The Women’s March has received plenty of criticism since it was launched in response to the election of President Donald Trump, and now controversy surrounding its organizers’ views has cost the group a human rights award.
As The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday, a German-based organization has rescinded the planned presentation of its Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Human Rights Award to the Women’s March.
The Friedrich Ebert Foundation had initially celebrated the efforts of founders and participants in the movement. However, the think tank said the anti-Semitic actions of Women’s March leaders have led it to reverse its opinion.
A group of Friedrich Ebert Foundation members penned an open letter addressing the situation and pointed to organizers Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez and Tamika Mallory in making their case. The letter writers denounced the trio for their connections to or defense of anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
“Since its inception in 2017, Women’s March USA has attracted media attention due to the antisemitism of its board members and chair women,” they wrote. “Linda Sarsour, a member of the board and former president of Women’s March USA, is notorious for her propagation of antisemitism toward Israel. …
“Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez (another board member of Women’s March USA), and Tamika D. Mallory (co-chairwoman of Women’s March USA who is to receive the FES Human Rights Award), 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 letter states that the foundation members “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.”
They went on to assert that the American feminist movement “does not constitute an inclusive alliance.”
Recognizing how “important the struggle for feminism still is,” the public statement affirmed that it is similarly important to “fight against other forms of discrimination, as well as to work inclusively and to not exclude Jews.”
Members of the group determined that support of feminist causes is not enough to warrant recognition.
“An organization that may support feminism, but discriminates against Jews and Zionists and denies Israel’s right to exist should not be honored by a democratic foundation that advocates diversity and speaks out against discrimination,” the statement concluded.
The members called on the Friedrich Ebert Foundation to follow four steps in response to the issue.
They first requested group’s leaders “to distance themselves from the Women’s March USA and to revoke the award immediately.”
Beyond that, the letter wanted to address how anti-Semitism is defined within the think tank, specifically by adopting the “definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.”
Furthermore, members want the group “to check future projects, award recipients and any activities concerning antisemitism — with the help of experts in this field” and “to oppose any form of antisemitism both within the FES and externally.”
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