In today’s Times a letter to the editor appears from Letty Cotton Pogrebin regarding the accusations of anti-Semitism in the Women’s March: “Since the first Women’s March in 2017, a number of feminist intermediaries have tried to help bridge the organizers’ ideological and political gaps, with scant success. Until all of us understand that anti-racism and anti-Semitism are the same toxic madness split at the root, and until we embrace intersectionality, without defining any woman out, our struggle against sexism and racism will be hobbled by our squabbles with one another.” When I googled Letty’s name with different combinations of women’s march/anti-Semitism, only one article surfaced written in March 2017, a few months after the first march. Here’s what Letty said then: “When it comes to Israel and Palestine, I’m with Nancy Kaufman, CEO of the National Council of Jewish women, who says she’ll work with anyone except those who reject Israel’s right to exist. This winter she (Kaufman) met in advance with organizers of the Women’s March on Washington to ensure that message would be ‘pro-something, not anti-Israel.’ She received assurances that the march would focus on the issues NCJJW cares about - women’s health, reproductive justice, immigration, children and families, economic equality, voting rights, misogyny and bigotry. The Washington March did all that and more based on its core commitment to intersectionality, the belief that forms of oppression are linked and must be confronted simultaneously. Given today’s vitriolic political environment, intersectionality is not just a galvanizing theory, it’s an organizing tool. (Moment magazine, 3/6/17
Before the first march took place, co-organizer Linda Sarsour, an American woman who identifies as Palestinian and wears a hijab to proclaim that, made it clear that “no feminist could be a Zionist,” that as a woman of color, she could not invite Zionist women to march with other females because they support a colonial, oppressive regime - Israel. Co-organizer Tamika Mallory joined with Black Lives Matter to also protest the inclusion of any Zionist and both women were ardent supporters of infamous anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan as well as the BDS movement which aims to destroy Israel economically and culturally and ostracize that country from the community of nations. As for intersectionality, it notoriously excludes Jewish groups from participation, considering them among the “privileged white” as opposed to the oppressed people of color. Sarsour’s comments before the first march were made on national t.v. - not hidden in a private e-mail. At the time of the first march, no Jewish leader spoke out to caution Jewish women about supporting a movement organized with anti-Semitic intent. In New York, some religious leaders were proudly marching alongside members of their congregations whom they urged to participate. In New York, feminist Letty remained silent and subsequently endorsed the march despite all contrary evidence that anti-Semitism had been removed from its fundamental charter.
It took a year before actress Alyssa Milano, a founder of the MeToo movement, came forward and announced that she would not join the 2019 march unless the organizers repudiated their adulation of Lewis Farrakhan and their own anti-Semitic comments. That made news and suddenly other voices were heard, though it wasn’t until Dec 28th that Letty’s letter appeared, particularly odd since she had written about anti-Semitism in the women’s movement as early as June, 1982. (Ms Magazine) Letty, along with other religious, community and political leaders, needs to do more soul-searching as to why so many Jews who are outspoken about Islamophobia, racism and misogyny and other headings of the liberal agenda - waited until after the Pittsburgh massacre to focus on the clear and blatant message of Jew hatred behind the Women’s March.
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here