Linda Sarsour, the prominent American-Palestinian activist who rose to prominence following her role in organising the Women’s March against Donald Trump, has suggested that the “Jewish media” is to blame for her unpopularity.
Sarsour, who supports BDS and has claimed that Zionists cannot be feminists, has attempted to position herself as an ally to Jews, raising large amounts of money to repair a Jewish cemetery, money which reportedly mysteriously failed to materialise.
Speaking at an event on Antisemitism at the New School, Sarsour said “If what you’re reading all day long, morning and night, in the Jewish media is that Linda Sarsour and Minister Farrakhan are the existential threats to the Jewish community, something really bad is gonna happen and we gonna miss the mark on it”.
Yet Farrakhan, alongside whom she mentions herself, once described Hitler as a “very good man”. Whilst Sarsour has managed to avoid praising Nazism, she has accused “right wing Zionists” of undermining her alongside the alt right. In 2012 she said “nothing is creepier than Zionism”. In April, she shared a platform with Rasmea Odeh, a convicted terrorist who participated in two terrorist attacks against Israelis; Sarsour described appearing alongside Odeh as an honour.
Whilst many Jews on the left have voiced support for Sarsour, her words and actions in the past offer a far more plausible explanation for why she may struggle for popularity, particularly among Jews, than the lazy repetition of long-standing Antisemitic canards about the “Jewish media” manipulating the perceptions of the public. Perhaps Sarsour should familiarise herself with the intersection between contemporary antisemitism and anti-Israel discourse before she again presumes herself to be competent to speak on behalf of Jews at an event devoted to antisemitism.