There is a rich irony in Linda Sarsour calling for a boycott of The Forward – a progressive Jewish publication that has provided space to the leaders of The Women’s March Inc., including Linda Sarsour’s co-chair Carmen Perez, so they could reach the Jewish community with their defense against accusations of anti-Semitism. And in dividing the “good” Jews from the “bad” Jews, as she did in her tweet, Sarsour yet again perpetuates explicit anti-Semitism.
Leading a progressive movement means welcoming diverse voices of committed allies––even if your personal views on some subset of issues may differ. Yet Sarsour’s tweets demonstrate clearly that when views are espoused that conflict with her own––especially when those views are from Jews––she is quick to turn and cast the Jewish community aside. This behavior divides our movement and makes it impossible for us to advance our shared goals of a more just and equal America.
This type of language forces American progressives to choose sides and delineate which Jews are acceptable and included and which are not. It makes it impossible for our community to use our voices to participate in the advancement of movements committed to social, racial, economic and gender justice. It disempowers a community of activists who have been on the forefront of these issues for decades, stripping us of our voices and demanding that we submit to a definition of bigotry against ourselves that we are not allowed to define. We reject her language, her bigotry, and her goals, and commit ourselves to overcoming this hatred with love.