Almost everyone agrees that the first Women’s March two years ago was impressive. Hundreds of thousands of women and their supporters marched on Washington, D.C., in the name of human rights, gender and racial equality, and freedom of religion. Recognized as the largest single-day protest in U.S. history, the event came one day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, and provided the intended counterpoint to the divisiveness engendered by his campaign.

To some, the success of the Women’s March was viewed as a promise of equality for the future. But two years after that historic day, as we stand on the cusp of the next Women’s March — scheduled for Jan. 19, with smaller marches planned in cities across the United States — we see less unity in the cause of equality. That’s not because the goal has changed or that the objective is any less worthy. Rather, it is because the leaders of the Women’s March movement have betrayed the mission of equality by embracing unapologetic anti-Semites like Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and by betraying a distressing ease in promoting anti-Semitism.

According to Linda Sarsour, one of the march founders and a Palestinian-American pro-BDS activist, one cannot be both a feminist and a Zionist. “You either stand up for the rights of all women, including Palestinians, or none,” she declared. “There’s just no way around it.” But her admonition does not appear to apply when the rights of Jews are involved.

Thus, when Farrakhan referred to Jews as “termites” during a speech in Detroit this past fall, fellow co-founder Tamika Mallory was noticeably silent. Eight months earlier, Mallory attended a Chicago rally at which Farrakhan announced that the “powerful Jews are my enemy,” and that the “Satanic” Jews are “responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men.” 

Mallory, who was given a shout-out in Farrakhan’s speech, did not condemn Farrakhan’s remarks. Instead, she doubled down in support of his hateful Jew-baiting and posted an Instagram photo of the two of them with the caption, “Thank God this man is still alive and doing well. He is definitely the … greatest of all time.”

The world has long recognized that the failure to condemn hate speech is to condone it. And the silence of Women’s March leaders in the face of hate speech about Israel and Jews is profoundly disappointing. 

Fortunately, not everyone has followed the leaders. Women’s March activists in New Orleans, Chicago, Rhode Island and Florida have either severed ties with the national organization or have canceled their marches. Although those brave women did the right thing, it’s a shame, as the cause of equality will suffer.

On this one, we stand firmly with those who have abandoned the charade of Sarsour, Mallory and friends — self-centered, hate-mongering, hypocritical equality advocates, who don’t want to be infested by Jewish “termites.” JN

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