August 25, 2020
News Press Release

ZOA: Biden Must Retract Apology to Jew-Hating, Israel-Hating Sarsour, and Disassociate From Her

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Chair Mark Levenson, Esq. released the following statement:

On Sunday, in yet another effort to cater to Jew-hating Islamic extremists, three top Biden officials (Ashley Allison, Tony Blinken and Symone Sanders) met with and profusely apologized to Muslim groups for another Biden staffer (Andrew Bates)’ criticism and disavowal of notorious Jew-hater and terror-promoter Linda Sarsour. Sarsour and other antisemites spoke at the Democratic National Convention last week. (See ZOA Horrified: Antisemites/Israel-Haters Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, Imam Hussain, AOC, Others Speak at Democratic Nat’l Convention,” Aug. 21, 2020). The three Biden staffers’ apology affirmed the Biden camp’s connection to Linda Sarsour and other antisemitic, Israel-bashing Islamic extremists.

According to Middle East Eye, which obtained a tape of the Biden officials’ meeting this past Sunday (August 23) with Muslim groups: 

  • Biden National Coalitions Director Ashley Allison said she “empathized” with “the pain” that the campaign had caused to Arabs and Muslims by staffer Bates’ criticism and disavowal of Sarsour’s Israel bashing. Allison further apologized for Biden staffer Bates’ criticism of Sarsour saying:  “I am sorry that that happened. And I hope that whatever trust was broken, that this conversation is one small step to help build back the trust.”
  • Top Biden Foreign Policy Adviser Tony Blinkenapologized for the “hurt and disappointment” that Bates’ comment against Sarsour caused, saying “My apologies for what we did and what happened.” Blinken also renewed Biden’s pledge to support Muslims and Palestinian-Arabs, stating: “Historically, Republicans and Democrats have been quick to dismiss Muslim, Arab-American and especially Palestinian-American voices, and I want to reiterate on behalf of all of us our support for your communities.” Blinken further pledged that the Biden campaign and future administration will be “genuinely inclusive” and ensure Arab and Muslim representation at the decision-making level. (Blinken thus reiterated Biden’s own pledge at the Million Muslim Votes Summit to give decision-making roles to possibly the radical Islamic groups that appeared alongside Biden at the Summit.)
  • Biden adviser Symone Sanders stressed that the Biden campaign did not equate criticism of Israel to antisemitism (but Sarsour’s words are beyond criticism of Israel; she opposes Israel’s existence as a Jewish State and supports terrorism), and recognizes a “constitutional right to free speech on issues like BDS.” Ms. Sanders’ statement reiterates Biden’s statements and the Democratic platform. These statements and the Democratic Platform indicate that Biden opposes lawful efforts to curtail discriminatory, antisemitic anti-Israel BDS. “Free speech” is a false excuse that Kamala Harris and others have frequently used to oppose anti-BDS laws. In fact, anti-BDS laws concern economic activity – not speech – that discriminates against Jews and Israel. Anti-BDS laws are similar to other non-discrimination laws, and do not concern “free speech.”

Biden adviser Sanders also called Bates’ criticism and disavowal of Sarsour an “egregious misstep” and profusely apologized, saying: “That’s not how we do business. . . . We are not in the business of condemning people and large swathes of the community, absolutely not. . . . And we are just not going to try and do better going forward, we are going to do better going forward. This will not be a situation that will happen again. . . . I dropped the ball on it, and I take responsibility for that, and I regret that.”

VP Joe Biden should be apologizing to the Jewish community – not to Islamic radicals. VP Biden has still failed to apologize for appearing alongside Jew-haters and virulent Israel-bashers Linda Sarsour, Ilhan Omar, MPAC’s Salam Al-Marayati and CAIR’s Nihad Awad at the “Million Muslim Votes Summit” in July. Biden has also failed to retract his pledges, at this Muslim Summit and in a written statement to the summit organizers, to enact a plethora of radical Islamist policies and to bring these groups into decision-making positions in his administration. (See list at ZOA to Biden: Apologize for Joining Jew-Haters Linda Sarsour, Rep. Omar, Salam Al-Marayati, Nihad Awad at ‘Muslim Summit’,” July 23, 2020.)  

In addition, Biden failed to apologize for reciting a Hadith from the Prophet Muhammed extolling violent jihad, at the Muslim Summit alongside Sarsour, etc. (See ZOA to Biden: Apologize/Retract Your Reciting Hadith Extolling “Sharia Vigilantism” & Violent Jihad at Muslim Votes Summit,” Aug. 17, 2020). Yet, Biden ignored ZOA’s and others’ demands that Biden needs to apologize for at least inadvertently promoting violent jihad. ZOA again urges Biden to apologize for this.

JNS editor-in-chief Jonathan Tobin warned yesterday that Biden’s officials’ “double-talk . . . give[s] the lie to the claims that Biden opposes anti-Semitism. . . . Jews and pro-Israel Democrats can’t claim they weren’t warned.  While they are getting lip service from Biden’s surrogates, they are also getting double-crossed by them. Instead of drawing a bright line between a well-known antisemite and the man currently leading in the polls to become the next president, Democrats . . . are making direct assurances that the White House door will be open to [Jew-haters like Sarsour] next January.” (“Biden Can’t Have it Both Ways on Sarsour and Anti-Semitism,” by Jonathan S. Tobin, JNS, Aug. 24, 2020.)