JTA — Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she “must walk away” from the national Women’s March organization over the alleged failure of its leaders to condemn anti-Semitism.
Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who participated in the first Women’s March in 2017 in protest against US President Donald Trump, made her remarks in an op-ed published Friday in USA Today.
At “almost every turn,” she wrote, Women’s March co-leader Tamika Mallory “has failed to clearly denounce” Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam group, who has a “long history of anti-Semitism.”
“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,” the congresswoman wrote.
“While I still firmly believe in its values and mission, I cannot associate with the national march’s leaders and principles, which refuse to completely repudiate anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry.”
Linda Sarsour, another Women’s March leader, wrote last year about “folks who masquerade as progressives but always choose their allegiance to Israel over their commitment to democracy and free speech,” Wasserman Schulz said in the op-ed.
“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,” she wrote.
Sarsour and other Women’s March leaders have apologized to what they acknowledged were missteps in tackling anti-Semitism, but some Jewish groups nonetheless have distanced themselves from the movement ahead of its third annual march planned for Saturday in Washington, DC, and simultaneously in other cities across the country.