Womens March leader Linda Sarsour published a letter on Sunday criticizing the repeated calls for them to denounce Nation of Islam leader and known anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan while also denouncing anti-Semitism.
Sarsours letter begins with a background of her and fellow Womens March leader Tamika D. Mallorys familiarity and relationship with Farrakhan.
She was quick, however, to criticize how people have demanded her and the Womens March organization as a whole to denounce the NOI leader following recent anti-Semitic crimes like the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, which Farrakhan was not involved in.
Sarsour did reject anti-Semitism and pointed to previous efforts of hers to help the Jewish community. She raised nearly $165,000 for a Jewish cemetery in Colorado that was vandalized last December.
LAS VEGAS, NV – JANUARY 21: Womens March co-chariwomen Linda Sarsour (L) and Tamika Mallory smile while listening to a speaker during the Womens March “Power to the Polls” voter registration tour launch at Sam Boyd Stadium on January 21, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Sam Morris/Getty Images)
“We have been CRYSTAL CLEAR in BOTH of our statements that we REJECT antisemitism and all forms of racism,” Sarsour wrote. “We have been CLEAR that Minister Farrakhan has said hateful and hurtful things and that he does not align with our Unity Principles of the Womens March that were created by Women of Color.”
Just last month, Farrakhan tweeted a video of a speech he gave, where he said, “So, when they talk about Farrakhan, call me a hater, you know they do, call me an anti-Semite — stop it! Im anti-termite!” (RELATED: Facebook Takes Down Louis Farrakhans Anti-Semitic Video That Twitter Wouldnt)
“Its very clear to me what the underlying issue is — I am a bold, outspoken [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] BDS-supporting Palestinian Muslim American woman and the oppositions worst nightmare,” the letter continued.
WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 16: Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan delivers a speech and talks about U.S. President Donald Trump, at the Watergate Hotel, on November 16, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an organization dedicated to combating anti-Semitism, defines BDS as:
“The BDS movement aims to emulate the 1980s campaigns against South African apartheid. Its supporters claim that Israeli policies towards Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank is akin to the apartheid regime that existed in South Africa, and that the same tactics used to demand that apartheid be dismantled in South Africa should be employed to pressure, ostracize and marginalize Israel.”
“Stay focused. The real threat is white nationalism and white supremacy. They want to destroy us all,” the letter concluded. (RELATED: Ben & Jerrys Responds To Criticism Of Partnering With Linda Sarsour Of The Womens March)
Sarsour has previously made anti-Semitic comments, despite her recent denouncement. Last November, at an event dedicated to combatting bigotry against Jews, she said:
If what youre reading all day long, morning and night, in the Jewish media is that Linda Sarsour and Minister Farrakhan are the existential threats to the Jewish community, something really bad is gonna happen and we gonna miss the mark on it.
Jonathan Greenblat, the CEO of the ADL said that having Sarsour on the panel was the equivalent of having “Oscar Meyer leading a panel on vegetarianism.”