December 7, 2019

Sarsour Says Israel ‘Is Built On the Idea That Jews Are Supreme to Everyone Else’

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 21: Women's March Co-Chairwoman Linda Sarsour stands onstge during the Women's March "Power to the Polls" voter registration tour launch at Sam Boyd Stadium on January 21, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Demonstrators across the nation gathered over the weekend, one year after the historic Women's March on Washington, D.C., to protest President Donald Trump's administration and to raise awareness for women's issues. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Former Women’s March, Inc. leader Linda Sarsour said during an American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) conference on Nov. 29 that Israel “is built on the idea that Jews are supreme to everyone else.”

In a video clip of her speech, Sarsour said that when she speaks on college campuses, she tells students to ask progressive Zionists: “How can you be against white supremacy in America and the idea of being in a state based on race and class, but then you support a state like Israel that is based on supremacy, that is built on the idea that Jews are supreme to everyone else?”

The Progressive Zionists of California said in a statement to the Journal, “As progressive Zionists, it is imperative to support the self-determination of both the Jewish and Palestinian people, not one at the expense of the other. It is unfortunate that Ms. Sarsour is choosing to perpetuate a narrative rejected by most scholars and other experts on the matter. We will continue to speak out for the human rights and self-determination of all marginalized peoples, and invite fellow progressive activists to join us.”

Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda Rabbi Abraham Cooper said in a statement to the Journal, “Linda has a problem – her hate is based on denying that the Jewish people’s love affair for their land is 3,500 years old. Palestinians are the supremacists; they insist no Jews can live as neighbors.”

Democratic Majority for Israel tweeted on Dec. 2 that Sarsour’s statement was “a vicious, anti-Semitic lie. Israel’s built on idea that every people is entitled to self-determination.”

They added in a subsequent tweet: “That’s why Israel favored UN partition plan creating Jewish & Palestinian states. Arab leaders rejected it, launching a war of destruction against Israel. We [and] many Israelis still favor Palestinian state, but after decades of war [and] terrorism Israel’s security must be protected.”

Sarsour endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for president on Sept. 6, saying at the time that she wanted to help “elect the first Jewish-American president this country has ever seen.” She has since been a surrogate for his presidential campaign.

UPDATE: Sarsour tweeted on Dec. 3 that her comments were referencing Israel’s nation-state law. “Over the weekend, I made comments about Israel that require context to understand,” Sarsour wrote. “I was specifically referring to the racist argument at the heart of the nation-state law recently passed by the Israeli government – not the Jewish people. I apologize for the confusion.”