A German think tank has rescinded an award to the Women’s March because of the organizers’ links to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan as well as their support for a movement against Israel some say is antisemitic.
The Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a think tank for Germany’s Social Democratic Party, withdrew its Human Rights Award from the Women’s March, it said in a public letter.
“We believe that the Women’s March USA does not meet the criteria of this award, as its organizers have repeatedly attracted attention through antisemitic statements, the trivialization of antisemitism and the exclusion of Zionists and Jews since Women’s March USA’s establishment in 2017,” members of the think tank said, reported the Jerusalem Post.
“Women’s March USA does not constitute an inclusive alliance.”
The foundation cited evidence of antisemitism including associations with Farrakhan—a black nationalist who is openly antisemitic—and the group’s support of the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement (BDS), which seeks to impose constraints on Israel over alleged human rights abuses against Palestinians.
Linda Sarsour is perhaps the most recognized of the Women’s March leaders. She’s “notorious for her propagation of antisemitism toward Israel,” members of the foundation wrote in the letter.
“This transpired not only through her statement from March 2017 claiming that feminists could not be Zionists simultaneously and that Zionists were Nazis, but also through her demonization and delegitimization of Israel, as well as the application of a double standard.”
Sarsour also uses “conspiracy theories” such as alleging that Jewish people “lurk in the background” when police officers shoot black people. Additionally, she supports the BDS movement.
Other Women’s March board members have come under fire for alleged antisemitism, including Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez.
All three “have attracted attention due to their long-standing support of the notorious antisemite Louis Farrakhan, who, among other things, called Adolf Hitler a ‘very great man’ while recently comparing Jews to termites,” the foundation members wrote in the letter.
German social democratic party think tank @FESonline rescinds award to @womensmarch due to antisemitism charge.
PhD students from think tank join @DebraMessing @Alyssa_Milano in condemning antisemitism of organizers @lsarsour @TamikaDMallory @womensmarchhttps://t.co/DDw2GHBqQb
— Benjamin Weinthal (@BenWeinthal) November 11, 2018
The letter came after actress and left-wing activist Alyssa Milano said that she wouldn’t speak at the next Women’s March due to its leaders’ refusal to distance themselves from Farrakhan.
Mallory sat in the crowd while Farrakhan gave a speech in March that included him saying, “The powerful Jews are my enemy.” He acknowledged her presence by name and she posted about her attendance on social media. In the past, she posted a picture on Instagram posing with him, saying: “Thank God this man is still alive and doing well. He is definitely the GOAT [greatest of all time].”
Under heavy criticism, Mallory refused to apologize and said in an op-ed she’ll go wherever she wants and meet with whomever she wants.
In a statement on Nov. 8, the group said that Women’s March leaders “reject anti-semitism in all its forms.”
“We recognize the danger of hate rhetoric by public figures. We want to say emphatically that we do not support or endorse statements made by Minister Louis Farrakhan about women, Jewish and LGBTQ communities,” the group said. But the statement didn’t satisfy some, with one activist writing in the Tablet that the Women’s March “must open themselves up and take action to heal the very real pain they have caused Jewish Women.”