The Women’s March leader delivered a racist rant on her recent visit to Israel. We deserve much better than that.
As a queer Jew of color, I greeted the Women’s March with great pride and hope when it was first started. The promise that seemed to inhere in a political group organized by queer women of color was of a future I have longed for all my life.
But all too soon, the Women’s March broke my heart. Its leaders, Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour, famously refused to repudiate known anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan after he made horrifically anti-Semitic remarks at an event that Mallory proudly attended.
Ever since, it’s gone from bad to worse, as the leaders of the Women’s March have chosen to opine on Israel, a state of which I’m a proud citizen.
On the heels of her refusal to denounce an outspoken anti-Semite, Mallory visited Israel and the West Bank. It will come as no surprise that Mallory’s one takeaway was that the founding of the State of Israel was a “human rights crime.”
“When you go to someone’s home and you need a place to stay, you ask ‘Can I come into your home and can I stay here, and can we peacefully coexist?’” she said shortly after returning to the United States. “You don’t walk into someone else’s home, needing a place. It’s clear you needed a place to go–cool, we got that! I hear that! But you don’t show up to somebody’s home, needing a place to stay, and decide that you’re going to throw them out and hurt the people who are on that land,” she went on. “And to kill, steal, and do whatever it is you’re gonna do to take that land! That to me is unfair. It’s a human rights crime.”
This statement is extremely ignorant. The Jews didn’t “steal” or “take that land.” The Jews won a war that the Arab nations waged against them. They were coming home to their ancestral homeland after the Nazis tried to wipe them off the planet, or, like my family, they were of the 850,000 Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa fleeing persecution. They didn’t “show up in somebody’s home” as Mallory put it.
But Mallory’s words aren’t just ignorant. They are racist. Accusing half of the world’s Jewish population of stealing, killing and committing crimes against humanity, for the mere fact of their existence, is unacceptable.
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