June 26, 2019

Taking ‘Pride’ in Her Jewelry

Photo courtesy of Equality Goods.

When Los Angeles entrepreneur Leah Fredkin started Equality Goods in 2017, she had no idea it would become a chapter in her coming-out story. At the time, all she wanted to do was change the world with a trendy jewelry line.

During the January 2017 Los Angeles Women’s March, Fredkin, who is in her early 30s, said she was in awe of all of the strangers she met who were united with one cause. She also noticed many people wearing safety pins on their clothes as a sign of solidarity. 

“It sparked the idea to come up with a fashion-forward brand around the safety pin,” Fredkin told the Journal. [“Equality Goods is] a wearable symbol of liberty and justice for all of humankind,” 

From there, Equality Goods was born. Fredkin’s company created the humanKIND accessories line and her bracelets, necklaces and rings incorporate a silver and gold safety pin for allies to wear in solidarity with an array of social justice causes. 

She also donates a portion of all her proceeds to organizations including March For Our Lives, Planned Parenthood and the historical education group Facing History and Ourselves. Customers can choose where they want their donations to go. 

But Fredkin still wanted to do more, so she created an alliance with the International Rescue Committee and employed local refugees to manufacture the jewelry. Then last year, she decided to create a rainbow safety pin bracelet for Pride Month. Fredkin said this was her “quiet way” of coming out without publicly saying she was gay.

“The Pride bracelet was a tipping point for me. I want to surround myself with people who are open and honest.”

— Leah Fredkin

“It’s ironic because I have this company that was built around equality and I was living this lie, so it really started to weigh on me,” she said. “I never felt comfortable outright sharing my story. It’s still a struggle but I think there’s so much stigma around it and it was hard to express myself. The Pride bracelet was a tipping point for me. I want to surround myself with people who are open and honest, and I needed to get over this fear and be honest.” 

Following the fan favorite bracelet’s design (Fredkin said it was a popular item even before she shared its significance), she came out to her close friends and family. 

Growing up as Reform Jew, Fredkin said her rabbi officiated gay weddings and supported many civil liberty causes, and as a result, she found comfort and support that never made her doubt her religious beliefs. Over time, she realized her worries that her company wouldn’t find success or people would think less of her disappeared. 

Leah Fredkin, CEO of Equality Goods. Photo courtesy of Equality Goods.

“I was really afraid of me,” she said. “Once I came out … for the most part, everyone was really loving. I became really proud of myself because it was empowering for me. It helped me take charge of my company. It was wonderful seeing people believe in me and get behind it.”

Fredkin decided to donate $10 for every rainbow bracelet sold to the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which offers medical and mental health examinations, social and housing services, education courses and advocacy training to the LGBTQ community. To date, more than $2,500 has been donated to the center from Equality Goods sales.

Fredkin said while she has marched in previous Pride parades, this year’s parade was the first time she felt confident wearing her own Pride bracelets. Following her interview with the Journal, she shared her experiences publicly on her website’s blog.

 “If you allow yourself to be vulnerable, it allows others to feel that way, too,” she said. “People have responded well and I’ve learned so much from others. That’s the foundation of this company. It’s a bunch of us who all got together, having core values, and it’s all come full circle and it’s exactly what I wanted it to be.”

For more information on Equality Goods and the humanKIND Pride jewelry, visit her website. 

Farrakhan Blames ‘Wicked Jews’ for Women’s March Controversy

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said on Feb.17 that “wicked Jews” were responsible for the controversy surrounding Women’s March, Inc.

During his keynote speech at the Nation of Islam’s annual Saviours’ Day conference speech, Farrakhan said it was a “beautiful sight” to see the Women’s March come to fruition, especially since it was started by “a black woman,” an apparent reference to Women’s March, Inc. co-leader Tamika Mallory.

“Now the wicked Jews want to use me to break up the women’s movement,” Farrakhan said. “It ain’t about Farrakhan. It’s about women all over the world having the power to change the world.”

Farrakhan also gave shoutouts to Women’s March Inc. leaders Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez, all of whom have ties to Farrakhan, and asked that the audience applaud “my little sister Tamika.”

The Anti-Defamation League noted that Farrakhan’s speech was laced with anti-Semitic epithets throughout, including that Jews were responsible for the “enslavement” and “colonization” of blacks and that Jews “have exploited the American people through institutional usury and predatory lending practices.”

Hijacking Holocaust Remembrance Day

Screenshot from Twitter.

“On International Holocaust Remembrance Day this past Sunday, Jan. 27, political figures across the globe tweeted out their thoughts on the commemoration of history’s greatest atrocity. Most of the messages were simple reminders that evil must be fought, that we must learn from history and that the victims must not be forgotten.

But a few directly undermined the message of the day. They did so with animus and intent. They did so by carving out the heart of the Holocaust in favor of trite, rote platitudes that could then be used as political hatchets against their political opposition. 

Leading the way was open anti-Semite and British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. As National Review’s Julie Lenarz wrote, Corbyn once met with members of Hamas and Hezbollah, calling it his “honor and pleasure.” Corbyn described Raed Salah, a practitioner of the anti-Semitic blood libel, as a “very honored citizen.” He allegedly gave money to Holocaust denier Paul Eisen. He even hosted a program on the Iranian TV outlet Press TV. You can find photos of him attending a memorial for the Palestinian terrorist perpetrators of the Munich massacre. Corbyn’s anti-Semitism is so blatant and obvious that it has rent the Labour Party, even as the Conservative Party struggles to maintain control in Britain.  

None of his past actions stopped Corbyn from issuing his Holocaust remembrance message: “In memory of the millions of Jewish people, and others, who perished in the Holocaust. Let us never allow antisemitism or any other form of racism to disfigure our society.” By zooming out from the Holocaust — a massacre of 6 million Jews for the crime of being Jewish — and thus turning the Holocaust into a rote lesson on “racism” writ large, Corbyn can disassociate his own support for genocidal anti-Semites from his supposed opposition to the Holocaust itself.

“The Holocaust must be remembered. Obscuring it with platitudinous statements uttered by anti-Semites isn’t just disgusting, it’s dangerous.”

The same holds true for Linda Sarsour, co-chair of the Women’s March. Sarsour is a supporter of the anti-Semitic boycott against Israel. In 2012, she tweeted, “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” and has publicly defended radical Jew-hater Louis Farrakhan. She has stated that support of Israel cannot coincide with feminism. Yet she, too, sent out a Holocaust Remembrance missive — this one curiously missing any mention of the Jews. “May the memories of those who perished inspire us to love and protect one another. May we never forget history so that we may never repeat it,” she tweeted. “May they rest in an eternal peace knowing that we will fight for each other no matter the consequences.”

Again, a message just vague enough with which to virtue-signal — all without ever having to acknowledge the real-life anti-Semitism in which Sarsour herself has engaged.

Her tweet is a convenient way of omitting the actual message of the Holocaust: first, that Jews must never again be dehumanized and murdered for political purposes; second, that anti-Semitism is not merely a subset of bigotry, but its own poisonous brand; and third, that mass murder is possible when purportedly civilized people forget the first two lessons. And yet, thanks to a deliberate campaign to obfuscate those first two lessons, enemies of the Jewish people can hijack Holocaust Remembrance Day to use as a political club. 

One time, the Lubavitcher Rebbe was asked if the Holocaust could ever happen again. “Morgen in der fruh,” he answered. “Tomorrow morning.”

In a world in which Iran routinely threatens Israel’s Jews with annihilation, in which the Palestinian Authority and Hamas unite to teach their children about the eventual hope of a Judenrein Palestine, in which Jews across Europe live under the possibility of the knife, the Holocaust must be remembered. Obscuring it with platitudinous statements uttered by anti-Semites isn’t just disgusting, it’s dangerous.

Ben Shapiro is editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire.

What Happened When I Attended Both New York Women’s Marches

The Women’s March has held an interesting place in New York since the first one in 2017. The New York Women’s March has never been affiliated with the Women’s March, Inc., the Washington, D.C. march, which has led to some confusion through the years. 

This year, Women’s March, Inc. tried unsuccessfully to partner with the unaffiliated New York Women’s March Alliance, which is how New York ended up with its annual Women’s March on NYC, organized by Alliance leaders for the past two years, and a Unity Rally organized by Women’s March, Inc. 

Many worried that these two competing events would lead to a fractured liberal base, which is what the right wants. To some extent, this seems, unfortunately, to be happening. I spoke to many people before this year’s march who were not going to participate, thinking it was affiliated with the national organization.

Both marches have undergone their share of controversy this year. The New York Women’s March Alliance event has been accused of lacking intersectionality. Women’s March, Inc. has had several issues surrounding anti-Semitism in its leadership. Unfortunately, all of these issues with anti-Semitism seem to have distanced us from the true goal of these events, which is equality for all. 

On Jan. 19, I attended both the rally and the march, and they were as diverse as those who had organized them.  

A few hundred people attended the Unity Rally, organized by Women’s March, Inc.’s NYC director, Agunda Okeyo. The rally began with Okeyo asking, “Where the Jews at?” and a small group of cheers being heard. It felt like they were trying really hard to not look anti-Semitic, and it made me cringe. This shouting of your membership in a minority group was not done for any other groups. Things weren’t helped when in the first few minutes of Okeyo’s speech, someone shouted from the audience, “The Women’s March does not represent Jewish people! The Women’s March is the real Nazi Party!” People were not very interested in interacting with a journalist from a Jewish publication because, they said, they “knew the narrative” we are “trying to promote.” 

The Unity Rally felt like a space where I did not belong, which is fine because everyone does not belong in every social justice space. This rally was mostly filled with women of color and there was a warmness and sisterhood in the air. A big theme of Okeyo’s speech was that immigration is a feminist issue. But for a number of possible reasons, the rally was not full of energy or much spark compared with previous Women’s March, Inc. protests I have attended.

When I arrived at the Women’s March Alliance event on the Upper West Side, one of the first things I noticed was that the attendance was much lower than in past years. On some blocks, there were less than 10 people marching. People commented on the lack of turnout. Here, at least, I saw numerous signs about combating anti-Semitism. One young woman said, “It sucks that we have to be at the march, marching against the other march where we are marching for universal rights.”

A group of three women said they were out marching because they have always marched. They had marched to protest the Vietnam and Iraq wars and for equal rights since they were young women. They said as time went on, they noticed that young people weren’t joining the movement. What they love about the current women’s marches is that so many young people come. They have a lot of hope for the millennials as the next generation of fighters for equal rights. 

One of these women, who recently had major back surgery, said she was marching because the cause is so important to her. Some people came to the Women’s March on NYC because it was the better-advertised event and they didn’t know about the controversy, but these people were in the minority among the groups I spoke to. 

Despite low attendance, the Women’s March Alliance event, unlike the Unity Rally, was full of energy and movement, featuring drummers and music. 

People were excited to interact with groups and some of them merged and conversed. Several groups saw me walking alone and invited me to march with them. While there was a communal feeling of closeness that permeated the march, I was disheartened to see very few women of color participating. It seemed that the rumors of a lack of intersectionality were true.   

After taking part in both events, I was left with a major question: Were fewer people marching and rallying because of the divisiveness or were they just tired? 

I also was left to question what any of this action actually accomplishes. After three years, does this particular event hold any power, or does it only serve to make us feel less powerless against an oppressive regime? How can we move past divisions in our social justice movements?

Regardless of the infighting, children like Hudson Brown, a 7-year-old New Yorker who marched, give me hope for the future and remind me of the shared goals we are fighting for. Asked why he marched, Hudson’s father said, “Because I want all people to have equal rights and I want peace.”

Alexandra Pucciarelli is a writer and researcher based in New York. 

I Want the Women’s March to Succeed

People gather for the Women's March in Washington. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

I am a privileged white man and an avowed centrist. As such, I want the Women’s March to succeed.

I want to support a movement committed to reforming politics, culture and society. Over the years, young women at USC and UC Berkeley, where I teach, and many others throughout the country have been victimized by teachers, employers and fellow students. They have watched as powerful administrators made excuses for those transgressors. These brave women have not only persevered but fought back so that they can work, learn and live without having to fear the potential threats of sexual harassment, misconduct and assault.

In a world changing far too slowly from the rules prescribed by Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump, these women are smart enough to realize that these indignities aren’t going to disappear anytime soon. But they are also determined enough to keep fighting so that their daughters and granddaughters can live in a world without those fears.

These courageous young women deserve to be heard. They deserve to march. But they shouldn’t be forced to choose whether to march with people who hate Jews or with people who make excuses for people who hate Jews. 

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and his defenders decided long ago that the Jewish people are less than human. No one who makes it into the fifth paragraph of a column like this needs to be reminded what Tamika Mallory, the national Women’s March co-president, has said about our community and the Jewish homeland, or the lengths she went to last week to avoid criticizing Farrakhan. People like her deserve to be held accountable, and then to be ostracized and marginalized. Instead, they are permitted to hold leadership positions of a laudable and necessary movement. The result has been to allow them to pollute that movement and to undermine its efforts.

“Let’s just agree that racists, bigots and anti-Semites — regardless of party registration — don’t get to march with us anymore.”

After two years of pretending that the leaders of the Women’s March were not anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic, this past fall the ugliness from Mallory and her compatriots became too obvious to ignore. The reaction from our community was a confusing but somewhat encouraging mix of oral and written responses, alternative marches and intersectional hand-wringing. 

Many courageous women from across the country took steps to separate themselves from Mallory and her fellow haters. Others in our community — somewhat more conflicted and perhaps less courageous — found reasons to justify their participation in, and implicitly sanctify, those gatherings. March leaders in Los Angeles promised to remove the anti-Semitic screeds from their program. As my new hero, Rabbi Nicole Guzik has recounted in these pages, the March leaders lied. 

So what do we do now? The question of when and how it is permissible to collaborate with anti-Semites and their apologists is too important to be answered in a rush over the days and weeks before such high-profile events. Better to start working immediately on next year’s marches to ensure that there is no more room for those who hate Jews than there is for those who would objectify, denigrate or assault our daughters and granddaughters.

Voices of intolerance on the right must be condemned just as forcefully, of course. But until the overall climate in our society becomes more accepting and mutually respectful, it may be necessary to recognize that, for now, the Women’s March is primarily for those with left and center-left political allegiances.

The unrepentant centrist in me would love to see a Women’s March with room for liberals and conservatives. A truly unifying march could make a tremendous impact to create a better and safer world for women and for the men who honor and respect them. Unfortunately, this country’s politics have become far too balkanized for such unity to occur in the public square anytime soon. 

So, for today, let’s just agree that racists, bigots and anti-Semites — regardless of party registration — don’t get to march with us anymore. And that next year, we can march more effectively and more inspirationally without including them.

Dan Schnur teaches political communications and leadership at USC, UC Berkeley and Pepperdine. He is the founder of the USC-L.A. Times statewide political survey and a board member of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.

Women’s March Comes Out Against Anti-BDS Legislation in Platform

Screenshot from Twitter.

The national Women’s March Inc. came out against anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) legislation in their platform.

Page 25 of the platform states, “One of the biggest threats to speech today are the attempts to silence social movements, including those advocating Palestinian rights.”

“Whether it’s the attempts to create federal or state laws banning political boycotts or criticism of Israel (including the Boycott, Divestment and 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,” the platform states.

During the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, Women’s March co-president Linda Sarsour said, “We will protect our constitutional right to Boycott, Divest and Sanctions in this country.”

StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein said in a statement that StandWithUs is “deeply disappointed” in the Women’s March Inc.’s opposition to the anti-BDS legislation.

“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,” Rothstein said. “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.”

Rothstein added, “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. Anyone who cares about supporting Jewish communities must acknowledge and fight this racism on both sides of the political spectrum.”

The Women’s March Inc. leaders have been plagued by accusations of anti-Semitism in a Tablet report and have been criticized for their associations with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Women’s March Inc. co-president Tamika Mallory recently said, “I don’t agree with Minister Farrakhan’s statements” when asked by Meghan McCain, a co-host of ABC’s “The View” on if she condemns Farrakhan. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) reportedly dropped its sponsorship to the Women’s March “over anti-Semitism concerns.”

Sarsour told CNN on the morning of the march, “We unequivocally have rejected the comments made by Minister Farrakhan on LGBTQ communities and on Jewish communities.”

Rep. Wasserman Schultz Denounces D.C. Women’s March

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida speaking to a reporter before the Democratic Party presidential debate in Manchester, N.H., on Dec. 19, 2015. Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fl.) condemned the national Women’s March in a Friday USA Today op-ed, stating that she would not march with them until they denounce Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Wasserman Schultz wrote that she supports the march’s “values and mission,” she can’t “walk shoulder to shoulder with leaders who lock arms with outspoken peddlers of hate.”

“With anti-Semitism and white nationalism apparently on the upswing in America and globally, the associations that [Linda] Sarsour, [Carmen] Perez and [Tamika] Mallory have had with Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Farrakhan have been most troubling,” Wasserman Schultz wrote.

Wasserman Schultz added that it was “alarming” that Mallory attended NOI’s Saviour’s Day in 2018.

“At almost every turn, Mallory has failed to clearly denounce Farrakhan,” Wasserman Schultz wrote. “Instead, she has attended Farrakhan’s speeches and posted her support for him on social media, referring to him as the ‘GOAT’ — or, the Greatest Of All Time. Just this week, she was repeatedly asked on national television to clearly condemn him, and she instead dodged the question, taking issue with the words he chose and the fact that Minister Farrakhan is male, rather than acknowledging the hurtfulness of his rhetoric toward Jews and the LGBTQ community.”

The former Democratic National Committee chairwoman also noted that Sarsour has said that progressives criticizing Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions put “their allegiance to Israel over their commitment to democracy and free speech.”

“This rhetoric is hurtful and shames the Jewish women who have stood for equality and inclusiveness since before the Women’s March even came into being,” Wasserman Schultz wrote.

Wasserman Schultz concluded the op-ed by stating that she will not march with the national Women’s March until they fully denounce anti-Semitism in all forms. In the meantime, she said she’ll march with local marches that have distanced themselves from the national march.

The Women’s March Los Angeles is one of the marches that has made clear that they have zero affiliation with the national Women’s March and that “hate speech” against Jews and Israel isn’t welcome.

WATCH: Tamika Mallory Won’t Say If Israel Has Right to Exist

Screenshot from Twitter.

Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory wouldn’t directly say if Israel has a right to exist when pressed on the matter on PBS’ “Firing Line.”

Mallory told program host Margaret Hoover that “the Palestinians are native to the land” because they’ve been there “for a very long time.” When Hoover asked if Mallory thought that Jews were native to the land, she replied, “I understand the history that, you know, that there are people who have a number of, sort of ideologies around why the Jewish people feel this should be their land.”

“I’m not Jewish, so for me to speak to that is not fair,” Mallory said.

Hoover pointed out that Mallory isn’t Palestinian either, prompting Mallory to reply, “I’m speaking of the people we know are being brutally oppressed in this moment.”

Hoover then asked Mallory if she thinks Israel has a right to exist.

“I have said many times that everyone has a right to exist,” Mallory said. “I feel everyone has a right to exist. I just don’t feel that anyone has a right to exist at the disposal of another group.”

“In your view, does that include Israelis in Israel?” Hoover asked.

“I believe that all people have a right to exist, and that Palestinians are also suffering with a great crisis,” Mallory replied. “And there are other Jewish scholars who will sit here and say the same.”

Mallory then said, “I’m done talking about this. You can move on.”

StandWithUs tweeted that Mallory’s statements in the interview were “insane.”

Muslim reformer Shireen Qudosi pointed out that Mallory had referred to “Jewish faith or identity” as “an ideology.”

Mallory’s remarks come on the heels of her refusing to condemn Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism on ABC’s “The View.” In an interview with Elle magazine published on Wednesday, Mallory said that while she doesn’t agree with everything Farrakhan says, “It does not make sense for me to throw away an organization—like the Nation of Islam—that has been very effective at reaching the hearts and minds of young black men to turning them away from violence.”

The Women’s March is set to take place on Saturday.

We Must Go After Bigots on Both Sides

Photo from Flickr/Gage Skidmore.

Last week, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) was interviewed by The New York Times. King has a long history of racially tinged comments — comments that could plausibly be interpreted as either racist or as awkwardly phrased but not racist. But his interview with the Times destroyed any vestige of such vagary, as he explained, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

Obviously, this is out-and-out bigotry. White supremacism is a grave evil — the declaration that whites are innately superior to others is by definition discriminatory. So is white nationalism, which is based on the assumptions of white supremacism. Ironically, King embraces the arguments of the political left when he suggests that Western civilization is coincident with and springs from racial discrimination.

That’s why I called on Congress to censure King; I maxed out by donating to his political opponent and called on others to do so, too. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) denounced King’s comments and said there would be consequences from the Republican caucus. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) tore into King and silent Republicans in the pages of The Washington Post. The National Republican Congressional Committee already had announced it would cut ties with King last October.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) is openly anti-Semitic. Last week, she accused members of Congress of dual loyalty to Israel thanks to their support for anti-BDS legislation. Tlaib is a supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, and a defender of CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill, who called for the destruction of the State of Israel. This week, it emerged that Tlaib hosted Abbas Hamideh, a pro-terrorist artist, at her swearing-in in Detroit; she also invited him to a private dinner. Hamideh has openly called for the destruction of the State of Israel and embraced the leadership of Hezbollah. Thus far, no comment from Tlaib.

“The immune systems of both the Republican and Democratic parties have been compromised.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweeted in 2012, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” Democratic leadership has been silent.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) met and danced with anti-Semite Al Sharpton, a man who once helped incite riots in Crown Heights and racial arson at Freddy’s Fashion Mart. Sharpton once called Jews “diamond merchants” and “white interlopers” and ranted, “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.” Sharpton is still a treasured member of the leftist coterie.

Democratic leaders including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) have embraced anti-Semites like Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour. The Women’s March leadership as a whole has been embraced by members of both the leftist media and the Democratic Party. That leadership includes Tamika Mallory, who appeared on “The View” this week to defend her view that insane anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan is the “greatest of all time.” When pressed to condemn Farrakhan, she demurred.

Here’s the sad reality: In American politics, there are bigots on both sides. There are alt-right bigots who masquerade as defenders of Western civilization while promoting pagan racism; there are leftist bigots who masquerade as crusaders for diversity while promoting intersectional racism. The difference is that the right occasionally cleans house. It is nearly impossible to think of a Democratic figure too radical or bigoted for Democrats. 

The immune systems of both the Republican and Democratic parties have been compromised. But only one party seems to have even a baseline readiness to excise cancers from its midst — and it’s not the party the mainstream media would have you believe.

Ben Shapiro is editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire.

Why Am I Excluded From the Women’s March?

Screenshot from Youtube.

On the Jan. 14 episode of ABC’s “The View,” co-host Meghan McCain said that politically conservative women like herself who are anti-abortion are being excluded from the Women’s March. Tamika Mallory and Bob Bland, two of Women’s March Inc.’s co-presidents appeared on the show in an apparent attempt to quell some of the controversy swirling around the massive rally. They told McCain that all women are welcome and that “there are no prerequisites.”

Yet if you’re a white, cisgender Jewish woman who loves Israel, there are.

The Women’s March Inc. leadership announced Jan. 14 that more than two dozen women have been added to its steering committee. Three are Jews: Abby Stein, Yavilah McCoy and April Baskin. Stein is a transgender Jewish woman and activist. McCoy and Baskin are Jews of color.

Why are there no cisgender, white Jewish women on the steering committee? After all, the overwhelming majority of American-Jewish women are white and straight. If the Women’s March Inc. leadership is trying to be inclusive, then it has made (yet another) mistake by not including someone who looks like most American-Jewish women. And it leaves me feeling unrepresented.

It’s a strange thing to feel purposely excluded. Is this how black Jews like Baskin and McCoy, and trans Jews like Stein, usually feel? Is that the point the Women’s March Inc. leadership is trying to make? Or are these the only Jews willing to be publicly aligned with a woman who loves and admires a man who has referred to my people as termites? Alternatively, is the message meant to be that only cisgender, white Jews are termites who need to be exterminated?

Either way, I do not feel comfortable allying myself with the Women’s March Inc. even though rabbis are now urging us to. On Jan. 15, a group of rabbis I admire, including Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, and Rabbi Joshua Stanton of East End Temple, both in Manhattan, issued a statement urging Jews to participate in the national Women’s Marches in Washington, D.C., and New York.

“Why are there no cisgender, white Jewish women on the steering committee?” 

They have been “in dialogue” with Mallory and co-president Linda Sarsour, “who listened carefully and respectfully to our hurt and concern. We have not resolved our differences but we agree to continue meeting, talking and working together long after the 2019 Women’s March is over,” they write. “Tamika and Linda have also heard the concerns of other Jewish leaders and have acknowledged earlier mistakes. They have denounced anti-Semitism and have taken meaningful steps to welcome more Jewish women onto the Steering Committee of the Women’s March and engage Jewish organizations at the highest levels of collaboration.”

Yet on “The View,” when McCain pressed Mallory to denounce Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic, homophobic statements, she did not. Instead, she said she doesn’t agree with everything he says.

The rabbis mentioned above also wrote in their statement, “All of our communities are internally complex and diverse and involve webs of connection that are misunderstood by people outside those communities. No individual can speak for an entire group of people.”

That last statement is a cop-out, for not just obliquely blaming Jews for “misunderstanding” a web of connection between Farrakhan and the black community, but also for giving a hechsher to Mallory’s refusal to outright condemn his reprehensible, influential rhetoric.

What is no longer a question is that, sadly, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic alliances among some leaders of the Women’s March have made this more divisive among liberal American Jews than anything else I can recall. It is sad that the spirit of unity that pervaded the first Women’s March, just after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, is now dead and gone.

Looking at the paucity of Jewish leaders willing to sign onto the rabbis’ new statement, it’s no question that most of the mainstream Jewish community is no longer interested in aligning with the Women’s March leadership — even if it now includes three Jews.

Debra Nussbaum Cohen is a journalist in New York and author of “Celebrating Your New Jewish Daughter: Creating Jewish Ways to Welcome Baby Girls Into the Covenant.”

Jan. 18, 2019

Progressive Jewish Groups Praise DNC for Dropping Women’s March

Photo from Wikipedia.

The Zioness Movement praised the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for dropping its partnership with the Women’s March on Tuesday.

According to Jewish News Syndicate (JNS), the DNC decided to nix the partnership “over anti-Semitism concerns.”

In a statement sent to the Journal via email, the Zioness Movement praised the move as sending “a clear message that there should be no room for bigotry or anti-Semitism in progressive spaces.”

“We are grateful for the DNC’s leadership,” the progressive Zionist organization said. “Our Zioness community has been organizing across the country to fight anti-Semitism – on the left and the right – and advance our progressive values. We will continue this work this weekend by joining local marches that have officially disassociated from Women’s March, Inc.”

Similarly, the Progressive Zionists for the California Democratic Party said in a statement to the Journal, “We are pleased that the Women’s March leadership is being held accountable, and facing consequences for their toxic rhetoric against Jews, the LGBTQ community, and disabled folks.”

“This momentum briefly extended across the political aisle — the Republican National Committee has finally stripped Steve King of his committee assignments,” the statement continued. “We hope they will continue to drive out the roots of hate in their caucus. It is time for leaders to take a firm stand against white supremacy and anti-Semitism — and we’re so glad Democrats are leading the way.”

Halie Sofer, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, also said in a statement, “JDCA supports the objectives of the Women’s March and stands with sister marches across the country this weekend. At the same time, we welcome the DNC, SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center), Emily’s List, and other organizations’ decision to not sponsor and participate in the Women’s March and take a principled stand against anti-Semitism.”

The national Women’s March leaders have been criticized for their associations with Nation of Islam Louis Farrakhan. On Monday’s episode of ABC’s “The View,” Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory repeatedly said, “I don’t agree with many of Minister Farrakhan’s statements” when pressed by program co-host Meghan McCain if she condemns Farrakhan’s rhetoric.

WATCH: Tamika Mallory Refuses to Condemn Farrakhan

Screenshot from Twitter.

Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory refused to condemn rabid anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan in a Monday appearance on ABC’s “The View.”

The Farrakhan subject was first brought up by co-host Sunny Hostin, who asked Mallory if she thought it was “problematic” to be associated with Farrakhan and calling him “the GOAT [Greatest of All Time].”

Mallory responded by lauding Farrakhan for “what he’s done in black communities”:

“View” co-host Meghan McCain followed up by asking Mallory about Farrakhan’s myriad anti-Semitic statements.

“I don’t agree with many of Minister Farrakhan’s statements,” Mallory said.

“Specifically about Jewish people?” McCain replied.

“As I said, I don’t agree with many of Minister Farrakhan’s statements,” Mallory said.

McCain then asked if Mallory condemned them, prompting Mallory to reiterate, “I don’t agree with these statements.”

“You won’t condemn it,” McCain interjected.

Mallory replied by saying that Farrakhan’s rhetoric is “not my language.”

“It not the way that I speak, it is not the way that I organize, and I think that it is clear over the 20 years of my own personal activism, my own personal track record, who I am and that I should never be judged through the lens of a man,” Mallory said.

Mallory was widely criticized for her remarks and McCain was applauded for questioning her about Farrakhan:

The National Organization for Women (NOW) announced on Jan. 2 that the New Orleans Women’s March was canceled because of the anti-Semitism controversy plaguing the national Women’s March leaders; other Women’s Marches have been canceled for other reasons. Other local Women’s Marches have distanced themselves from the national leaders.

H/T: Mediaite

The March of Hate

People gather for the Women's March in Washington. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Let’s be very clear: If you decide to participate in the national Women’s March, you are enabling and abetting hatred of the Jewish people. If you are writing sanctimonious apologetics for the organizers, you are sanitizing and normalizing anti-Semitism.
It was amazingly useful for Tablet magazine, in a recent report, to confirm that three of the four leaders of the Women’s March are proud anti-Semites — that even at their first meeting they berated a Jewish organizer for what they alleged was her unresolved “white supremacy,” and ultimately pushed her out.

Many of us didn’t need this confirmation. The fact that Linda Sarsour was involved in the group was enough. And it didn’t take long before Sarsour was celebrating Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who was convicted and held in an Israeli prison for 10 years for her role in a 1969 Jerusalem supermarket bombing that killed two Hebrew University students. And then we discovered that the organizers had a thing for Louis Farrakhan.
(Even without those disturbing issues, I would never participate in anything called a Women’s March because it is, by definition, anti-feminist. To call something a Women’s March assumes that all women think alike. It is the very foundation of sexism — precisely what early 20th century feminists fought against.)

Tablet’s extensive reporting uncovered the primary motivations behind the Women’s March as created by its top national organizers: To be a front for the most insidious identity politics, where Farrakhan and terrorists are lionized, and Jews and Israel are ideologically lynched. As such, its organization and signature annual event — now scheduled for its third year on Jan. 19 in numerous cities across the country — can be called only one thing: the March of Hate.

Have Jewish apologists for the Women’s March not considered why Jews are being asked to go along with people who hate us? To overlook the march organizers’ “flaws”? Can you imagine any other minority in 2019 being asked to do the same?
How are Jews supposed to be a light unto nations if we are on our knees groveling behind people who continue to spit in our faces?

That is not the kind of Jew I was raised to be, and it is certainly not the kind of Jew my 9-year-old son is being raised to be. I proudly teach him the history of civil rights — and the enormous role Jews have played in establishing and protecting them. But we have never done so at the expense of our self-respect, and no amount of “intersectional” gobbledygook should change that.

Indeed, through the storm of the Women’s March, we now see very clearly that “intersectionality” is propagating a very dangerous theory on the left: the notion of the “privileged white supremacist Jew.” They have created a poisonous stereotype they claim is responsible for all of the world’s problems and which is unable to face racism.
As Seth Frantzman wrote in The Jerusalem Post, “How can this be, only 70 years after the Holocaust, that people genocided for being non-white and non-European are now called white supremacists? It is part of a carefully managed agenda in the United States to not permit Jews to be part of discussions about ‘people of color’ or racism. … Jews are even told that any discussion of Jews being victims of racism is a way for Jews to ‘dwell’ or ‘center’ on themselves.”

Identity politics and the March of Hate swept into Congress such triumphs as Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who already has replaced Israel with “Palestine” on her map, accused Jews of dual loyalty, and can be seen in a photo with a Hezbollah supporter; Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), another supporter of the boycott, sanctions and divestment movement whose known links to the Muslim Brotherhood are growing by the hour; and my personal favorite, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), whose lack of qualifications make her very existence in Congress an affront to feminism.

Jews are being gaslighted — psychologically manipulated to the point of questioning our own sanity and reality — by Farrakhan, Sarsour, Tamika Mallory and the leftist Jews who reflexively defend them. I suppose the only good thing that one can say about actual white supremacists is that they don’t lie about their true intentions.

Karen Lehrman Bloch is an author and cultural critic living in New York City.

New Orleans Women’s March Canceled

People cheer during the Women's March rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

The Women’s March in New Orleans has been canceled, according to organizers of the march.

The National Organization for Women (NOW) Baton Rouge chapter announced on their Facebook page that they were canceling the march “due to several issues.”

“Many of the sister marches have asked the leaders of Women’s March, Inc. to resign but as of today, they have yet to do so,” the post read. “The controversy is dampening efforts of sister marches to fundraise, enlist involvement, find sponsors and attendee numbers have drastically declined this year. New Orleans is no exception.”

The statement added that they would be conducting community service efforts instead on the day of the Women’s March; they will also be providing refunds for donations and T-shirts.

The New Orleans Women’s March is the latest to be canceled, as the Chicago Women’s March organizers have said that their march was canceled as a result of costs; the Women’s March in Humboldt County in Northern California, is being canceled because “the participants have been overwhelmingly white.”

Women’s March leaders Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez have faced criticism over their ties to anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan; that criticism has intensified after a recent Tablet report stated that Perez and Mallory pushed an anti-Semitic talking point from the Nation of Islam and berated an early leader of the movement due to her Jewish faith.

Women’s March founder Teresa Shook called on the Women’s March leaders to step down for allowing “anti-Semitism, anti-LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform by their refusal to separate themselves from groups that espouse these racist, hateful beliefs.”

Why I Will Walk With the Women’s March

Photo from Pinterest

For all the anti-Semitism-based controversy roiling the Women’s March, we in Los Angeles who took part last year should have no crisis of conscience about doing so again on Jan. 19. Women’s March Los Angeles is separate from the national group. Many participating Jews incorporate observing Shabbat around the march (booking rooms downtown, davening early).

But what is happening with the national march committee? Ominous conversations about anti-Semitism have gone public. Jewish women, including members of Bend the Arc and the National Council of Jewish Women continue to have urgent meetings with the national leadership team to address issues of anti-Semitism and racism, trying to call one another in (not call one another out). Linda Sarsour, a Women’s March board member, found it necessary to issue an apology, stating, “We should have been faster and clearer in helping people understand our values and our commitment to fighting anti-Semitism. We regret that. Every member of our movement matters to us — including our incredible Jewish and LGBTQ members. We are deeply sorry for the harm we have caused, but we see you, we love you, and we are fighting with you.”

The Unity Statement for the national march includes, “We must create a society in which all women — including Black women, Indigenous women, poor women, immigrant women, disabled women, Jewish women, Muslim women, Latinx women, Asian and Pacific Islander women, lesbian, bi, queer and trans women — are free …” Yet some are saying that this is not enough. What happened and how should we respond? No one ought to expect that members of a broad coalition agree about every issue. What lines should not be crossed?

One key point: My governing assumption here is that Jews necessarily have an interest in intersectional politics, because we live at intersections: We are Jews and women, Jews and queer, Jews and people of color and, yes, Jews and working class. Just as each woman is a woman. Intersectionality represents the principle that none of us is free unless each of us is free. We who annually celebrate our delivery from slavery and the command to love the stranger are bound by that.

We must never forget that those movements intersect in the bodies of Jews of color for whom we are obliged to stand.

Two key issues around the march have been crystalized in conflicts with personalities, that of Sarsour and National Co-Chair Tamika Mallory. Sarsour is adamantly opposed to Israeli government policies and supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. She also has raised thousands of dollars to aid American-Jewish communities whose cemeteries have been desecrated, and built strong personal friendships with Jewish women. 

Regarding Sarsour, either one agrees with her that it is possible to support the BDS movement while not being anti-Semitic, or one does not. (I believe that it is possible.) If one believes that anti-Zionism necessarily equals anti-Semitism, then either it is acceptable to participate in a march with a leading organizer who holds an unconscious bias against oneself, as long as that the organizer commits to dialogue with Jewish people — or it is not. (I believe that it is.)

The conversations with Mallory that have emerged raise crucial issues about racism and anti-Semitism; about where movements on behalf of people of color, black people specifically, and Jews ought to intersect. Above all, we must never forget that those movements intersect in the bodies of Jews of color for whom we are obliged to stand.

The problem is that Mallory, a Christian, has a longstanding relationship with the Nation of Islam (NOI), whose leader Louis Farrakhan stands firm in his ideologically driven hatred of Jews, lesbians, gays and gender non-conforming people. This puts Farrakhan at odds with most of the march’s Principles of Unity. Yet Mallory won’t disavow her working relationship with Farrakhan or the NOI, which practices an adulterated Islam, unacceptable to mainstream Muslim thinkers. 

Adam Serwer, a biracial, black Jewish man has written an indispensable article for The Atlantic on this question. As “unworthy” of Mallory’s loyalty as he finds Farrakhan to be, Serwer points out that, for serious organizers within black communities, the NOI is impossible to dismiss. “But many black people come into contact with the Nation of Islam as a force in impoverished black communities — not simply as a champion of the black poor or working class, but of the black underclass: black people, especially men, who have been written off or abandoned by white society. They’ve seen the Fruit of Islam patrol rough neighborhoods and run off drug dealers, or they have a family member who went to prison and came out reformed, preaching a kind of pride, self-sufficiency, and entrepreneurship that, with a few adjustments, wouldn’t sound out of place coming from a conservative Republican. The self-respect, inner strength, and self-reliance reflected in the polished image of the men in suits and bow ties can be a powerful sight.”

Farrakhan also has indicated that he regards Jews to be a demonic force, the masterminds behind the social transformation of sexuality and gender in our world. This means that we should not mistake Farrakhan’s ravings for “anti-Semitism of the left.” Farrakhan is a deeply conservative demagogue who advocates male supremacy and retains a touching faith in unregulated capitalism despite what it never did for his people. (Think of him as a black Jordan Peterson, and it all snaps into place.)

The generation that created Black Lives Matter, a movement led by queer, black women articulating an intersectional politics that speaks to race, class, sexuality and gender, will render Farrakhan irrelevant soon enough — if that generation takes up the work of connecting with prisoners, addicts and other marginalized people. This applies to religious progressives of all traditions — including Jews.

Interestingly, Farrakhan’s fantasy of powerful Jews pulling invisible strings echoes a trope that drives today’s white nationalist movement. As Erik K. Ward writes in his insightful article “Skin in the Game,” “Antisemitism forms the theoretical core of White nationalism.” When white nationalists chant “Jews will not replace us,” they mean that, just as Farrakhan believes that LGBTQ people are being secretly manipulated by a Jewish cabal, so, too, are people of color and immigrants who, the racists believe, could never organize to defend their interests on their own and are being driven by Jews into “replacing” white people within job markets and neighborhoods from which they’ve been previously excluded.

So Jews have a stake in intersectional politics. Who benefits if the Women’s March, a key site of the anti-Trumpism, pro-democracy resistance, is fractured? What would be the point of turning away from urgent conversations among people who wish to build a world in which we are all free to practice our traditions, earn a living and breath clean air?

As my friend and teacher, Rabbi Rachel Adler says, “I’ve had lectures from many Jewish men about boycotting the Women’s March. They seem oblivious that Jewish women share the gender oppressions the Women’s March protests, even the privileged segment of Jewish women who are heterosexual and white. None of the men who demand that we boycott the march have pledged to help us eradicate sexual harassment and assault, pay inequities or glass ceilings in Jewish camps, schools, synagogues and communal institutions — or volunteered to examine their own disrespectful gender practices: interrupting women while they speak, appropriating women’s words and ideas, [making] intrusive comments on appearance and clothing or unwanted touching. I will go to the Women’s March as the Jewish woman I am with my kippah on my head. Possibly I’ll get ignored or disrespected or tossed out. But I’ve a lifetime of practice dealing with all that with Jewish men.”

Rabbi Robin Podolsky teaches at Cal State Long Beach, writes for Shondaland, and blogs at jewishjournal.com/erevrav

What’s Happening: ‘Chichester Psalms,’ ‘Torah L.A.,’ Poker Tourney


Emiliana Guereca Zeidenfeld

Women’s March L.A.
One month before the Jan. 19 Women’s March Los Angeles, Women’s March L.A. founder and Temple Isaiah congregant Emiliana Guereca Zeidenfeld appears as the Friday night Shabbat speaker at Temple Isaiah. In conversation with Co-Senior Rabbis Joel Nickerson and Dara Frimmer, Zeidenfeld shares the history and philosophy of the Women’s March and addresses recent controversies, including allegations of anti-Semitism lodged against the organization’s leaders. A Q-and-A follows. 5:45 p.m. pre-oneg; 6:15 p.m. Shabbat service. Oneg and dinner follow. 8 p.m. conversation. Free. RSVP required for oneg and dinner. Temple Isaiah, 10345 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 277-2772.

Rimonim Shabbat
Valley Beth Shalom’s final Rimonim Shabbat of the year features dancing, singing, prayers and a promise to transform participants. “Rimonim” is Hebrew for “pomegranates,” and tradition teaches that each pomegranate contains hundreds of colorful seeds representing the 613 good deeds each Jew must perform. As one good deed leads to another, the goal is for the sacred music of a Rimonim Shabbat to inspire those present to perform an act of lovingkindness. Dress is casual. 6 p.m. snack and schmooze. 6:30 p.m. Rimonim service. Free. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 788-6000.

David Broza

Zimriyah Choral Shabbat
An evening of tefilah and music at Adat Ari El features the L.A. Zimriyah Chorale performing the late Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms,” under the direction of Nick Strimple. Dinner follows. The chorale prayer experience is in place of the 6 p.m. Shabbat service. 6:45 p.m. dinner. 8:00 p.m. service. $24. Service is free. Adat Ari El, 12020 Burbank Blvd., Valley Village. (818) 766-9426.


Broza & Friends
Israeli singer and guitarist David Broza continues his annual holiday tradition of performing Israeli and Spanish songs that carry a message of peace, love and understanding. Broza displays his multiple linguistic talents when he sings in Hebrew, English, Spanish and Arabic. He brings the full body of his work to the stage with the backing of the New York-based “Trio Havana,” led by flute virtuoso Itai Kris. Additional special guests slated to perform. 7:30 p.m. $64–$109. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. (310) 434-3200.



A rural Hungarian village whose residents feel guilty about their complicity in World War II is the setting for the film “1945,” which follows two Holocaust survivors returning home after being liberated from concentration camps. The survivors’ presence reminds the residents of how they stole Jewish property years earlier. After the screening, a discussion follows on today’s political and racial oppression and what moral responsibility Jews may share in it. 9:30 a.m.–noon. Free. University Synagogue, 11960 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 472-1255. RSVP to jimruxin@yahoo.com.

Poker Tournament

holds its seventh annual Texas Hold ’em Poker Tournament. Professional dealers, prizes, business and personal sponsorship opportunities and even mini massages by professional masseuses highlight the event. If you do not play poker, take lessons before the tournament or enjoy casino games, drinks and dinner while others are competing. Or, hang out in the sports lounge and watch the L.A. Rams –Philadelphia Eagles game on a big-screen TV. Must be 21 to attend. Volunteer opportunities available. 4 p.m. doors open. 4:30 p.m. poker lessons. 5 p.m. tournament. $175 tournament entry. $80 non-poker entry. Kol Tikvah, 20400 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills. (818) 348-0670 ext. 214.

Moving Beyond Hate 
Tim Zaal, a former Skinhead who now works for the Museum of Tolerance’s Hate to Hope program, appears in conversation with Temple Beth Am Rabbi Matt Shapiro. Some of Zaal’s past racist and political affiliations include serving as L.A. recruiter and propagandist for the White Aryan Resistance and director of the Southern California chapter of the Hammerskin Nation. After an audience Q-and-A with Zaal, Matthew Friedman, senior associate regional director at the Anti-Defamation League, assesses the current state of white supremacy. 7 p.m. Free. Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 652-7353.

Orthodox Union Convention: ‘Torah L.A.’
The annual four-day Orthodox Union West Coast Convention concludes with “Torah L.A.” Exploring the theme of “Family First: Torah Perspectives for Today’s World,” rabbis discuss topics including “Strengthening Our Relationships,” “Current Halachic Controversies” and “Family Relationships in Tanach.” Free and open to the public. Pre-registration required. 9:15 a.m.–noon. YULA Boys High School, 9760 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. RSVP at adlerl@ou.org/yarmusd@ou.org or (310) 229-900, ext. 200 or 201.

“Big Ideas, Bold Future”
This entry in American Jewish University’s “Big Ideas, Bold Future” series features AJU’s vice president, Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, and UCLA professor/co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center Daniel J. Siegel tackling some big questions: What is consciousness? What is the relationship between brain and mind? How do thinking and feeling connect? How does our awareness connect us to the world around us? What can we do to hone our consciousness for good? The two scholars will approach them from different perspectives in a wide-ranging and mind-expanding discussion. 4 p.m. $10. AJU Familian Campus, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. (310) 440-1572.


Yula Comedy Night
The lineup at YULA Girls High School’s annual Comedy Night includes Mark Schiff, Eli Lebowicz, Don McMillan, Michael Rayner, Brian Kelly and Sunda Croonquist. Enjoy an evening of food, drink and laughter. 6:30 p.m. doors, 7:30 p.m. Advance purchase: 1 ticket $125, 2 tickets $200. At the door: 1 ticket $135, 2 tickets $225. VIP preferred seating $500, includes 2 tickets. The Writers Guild Theater, 135 S. Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 203-0755.


“According to Oslo”
Members of IPF Atid, the young professionals network of the Israeli Policy Forum, spend an evening of conversation with Mor Loushy, co-director of the 2018 documentary, “The Oslo Diaries.” Clips of the film will be shown and Loushy will discuss the film, which follows the unsanctioned peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians in the 1990s. Ages 21-39 only. Beverages and kosher desserts served. 7:30–9 p.m. Free. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd. (310) 474-1518.


JNet Holiday Party
It is holiday party time for the Pacific Palisades branch of JNET, which means enjoying dinner, entertainment and door prizes with the Jewish community’s business networking group. For the final JNET meeting of the calendar year, all are welcome, including first-timers. 6:30–9:00 p.m. Free. Kehillat Israel, 16019 Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades. (310) 459-2328.


Herb Alpert and Lani Hall

Herb Alpert and Manhattan Transfer
Stepping into the downtown spotlight to celebrate the holidays with a doubleheader, jazz icon Herb Alpert and singer Lani Hall, Alpert’s wife of 41 years, along with the Manhattan Transfer headline an evening of familiar melodies at Walt Disney Concert Hall. 8 p.m. $49–$99. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave. (323) 850-2000.

L.A. Jewish Community Sing
People of all ages, regardless of musical experience, come together to sing, socialize and schmooze at Sinai Temple’s monthly Jewish Community Sing. Michelle Green Willner leads the program, accompanied by guitarist Chris Haller, pianist Jeffrey Silverman, and drummer Scott Beardman. Kosher refreshments provided. 8–9:30 p.m. Free. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd. (310) 474-1518.

Have an event coming up?  Send your information two weeks prior to the event to ryant@jewishjournal.com for consideration. For groups staging an event that requires an RSVP, please submit details about the event the week before the RSVP deadline.

Sarsour Looks to Forge Better Relations With the Jewish Community

Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour issued a statement apologizing to Jews on Tuesday after she and other Women’s March leaders have been criticized for anti-Semitism.

Sarsour began the statement by saying that the Women’s March aims to combat all types of bigotry, which includes anti-Semitism.

“It’s become clear, amidst this media storm, that our values and our message have — too often— been lost,” Sarsour said in the statement. “That loss caused a lot of harm, and a lot pain. We should have been faster and clearer in helping people understand our values and our commitment to fighting anti-Semitism. We regret that.”

Sarsour added, “Every member of our movement matters to us — including our incredible Jewish and LGBTQ members. We are deeply sorry for the harm we have caused, but we see you, we love you, and we are fighting with you.”

Sarsour concluded by saying that the Women’s March is looking to forge better relationships with the Jewish community.

However, not everyone was satisfied with Sarsour’s apology:

Amanda Berman, founder and president of the Zioness Movement, told the Journal in a statement, “Linda cannot say she wants to deepen her relationship with the Jewish community while simultaneously praising and admiring one of America’s most virulent and influential anti-Semites.”

“Zioness exists because our community needs real leaders who will not demand that we abandon our identities and principles in order to be welcomed in the progressive spaces that our forbearers courageously founded and led,” Berman added. “The Jewish community would not accept a self-proclaimed ‘feminist leader’ who praised David Duke and we will not accept one who praises Louis Farrakhan.”

The Progressive Zionists of the California Democratic Party said in a statement to the Journal that they were “unmoved” by Sarsour’s statement.

“Nothing in their statement or in Linda Sarsour’s personal post indicate they understand why their actions have been so harmful and alienating to the Jewish community or how they plan on rectifying it,” the statement read. “These are the basic components of a good apology. As much is on the line with this administration, we need leadership that can navigate the challenges of and build a truly intersectional movement — not reflexively attack or dehumanize those who offer good faith criticism, or who offer perspectives different from theirs.”

The Times of Israel notes that Sarsour had issued an apology on Monday as well, although she said that criticisms of her and the Women’s March were simply a deflection from white supremacy.

Sarsour and the Women’s March have been criticized for their ties to notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan; Sarsour herself has accused Israel supporters of dual loyalty and reportedly said that Israelis shouldn’t be “humanized.”

Women’s March Founder Calls on Sarsour, Others to Step Down Over Anti-Semitism

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Teresa Shook, the founder of the Women’s March, called on Linda Sarsour and other Women’s March leaders to step down for allowing anti-Semitism to infect the movement.

Shook wrote in a Monday Facebook post that “Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez of Women’s March, Inc. have steered the Movement away from its true course” of being an inclusive movement.

“They have allowed anti-Semitism, anti- LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform by their refusal to separate themselves from groups that espouse these racist, hateful beliefs,” Shook wrote. “I call for the current Co-Chairs to step down and to let others lead who can restore faith in the Movement and its original intent.”

Shook added that she will be working “to support grassroots, decentralized leadership promoting a safe, worldwide community devoid of hate speech, bigotry and racism” back to the Women’s March.

The Women’s March responded on their Facebook page by thanking Shook for starting the Women’s March and then criticizing her post as irresponsible.

“We are imperfect,” the post read. “We don’t know everything and we have caused harm. At times we have responded with hurt. But we are committed to learning. We will continue to work through the good and the bad, the impact and the harm – of building an intersectional movement that our daughters, and our daughters’ daughters, can be proud of.”

The post concluded, “We are grateful to people who HAVE been with us for the past two years, wrestling with the challenges and opportunities of what we are trying to build. Our ongoing work speaks for itself. That’s our focus, not armchair critiques from those who want take credit from our labor.”

Siamak Kordestani, assistant director of the American Jewish Committee – Los Angeles, said in a statement to the Journal, “AJC commends Teresa Shook for bringing much-needed national attention to some of the Women’s March co-chairs’ embrace of hateful leaders and ideas.”

“It is unconscionable that Tamika Mallory praises Louis Farrakhan, who spews anti-Semitic and anti-LGBT rhetoric,” Kordestani said. “It is deplorable that Linda Sarsour uses anti-Semitic tropes to malign progressives who oppose BDS. All Americans should unite against this hate.”

The Zioness Movement also praised Shook’s Facebook post in a statement.

“Through their action and inaction, these leaders have demonized and marginalized members of the Jewish community, LBGTQIA community, and other groups,” the statement read. “Their exclusionary behavior is not only harmful to those of us who have been feeling alienated––it is harmful to all the marginalized communities we want to fight for. Anyone who cares about the advancement of social, racial, economic and gender justice should welcome all committed activists to the fight, not just some.”

Similarly, Susan George, founding member of the Progressive Zionists of California Democratic Party, said in a statement sent to the Journal, “Sadly, the Women’s March organizers continue to betray progressive ideals by not decisively repudiating anti-Semitism and homophobia. It’s amazing to see the rising avalanche of support for Jews and the LBGTQ community. We are so encouraged by the activism of local, community, and state marches to reject bigotry and really embrace intersectional ideals.”

The Women’s March leaders have been criticized over their ties to notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan; Sarsour has been criticized for accusing pro-Israel progressive of dual loyalty to Israel and reportedly saying that Israelis shouldn’t be humanized.

Women’s March Denver Condemns National Women’s March Leadership Over Farrakhan Ties

The Women’s March Denver chapter issued a statement on Wednesday condemning the national Women’s March leadership over their ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

The Denver chapter, which goes by the name Womxn’s March to show solidarity with “cis, transgender and non-binary individuals,” wrote that they condemn “anti-Semitism and the National Women’s March leadership team’s failure to clearly disassociate from anti-Semitic public figures. “

“Womxn’s March Denver is an independent VOLUNTEER grassroots team of local Colorado women,” they continued. “We are not affiliated with the national Women’s March organization. We oppose all forms of oppression and operate from an intersectional lens. We stand in solidarity with all marginalized communities and ask that those communities stand together with us against oppression in all its forms.”

Amanda Berman, co-founder of the Zioness Movement, told the Journal in an emailed statement, “Zioness applauds the Women’s March in Denver for unequivocally denouncing Women’s March leaders for their hateful rhetoric and their continued association with bigots and anti-Semites like Louis Farrakhan. We are grateful for their principled commitment to fighting anti-Semitism, including within the national Women’s March organization, even when that stance puts them at odd with some self-appointed organizers of the movement.”

“Zioness knows that we, as committed progressives and unabashed Zionists, do not have to check any part of our identity at the door in order to show up to fight for women’s issues in America––and we’re thrilled that Denver leaders know it too,” Berman added. “Zioness will be organizing a significant presence at the next Women’s March in Denver and from coast-to-coast, engaging our more than 18 chapters and thousands of participants. As part of this work, Zioness will be hosting a series of pre-march ‘teach-ins” that bring light to the issues facing Jewish women in a time of skyrocketing anti-Semitism.’”

Actresses Alyssa Milano and Debra Messing have both said that they will not participate in the Women’s March because their leaders have been unwilling to condemn Farrakhan.

The national Women’s March issued the following statement regarding Farrakhan on Nov. 8:

Messing ‘Stands’ With Milano on Not Participating in Women’s March

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Actress Debra Messing has said that she “stands” with actress Alyssa Milano in refusing to participate in the Women’s March over their leaders’ warmth toward anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.

Milano told The Advocate on Oct. 30 that  she wouldn’t participate in the Women’s March because “none of them have come forward against him [Farrakhan] at this point.”

On Nov. 8, Messing quote tweeted The Advocate story about Milano and wrote, “I stand with you @Alyssa_Milano.”

The Women’s March issued the following statement on Nov. 8:

The Zioness Movement said in a statement, “Zioness rejects the divisive examples of Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory and others who claim to be ‘leaders’ of women, while they continue to support anti-Semitic, homophobic figures like Farrakhan and make consistent efforts to demonize the Jewish community in progressive spaces. We refuse to be intimidated by their attempts to exclude progressive Zionists from spaces like the Women’s March.”

A Case of A Silent, Deadly #MeToo in New York

Among the many tragedies of the past couple of weeks, on Oct. 24 the bodies of two young Saudi Arabian sisters were found near the Hudson River, bound together with duct tape. They had been seen that morning in nearby Riverside Park, praying.

Police are still investigating but suspect the sisters’ deaths were a double suicide. Rotana Farea, 22, and Tala Farea, 16, had moved to Fairfax, Va., with their family in 2015. Rotana was enrolled at George Mason University. They ran away last December and entered a domestic violence shelter after reportedly telling authorities that they were being physically abused at home. They then left the shelter without notice in August. 

The sisters had applied for political asylum, and seemingly because of that, their mother received a call from the Saudi consulate ordering the family to return to Saudi Arabia, according to news reports. Officials at the consulate denied the allegations and told reporters that they had hired an attorney to “follow the case closely.”

Two days later, the girls were found dead. According to the police, the girls said they would rather die than return to Saudi Arabia, where they would most likely be forced into arranged marriages.

The day the news broke, my Yemenite neighbor, Waseif Qahatan, came to my apartment in tears. “I could have saved them,” she said. 

Qahatan was a child bride at the age of 14. She had been sold to the highest bidder, her cousin. Though born and raised in the Bronx, that summer she went back to Yemen to wed. Her father received $80,000 in return.

“I believed it was a ‘regular marriage,’ but the truth was, it was indentured slavery,” said Qahatan, now 32. “I was not a wife but a slave to my husband, a slave to medieval rules, a slave to my family’s wishes.”

“When I could no longer handle the pressures, I reached out to local authorities. I was told nothing could be done because I was a minor. So, I was old enough to be married but not old enough to have a say about my body or my life.”

After having her first child at 18, Qahatan was finally granted a divorce at age 20. She was back in the U.S., but a year later was stuck in a second arranged marriage. After her second child, she ran away with her children to a domestic violence shelter. “Although I was very much alone, I finally felt free,” she said.

It is another, silent, deadly #MeToo. Physical abuse, rape, stoning, honor killing — all continue to be standard practice in religious Muslim communities around the world. But because cultural relativism is a big part of leftist ideology, many feminists remain silent on the issue. Linda Sarsour, leader of the “Women’s March,” has so far had zero to say on the Saudi suicides. 

The New York Times ran a story about the tragedy that happened just miles from its offices —and then nothing. No editorials, no op-eds, nada. President Trump couldn’t be blamed for it, so why bother?

Earlier this year, Qahatan started a nonprofit called After the Veil that is geared to help young girls needing to escape abusive families or forced marriages. She posted her mission on the organization’s website at AfterTheVeil.com: “Give a voice to Arab American women in order to empower them. Provide these women with a safe haven and the resources necessary to reach their full potential.”  Further on the website, Qahatan says the location of her organization’s safe house is kept secret to protect the women staying there. 

“Arabic girls all over the world feel they have no options,” Qahatan told me. “The conditioning of Arabic culture is that of suppression and silencing the voices of those who need to be heard the most.”

She remains upset that her nonprofit wasn’t further along to help the Saudi girls, but their deaths have given her renewed focus.

“These girls had made a decision, so they were not praying for themselves but praying for girls like them to one day have a chance, to live a life of freedom,” she said. “I have fought all my life and will continue to fight against the idea that females cannot have power. To girls in this situation, I say hold on. Help is coming.”

Karen Lehrman Bloch is an author and cultural critic living in New York City.

Milano Won’t Participate in Women’s March Because Leaders Won’t Denounce Farrakhan

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Actress Alyssa Milano, a prominent figure in the #MeToo movement, said on Wednesday that she would not participate in the Women’s March because its leaders won’t denounce Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Milano told The Advocate that she was “disappointed” in the Women’s March leaders for their warmth toward Farrakhan. When asked if she would appear at the Women’s March and speak, Milano responded, “I would say no at this point.”

“Unfortunate that none of them have come forward against him [Farrakhan] at this point,” Milano said, “or even given a really good reason why to support them.”

Milano had spoken at the Women’s March in January 2018.

Women’s March leader Tamika Mallory had appeared at a Nation of Islam event in March, where Farrakhan referred to Jews as part of the “Synagogue of Satan”; Mallory and other Women’s March leaders Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez have all posted “laudatory” things on social media about Farrakhan, according to Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

The Women’s March has not responded to the Journal’s request for comment as of publication time.

Farrakhan Leads Chants of ‘Death to America,’ ‘Death to Israel’ in Iran

Nation of Islam leader and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan led chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” while in Iran over the weekend.

Farrakhan was critical of the Trump administration’s re-imposition of sanctions against Iran in a speech at Tehran University, calling it a “big mistake.” He also told Iran, “If you don’t work to end the division inside Iran, you will not survive the sanctions,” with “the division” being a likely reference to the anti-regime protests in Iran.

Toward the end of his speech, Farrakhan began leading chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” in Farsi:

In a meeting with Iranian Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei, Farrakhan said, “I understand how the enemies have plotted against the Iranian people and I would like to stay alongside you to stop their plots.”

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach tweeted in response:

Farrakhan also praised the Iranian regime in a 2016 visit to the country, where he said, “I would hope that at this later stage, where you are now coming out from under sanctions—sanctions that were designed by the West to destroy the revolutionary spirit of the Iranian people, and cause the Iranian people to rise up against their government. But thanks to Allah, the people of Iran stood firmly with their leadership. And the sanctions only caused Iran to look deep within itself. And now those sanctions are being lifted, but Iran is stronger, Iran is wiser, Iran is more influential.”

Farrakhan has also praised Iran’s terror proxy, Hezbollah, as “freedom fighters.”

The Nation of Islam leader has connections to various Democrats, most notably Deputy Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.), and has been praised by leaders of the Women’s March. The Women’s March had not responded to the Journal’s request for comment at publication time.

UPDATE: The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has published a blog post about Farrakhan’s Iran visit that can be read here.

Ben & Jerry’s Partners With Women’s March, Says Ties to Farrakhan Are Irrelevant

Screenshot from Twitter.

Ben & Jerry’s announced that they were releasing a new ice cream flavor, Pecan Resist, to protest the Trump administration. They are partnering with the Women’s March, whose leaders have ties to Louis Farrakhan.

The ice cream giant’s website states that the Pecan Resist flavor consists of chocolate ice cream, pecans, walnuts, almonds and chunks of fudge.

“We can peacefully resist the Trump administration’s regressive and discriminatory policies and build a future that values inclusivity, equality, and justice for people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, refugees, and immigrants,” the website reads. “Pecan Resist supports four organizations that are working on the front lines of the peaceful resistance, building a world that supports their values.”

One of those progressive organizations is the Women’s March; the others are Color of Change, Honor the Earth and Neta.

Another section of Ben & Jerry’s website calls the Women’s March “a dramatic display of our country at its very best.”

However, Independent Journal Review (IJR) noted that the Women’s March leaders have ties to Louis Farrakhan, who recently referred to Jews as “termites.” Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt criticized Women’s March leaders Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez over Farrakhan in March.

“Consider that in the audience at last weekend’s conference was Tamika Mallory, one of the leaders of the Women’s March, who got a special shout-out from Farrakhan and who regularly posts laudatory pictures of him on her Instagram account — as does Carmen Perez, another leader of the March,” Greenblatt wrote. “Linda Sarsour, another March organizer, spoke and participated at a Nation of Islam event in 2015. Her most notable response to his incendiary remarks this year was a glowing post on Perez’s Facebook page to praise Farrakhan’s youthful demeanor.”

When asked by IJR about the Women’s March leaders’ ties to Farrakhan, a spokeswoman told them:

“We’re comfortable with the idea that the people and the causes we partner with may have a point of view different from our own on some issues. They can be controversial, just as we can. Linda may not agree with everything we’ve done. But the work that she has done to promote women’s rights, as co-chair of the Women’s March, is undeniably important and we are proud to join her in that effort.”

They included a statement from Women’s March’s Linda Sarsour: “We recommit ourselves to dismantling anti-Semitism and all forms of racism.”


When asked if the company has a position on Farrakhan, the Ben & Jerry’s spokeswoman told IJR, “No. We are focusing our efforts toward women empowerment.”

When asked by the Journal about the aforementioned paragraph in the IJR report, Ben & Jerry’s spokesperson Laura Peterson told the Journal in an email that it was in “response to Farrakhan’s remarks in the context of today’s release of our new flavor.”

“The two are not related at all, so I said no,” Peterson said.

In September, the co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s announced that they were going to introduce seven new ice cream flavors that promote seven specific Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterm elections.

“We need to come up with seven amazing ice cream flavors (and flavor names) that not only taste great but also capture the essence of what each candidate stands for,” the co-founders said on MoveOn.org’s website.

Sarsour Calls ADL ‘Purveyor of Islamophobia,’ Report Says

Screenshot from Twitter.


The ADL responded to Linda Sarsour in a statement sent to the Journal:

ADL fights hate in all its forms including anti-Semitism, racism and Islamophobia. We do this through tracking extremists and white supremacists, through our anti-bias programs and through enacting federal and state hate crimes laws across the country. We advocate at the local, state and federal level on a range of issues related to ending racial bias and discrimination in policing and the criminal justice system.

Linda Sarsour has completely mischaracterized and distorted what our law enforcement programs actually do. We are proud to work with law enforcement in the U.S. in an effort to counter terrorism, domestic extremism, hate crimes and implicit bias. Our annual law enforcement mission to Israel provides a few dozen senior law enforcement officials with an opportunity to learn first-hand how police in Israel respond to terror attacks. The curriculum includes trips to Yad Vashem and meeting with a diverse group of members of Israeli civil society. 


Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour criticized the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as a “purveyor of Islamophobia” earlier in the month, according to a new report from the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).

Sarsour uttered the aforementioned statement about the ADL during a panel at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)’s 2018 convention and criticized the ADL for bringing police officers to Israel for training.

“If you are part of a criminal justice reform movement, if you believe in the idea of ending police brutality and the misconduct of law enforcement officers across the country, then you do not support an organization that takes police officers from America, funds their trips, takes them to Israel so they can be trained by the Israeli police and military, and then they come back here and do what?” Sarsour said. “Stop and frisk, killing unarmed black people across the country.”

Chris McIlvain, the assistant police chief in Austin, Texas, told IPT that he attended the 2015 training that Sarsour was referencing and that what she described was not accurate:

There was no tactical training and no discussion of forceful or coercive techniques, he said. Police departments must maintain “a state of readiness” for all kinds of threats, from mass shootings to terrorist attacks. Israel has experience with these challenges that can be helpful to police departments here.

“The ADL is a good partner of law enforcement combating hate crimes of all types,” McIlvain said. “The idea is not to divert hate from one group to another, it’s to eliminate it.”

Sarsour called the ADL “an anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian organization that peddles Islamophobia and attacks America’s prominent Muslim orgs and activists” in an April Facebook post when it was announced that the ADL was going to take part in Starbucks’ anti-bias training.

Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of T’ruah, told the Times of Israel, “The ADL has always understood that fighting anti-Semitism is inherently tied to fighting racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia.”

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt has criticized Sarsour and other Women’s March leaders for their connection to Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam.

The ADL has not responded to the Journal’s request for comment.

Time’s Up for Faux Liberals

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

“Farrakhan has pulled the cover off the eyes of the Satanic Jew and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through,” Louis Farrakhan, referring to himself in the third person, told a cheering Nation of Islam crowd of thousands in Chicago a couple of weeks ago.

How nice that Farrakhan, 84, has been able to stay rhetorically on trend. Actually, his genocidal bigotry is so on trend that Tamika Mallory, one of the leaders of the Women’s March, was shocked — shocked! — that anyone would care that she attended this largely anti-Semitic rally, that she would get a shoutout from the good minister, and even pose for a photo with him on Instagram afterward.

Truth be told, Mallory had every reason to be shocked. When co-leader Linda Sarsour said that anti-Semitism is “not systemic,” that you can’t be a feminist and a Zionist — when she publicly embraced terrorist Rasmea Odeh — there was barely a peep from those left of center.

In fact, the unpleasant reality that Sarsour and co-leader Carmen Perez also have close ties to Farrakhan — the man the Anti-Defamation League calls “the leading anti-Semite in America”—didn’t stir any pot either.

So, why would Mallory think that the normalization of hate against Jews — a key part of the “intersectionality” that the Women’s March quartet touts — would cause such a ruckus?

What Mallory wasn’t counting on was the fact that Farrakhan’s blatant focus on Jews — not Zionists and Israel — would actually motivate the normally silent to open their mouths. Jews on the far left are often called self-haters for kowtowing to the likes of Sarsour. But clearly it’s not self-hatred — it’s more like they’re happy to hide behind an anti-Zionist cover when needed: regressive chic at its finest.

Not standing up for your own people for the sake of status is just as faux liberal as condoning hatred. So it’s good to know that when push comes to genocide, left-of-center Jews will not be silent. We can now call this the Farrakhan Line: Jews on the left will put their foot down when Israel is not mentioned.

Words, as Jews know in their veins, have consequences.

Indeed, a month before Farrakhan’s speech, the ADL published a report showing that 2017 saw a 67 percent rise in anti-Jewish hate speech, harassment, vandalism and violence.

This seems like a good opportunity to distinguish real liberals from faux liberals, whether they call themselves progressives or leftists or socialists.

Remarkably, the Wikipedia definition of liberalism has remained intact: “Liberalism is a political philosophy founded on ideas of liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views … but generally support [the principles of] freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, and gender equality.”

Not standing up for your own people for the sake of status is just as faux liberal as condoning hatred.

This is the key line: Liberals espouse a wide array of views. Meaning, you and I can disagree on how to enforce, for instance, freedom of speech. But if you don’t stand for the principle of freedom of speech, you can’t call yourself a liberal. (Social justice warriors on campus, please take note.)

And speaking of words, I’ve been increasingly seeing the word “gaslighting” in relation to President Donald Trump. Gaslighting is “a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt … in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s belief.”

Personally, I don’t see this as a conscious or unconscious Trump tactic. But I very much see this as a progressive/leftist tactic. From baseless attacks on Israel to Holocaust denial/minimization, to outright Jew hatred, progressives/leftists are, consciously or not, trying to gaslight Jews.

And so, I ask my fellow liberals: Why are you so desperate to be included in these “progressive” groups? Why not work to restrengthen the liberal center? Liberalism, by definition, includes both feminism and Zionism.

And I say to the leaders of the Women’s March: Time’s up for faux liberals and faux feminists.

Karen Lehrman Bloch is a cultural critic and author.

Not All Anti-Semitism Is Created Equal

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

This week, we found out once and for all that the dominant philosophy of the modern left — intersectionality — has no place for Jews. What else can we conclude after watching the spectacle of leftists from all walks defend the leaders of the Women’s March for their association with open anti-Semite and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan?

In February, Women’s March co-chair Tamika Mallory was caught on tape attending the Savior’s Day service with Farrakhan. At that service, Farrakhan stated, “The powerful Jews are my enemy,” adding, “Satan is going down. And Farrakhan, by God’s grace, has pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew, and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through.” Farrakhan has famously praised Adolf Hitler.

Mallory still hasn’t apologized for her association with Farrakhan, instead defending her Nation of Islam connections by stating that she’s been attending such events for 30 years. She also added, “Jesus had a number of enemies, as do all Black leaders.” Meanwhile, it turns out that co-chair Carmen Perez was also a Farrakhan fan — she posted a photo from 2015 showing herself holding hands with him. Fellow Women’s March co-chair Linda Sarsour has also stood with Farrakhan, speaking at a Nation of Islam event.

Women’s March leaders have continued to hesitate in condemning Farrakhan, and that includes Jewish women. Judy Levey of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs was oh-so delicate when she told The Forward, “People don’t always express themselves on every single issue in ways that we would be comfortable, but it’s really important that when we share values, we work together to raise up urgent issues that we all face.”

In the intersectional hierarchy of identity politics, Jews rank relatively low.

That’s the rub, here, naturally. A good number of leftist Jews are leftists first and Jews second; their religious identity runs second to their political identity. And the Women’s March is a deeply leftist institution — its leadership routinely pushes abortion-on-demand, government-paid child care and so-called anti-discrimination laws that target religious institutions. Jews who find this sort of agenda primary are willing to let a little bit of anti-Semitism slide, much in the way that Jews who preferred President Donald Trump were willing to wink at Steve Bannon.

Even more disappointing is the willingness of leftist Jews to let Jewish ethnicity slide into the background in favor of the intersectional coalition building. Intersectionality suggests that we can determine the value of viewpoints by looking at the “interlocking” group identities of the person speaking — so, for example, a Black lesbian has different experiences and, to the left’s point, more valuable experiences than a white straight man. Jewish ethnic identity, therefore, should play some role in the intersectional coalition of the left, which is dedicated to the proposition that America is a brutal place to those of minority status.

But there’s one problem: In the intersectional hierarchy of identity politics, Jews rank relatively low. That’s because Jews are on average financially successful and educationally overachieving. And this means that Jews slandered by the likes of Louis Farrakhan or his Women’s March allies must take a back seat on the intersectional bus. Anti-Semitism matters less coming from minority victim groups than it does from others, apparently.

This has been the case for years. Last year, the self-titled Dyke March in Chicago banned rainbow flags with Jewish stars because they supposedly “made people feel unsafe” — pro-Palestinian groups were unhappy with the juxtaposition of gay rights and a flag that looked somewhat Israeli. The march was billed as an “anti-racist, anti-violent, volunteer-led, grass-roots mobilization and celebration of dyke, queer, bisexual, and transgender resilience.” Tolerance was not extended, however, to gay Jews flying their flag.

Anti-Semitism is unacceptable in any guise. During the last election cycle, I spoke out repeatedly about anti-Semitism in the alt-right, and blasted the Trump campaign for failing to properly disassociate from the alt-right. Trump, thankfully, has disassociated from the alt-right publicly. The fact that so much of the left is willing to embrace the Women’s March leadership rather than calling them to account is a true shandah.

Ben Shapiro is a best-selling author, editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire and host of the conservative podcast “The Ben Shapiro Show.”

Women’s March Issues Statement Addressing Farrakhan Controversy

Screenshot from Twitter.

After being under fire for one of its leaders attending a Louis Farrakhan speech, the Women’s March issued a statement on Mar. 6 addressing the issue.

The statement claimed that the Women’s March was committed to fighting against “anti-Semitism, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia.”

“Minister Farrakhan’s statements about Jewish, queer, and trans people are not aligned with the Women’s March Unity Principles, which were created by women of color leaders and are grounded in Kingian Nonviolence,” the statement read. “Women’s March is holding conversations with queer, trans, Jewish and Black members of both our team and larger movement to create space for understanding and healing.”

They then claimed that they had been silent over the Farrakhan controversy for nine days because they have been “holding these conversations and are trying to intentionally break the cycles that pit our communities against each other.”

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt praised the Women’s March for their “strong statement”:

However, others felt that the Women’s March statement was too weak and didn’t adequately address the controversy:

The controversy started when Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory attended the Nation of Islam’s Saviour Day, where Farrakhan issued a speech that was laced with a variety of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Mallory and the rest of Women’s March leaders remained largely silent about it until the Mar. 6 statement.

Mallory and two other Women’s March leaders, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour, have prior connections to Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam that were not addressed in the statement.

Dem Congressman Doubles Down on Support for Farrakhan Despite His Anti-Semitism

Screenshot from Twitter.

A Democratic congressman doubled down on his support for Louis Farrakhan on Mar. 4, claiming in an interview that he is a believer in Farrakhan despite Farrakhan’s history of anti-Semitism.

Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) told The Daily Caller’s Peter Hasson that Farrakhan’s numerous anti-Semitic comments don’t bother him.

“I know Farrakhan, I know the Middle East question, I know the Jews and Farrakhan — I know all that, but that’s not what I spend all my time focused on,” Davis said. “I know Farrakhan, been knowing him for years and years and years and years and years, and every once in a while some writer or somebody will I guess try to think of something to say about Farrakhan, but nah, my world is so much bigger than any of that.”

Davis later added, “The world is so much bigger than Farrakhan and the Jewish question and his position on that and so forth. For those heavy into it, that’s their thing, but it ain’t my thing.”

The Democratic congressman had previously called Farrakhan “an outstanding human being.” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt recently wrote a post stating that Davis’ office had told the ADL that Davis was “misquoted,” but Davis shot that down in his interview with The Daily Caller.

“I don’t have no problems with Farrakhan,” Davis said.

The ADL told CNN’s Jake Tapper that they were “disappointed” with Davis’ comments:

Anthony Clark, who is launching a primary challenge against Davis, condemned the congressman’s support for Farrakhan:

Davis released a statement on Mar. 5 claiming that The Daily Caller was trying “to impugn my character.”

“I have a lifetime record of rejecting, condemning and actively opposing all forms of hatred, bigotry and separatism based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability or language including specifically anti-Semitism,” Davis said. “Such views are antithetical to everything I believe and everything that I work for on a daily basis.”

Hasson responded by pointing out that Davis never actually disavowed Farrakhan in his statement:

Davis’ comments comes as Women’s March leaders are under fire for attending a recent Farrakhan speech where he railed against Jews’ “Synagogue of Satan” and slandered Jews supposedly controlling “the government and the FBI.” Tapper ran a segment on March 5 asking why the Womens’ March leaders won’t condemn Farrakhan:

James Hasson, a contributor to The Federalist, noted that there has been little media coverage over a litany of Farrakhan stories: