The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) condemns New York University (NYU) for inviting the anti-Semitic Linda Sarsour, one of the leaders of the national Women’s March, to speak on March 25 at an NYU program on immigration sponsored by NYU’s Asian/Pacific/American Institute (APA). The event, one of NYU’s Skirball Talks, is being co-sponsored by the NYU Sanctuary, the NYU Center for Multicultural Education & Programs, the Islamic Center at NYU, and the NYU Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies. Sarsour will be delivering a lecture on “migration, refugees, and the politics of sanctuary.” The ZOA has called upon NYU to rescind its invitation to Ms. Sarsour.
Neither the NYU news release of the event, nor the APA’s notice of the event, refer to Sarsour’s record, divisive views or anti-Semitic, Israel hating statements, nor to the fact that the Women’s March has been losing large numbers of sponsors on account of the anti-Semitic views expressed, and toleration of anti-Semitism, by Sarsour and other figures in its hierarchy. Lost sponsors include the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Emily’s List and the National Organization for Women (NOW).
Linda Sarsour’s record includes the following:
- In 2017, she shared a platform with, and extolled the virtues of, convicted Palestinian Arab terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who is responsible for the murder of two Israeli university students in a 1969 Jerusalem supermarket terrorist bombing. At that event, Sarsour gushed that she “honored and privileged to be here in this space, and honored to be on this stage with Rasmea.”
- Sarsour has openly associated with America’s most prominent, avowed veteran anti-Semite, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, tweeting in praise of him in 2012 that, “When we write the history of Islam in America, the Nation of #Islam is an integral part of that history.” In 2015, during a speech at the 20th anniversary of Farrakhan’s ‘Million Man March,’ Sarsour stated, “The same people who justify the massacres of Palestinian people and call it collateral damage are the same people who justify the murder of black young men and women.” (Farrakhan said in a 1984 speech that “Hitler was a very great man,” called Judaism the “synagogue of Satan” and a “gutter religion,” warned Jews in 1985, “don’t you forget, when it’s God who puts you in the ovens, it’s forever!,” and recently referred to Jews as “termites”).
- Sarsour openly and ardently supports the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and opposes Israel’ right to exist, expressing her hatred with tweets like the following: “Nothing is creepier than Zionism” and “[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is a waste of a human being.”
- She posted a photo of a young Arab child walking toward Israeli soldiers, holding rocks in both hands, and praised it as “the definition of courage.” In response to the justifiable backlash from New York City Council Member Rory Lancman and others, Sarsour tweeted, “The Zionist trolls are out to play. Bring it.” Sarsour also tweeted her support for the intifada –– the term for the Palestinian Arab terror war against Jews in Israel –– describing it as “invaluable on many fronts.”
- Sarsour, one of the organizers of the January 2017 Women’s March on Washington, has displayed selectivity and bigotry, absurdly claiming that a Zionist cannot be a feminist, while also demeaning and condemning genuine women’s rights activists like Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a survivor of female genital mutilation, and Lebanese-born Brigitte Gabriel, both victims of radical Islamic violence, in a since-deleted January 2017 tweet with the words, “I wish I could take their vaginas away – they don’t deserve to be women.”
- She claims to care about bigotry –– except when it is directed against Jews –– downplaying the importance of anti-Semitism when stating that anti-Semitism “can’t exactly compare to . . . anti-black racism or Islamophobia.” She also displayed extraordinary insensitivity and ignorance about the suffering of black slaves in the U.S. when she tweeted, “The sacrifice [that] the black Muslim slaves went through in this country is nothing compared to Islamaphobia [sic] today.”
- In 2012, Sarsour published a piece on the CNN website regarding the murder of a Muslim woman, Shaima Alawadi, the anti-Muslim hatred in America that allegedly lay behind her murder and the general reluctance to name this motive for the crime. Missing in all this was the fact that Alawadi’s husband actually committed the murder as an honor-killing, forged an anti-Muslim note and left it beside her body to deflect suspicion for the murder from himself, and was subsequently convicted and jailed for first-degree murder.
- She blames Israel for police shootings of unarmed black people, pointing to a program that takes police officials to Israel for a week of seminars, so that they can allegedly, in Sarsour’s words, “be trained by the Israeli police and military, and then they come back here and do what? Stop and frisk, killing unarmed black people across the country.”
- She expressed regret after U.S. forces captured Iraqi dictator and mass-murderer Saddam Hussein in 2004, saying, “my Arab pride was hurt.” (One can imagine what would be made of a German claiming in 1945 at the news of Hitler’s suicide or Goering’s capture that “my German pride was hurt”).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “It is utterly appalling that NYU, despite an earlier outcry on account of her despicable record when she was invited in 2017 by the New School to speak, has invited Linda Sarsour to speak and participate in an NYU event.
“As her record indicates, Ms. Sarsour, put simply, is a bigot, a Jew hater, an Israel hater and a divider. She has neither explained, nor withdrawn, nor modified her past anti-Semitic statements or expressed remorse, or even second thoughts, for having publicly associated on platforms with a prominent anti-Semite like Louis Farrakhan or a convicted, blood-soaked terrorist like Rasmea Odeh.
“As the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has rightly observed, ‘Sarsour has not tried to explain or walk back her anti-Semitic comments. But she still is considered a worthy choice for an academic program at one of the country’s most prestigious institutions.
“Ms. Sarsour’s presence at the APA event could well have an adverse impact on Jewish students, many of whom may not attend because of a well-founded fear that their support for Israel will be held up by Ms. Sarsour as an act of hatred or bigotry.
“The ZOA calls upon NYU to immediately rescind its invitation to Linda Sarsour.”