How Anti-Semitism Infiltrated the Women’s March

Dec. 12 2018

In the past few months, the anti-Trump women’s march movement has been subject to increasing scrutiny due to the connections of three of its long-time co-chairs—Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, and Carmen Perez—to Louis Farrakhan. The scrutiny first led the organization to distance itself somewhat from Sarsour, who has a history of particularly sordid statements about Jews, Israel, and other topics. In a careful investigation of the organizing body behind the march and the origins of what is now Women’s March, Inc., Leah McSweeney and Jacob Siegel have found that all three were connected to each other prior to November 2016, and were brought in to insure racial diversity among the nascent movement’s organizers. Moreover, write McSweeney and Siegel, anti-Semitism was a problem from the march organizers’ very first meeting on November 12, 2016, at which Perez and Mallory were present:

[A]s the women were opening up about their backgrounds, . . . Perez and Mallory allegedly first asserted that Jewish people bore a special collective responsibility as exploiters of black and brown people—and even, according to a close secondhand source, claimed that Jews were proven to have been leaders of the American slave trade. These are canards popularized by The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, a book published by Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam—“the bible of the new anti-Semitism,” according to Henry Louis Gates, Jr. . . .

[Not long thereafter], questions also began to emerge about the ideological values upon which the movement was being built. On January 12, 2017, the women’s march made public its Unity Principles, which asserted: “We must create a society in which women, in particular women—in particular Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, Muslim women, and queer and trans women—are free . . . ”. Numerous observers noted the absence of “Jewish” from the list. . . .

[Following the initial 2017 march], there was an official debriefing at Mallory’s apartment. In attendance were Mallory, Perez, Evvie Harmon, Breanne Butler, Vanessa Wruble, Cassady Fendlay, and Sarsour. They should have been basking in the afterglow of their massive success, but—according to Harmon—the air was thick with conflict. “We sat in that room for hours,” Harmon told Tablet recently. “Tamika told us that the problem was that there were five white women in the room and only three women of color, and that she didn’t trust white women. . . . At that point, I kind of tuned out because I was so used to hearing this type of talk from Tamika.

“But then I noticed the energy in the room changed. I suddenly realized that Tamika and Carmen were facing Vanessa [Wruble], who was sitting on a couch, and berating her—but it wasn’t about her being white. It was about her being Jewish. ‘Your people this, your people that.’ I was raised in the South and the language that was used is language that I’m very used to hearing [about blacks] in rural South Carolina. [Except it was here being used about] Jewish people. They even said to [Wruble], ‘your people hold all the wealth.’ You could hear a pin drop. It was awful.”

Mercy Morganfield, a life-long activist who was involved with the march from its early days, but has since broken with the organization and spoken forcefully about its ties to Farrakhan and his supporters, put it succinctly in an interview: “they have been in bed with the Nation of Islam since day one.”

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Linda Sarsour, Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam, Politics & Current Affairs, Women's March

The Riots on the Gaza Border are Carefully Coordinated Attacks on Israel, and Should Be Treated as Such

Jan. 16 2019

On Friday, the weekly riots at the Gaza security fence resumed in full force: 13,000 people participated, and a Palestinian woman was apparently killed by Israeli gunfire. The UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) had established a commission of inquiry in May, not long after these riots began, “to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human-rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, . . . particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military assaults on the large-scale civilian protests that began on March 20, 2018.” In a report to the commission, Richard Kemp, a retired senior British officer, concludes, after investigating the situation at the Gaza border, that there is no evidence whatsoever of Israeli wrongdoing, and that the commission is operating under faulty assumptions:

The terms of [the commission’s] mandate are self-evidently biased against the state of Israel and the IDF. The context cited—“the military assaults on the large-scale civilian protests”—make clear that the UNHRC either failed to understand what was happening on the ground or deliberately misrepresented the reality. In addition, the commission’s mandate terms the Gaza Strip “Occupied Palestinian Territories,” which it is not. . . .

[T]he so-called “civilian protests” in reality were, and continue to be, a deliberate military operation, orchestrated and controlled by Hamas, [a] terrorist group that has been waging an armed conflict against Israel for many years. Their intention was and remains to kill and wound IDF soldiers, to break through the border fence, to murder and maim innocent civilians, to destroy property, and to compel the IDF to take defensive action resulting in the death of Gaza civilians for exploitation in the international arena. [Israel’s] “military assaults” were not what was implied by this prejudicial mandate. They were in fact lawful, proportionate, and restrained defensive actions. . . .

Suggestions that these demonstrations are [protests] against Israeli policy toward the Gaza Strip are demonstrably false and easily refuted by cursory viewing of Hamas and other public statements made at the time of the events. . . . Further, it is clear that Hamas intended this violence to continue its long-standing strategy of creating and intensifying international outrage, vilification, isolation, and criminalization of the state of Israel and its officials. . . .

[T]he starkest indication that these events were entirely under Hamas control is the simple fact that, when it suited Hamas’s political interests, the [demonstrations] occurred and were of a violent nature, and when such actions did not serve Hamas’s interests, the border was quiet. As the most recent example of this, in November 2018, Qatar began to make large cash payments to Hamas in Gaza. The most recent payment of $15 million was handed over in December 2018. These payments are reportedly part of an agreement with Hamas to diminish violence along the Gaza border. [After] the first payment, the border violence [was] reduced [and the] demonstrations [became] far more restrained.

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More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, IDF, Israel & Zionism, Laws of war, UNHRC