Awash in accusations of anti-Semitism among its leaders, The Women’s March on Saturday took a strong position against Israel by opposing legislation that calls for governments to avoid doing business with companies that boycott Israel.
The Women’s Agenda attacked anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions legislation as contrary to the First Amendment.
“Whether it’s the attempts to create federal or state laws banning political boycotts or criticism of Israel (including the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions tactic), targeting environmental protest or preventing students and faculty on college campuses from expressing their views or engaging in peaceable assembly, the silencing of one side of the debate is precisely what our First Amendment protects against,” said the document, according to the Washington Times.
“We will protect our constitutional right to boycott, divest and sanctions in this country,” Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour said Saturday, according to Haaretz.
Big cheer just now when Linda Sarsour promoted the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of Israel. The anti-Semitism is strong at today’s Women’s March. pic.twitter.com/E12ZfKueNX
— Joshua Robbin Marks (@JoshMarks78) January 19, 2019
However, the Anti-Defamation League has taken a strong stance against the movement.
“The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), which rejects Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, is the most prominent effort to undermine Israel’s existence,” it said in a statement on its website.
The pro-Israel group StandWithUs said anti-BDS efforts are vital.
— StandWithUs (@StandWithUs) January 19, 2019
“Anti-BDS legislation is about ensuring that states will not do business with companies that engage in discrimination on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin. Nothing more, nothing less,” said StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein.
“It is hypocritical for BDS activists to claim the mantle of free speech, while they themselves frequently try to stop those they disagree with from speaking,” she said in a statement. “We are deeply disappointed that Women’s March Inc. has taken this misleading and divisive stance, which taints an important movement for social justice.”
“It is telling that while this new document commits to opposing hatred against Jews, it makes no mention of anti-Semitism on the far left,” said Rothstein. “Anyone who cares about supporting Jewish communities must acknowledge and fight this racism on both sides of the political spectrum.”
On Friday, Women’s March national co-chair Tamika D. Mallory hedged on whether Israel had a right to exist, the Washington Times reported. During an interview, she said all people have a right to exist.
“I just don’t feel that anyone has a right to exist at the disposal of another group,” she said.
Saying “Israel has a right to exist” is not hard. But Women’s March leader Tamika Mallory can’t do it. https://t.co/CBnbJz25KF
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) January 18, 2019
“I believe that all people have the right to exist,” she later added. “And that Palestinians are also suffering with a great crisis. And that there are other Jewish scholars who will sit here and say the same.”
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