Women’s March co-leader Linda Sarsour on Wednesday refused to respond when asked if Israel has the right to exist after promising to answer the question following a Washington, DC, rally in support of Rep. Ilhal Omar (D-MN), who is under fire for repeated antisemitic remarks.
In exclusive footage captured by Breitbart News, videographer Matthew Perdie confronts Sarsour on whether she believes the Jewish state and the Middle East’s sole democracy has the right to exist. “We’ll answer questions later, after the press conference,” Sarsour responds, adding, “I’ll be happy to answer that.”
In a subsequent clip, Sarsour and her entourage begin walking away from the pro-Omar event, held near the U.S. Supreme Court, almost immediately after her remarks, refusing to acknowledge Perdie as he repeats his question about Israel.
An associate then physically blocks Perdie from approaching the activist.
Several men begin pushing the videographer and peppering him with questions on why he attended the pro-Omar event — and if he receives compensation from Israel. “Why are you here?” one asks him repeatedly.
“Do you work for Israel?” the man then asks, before inquiring how much the videographer is paid.
Footage of the testy encounter ends with Perdie noting that Sarsour declined to answer the question despite saying she would oblige.
Early Wednesday, the Middle Eastern Women’s Coalition held a separate event on Capitol Hill demanding for Omar’s resignation.
The Minnesota Democrat again became the center of controversy after suggesting last week that members of Congress are pressured by pro-Israel organizations who pledge their “allegiance to a foreign country” — in this case, Israel. She made the controversial remarks while appearing alongside Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), another freshman congresswoman accused of making antisemitic remarks in recent weeks. Last month, the Minnesota Democrat suggested American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) bribed Republican lawmakers into supporting Israel in exchange for bribes. It is widely known that AIPAC does not make financial contributions to political candidates or sitting lawmakers. In 2012, Omar tweeted that Israel had “hypnotized the world” and committed “evil doings.”
Sarsour made headlines this week after attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for participating in drafting a resolution condemning antisemitism in response to Omar’s latest remarks, referring to her as a “typical white feminist” who does the “dirty work of powerful white men.”
Sarsour, who is no stranger to controversy, has attacked Israel and President Donald Trump on various occasions in recent years. In a November Facebook post, Sarsour seemingly accused American Jews of “masquerading as progressives” while choosing “their allegiance to Israel” instead of supporting then-Rep.-Elect Omar’s call to boycott Israel.
Sarsour claimed Omar was “being attacked for saying that she supports BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) and the right for people to engage in constitutionally protected freedoms. This is not only coming from the right wing, but some folks who masquerade as progressives but always choose their allegiance to Israel over their commitment to democracy and free speech.”
Sarsour’s anti-semitic troupe was met with criticism from the American Jewish Committee to criticize.
“Accusing Jews of dual loyalty is one of the oldest and most pernicious antisemitic tropes. No surprise to see it coming from @LSarsour. How long will progressive leaders continue to look the other way in the face of this hate?” the group said in a statement shared to Twitter.
During a speech at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention in Chicago in 2017, Sarsour infamously called for a “jihad” against President Trump and called on Muslims not to assimilate in America.
I hope that we when we stand up to those who oppress our communities that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad. That we are struggling against tyrants and rulers not only abroad in the Middle East or in the other side of the world, but here in these United States of America where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House.
“Our number one and top priority is to protect and defend our community, it is not to assimilate and please any other people and authority,” the Muslim American activist continued. “Our obligation is to our young people, is to our women, to make sure our women are protected in our community.”
“Our top priority and even higher than all those other priorities is to please Allah and only Allah,” she concluded.
Sarsour was an active surrogate for 2020 Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the 2016 presidential primary and a Democratic National Convention delegate.