviled for making anti-Semitic remarks. Ms. Mallory has called Mr. Farrakhan “the GOAT,” or “greatest of all time,” on social media.

The accusations of anti-Semitism, which were outlined in an article this month in Tablet, an online Jewish magazine, have prompted some women to reconsider their support for the group.

Some Jewish women have announced on social media that they will not attend the mass protest in Washington on Jan. 19 being organized by the Women’s March group. Last month, Teresa Shook, a white woman from Hawaii who created the first Facebook page proposing a march, called for the group’s leaders, who include Ms. Mallory and Ms. Perez, to step down.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/23/us/womens-march-anti-semitism.html

See also:

The Times of Israel: Anti-Semitism allegations are splitting the Women’s March

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