Zionist Organization of America Calls on Bernie Sanders to Fire ‘Jew-hating’ New Advisor

Phillip Agnew gestures as he speaks as a surrogate for Democratic Presidential Candidate B
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

TEL AVIV – The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has called on Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to fire newly-appointed senior advisor, Phillip Agnew, for what ZOA calls “maniacal, Jew-hating, Israel-bashing” statements.

Agnew has in the past described Zionism as “racist and exploitative.”

“The Zionist Organization of America strongly urges presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders to fire Sanders’ new Jew-hating, Israel-bashing senior advisor, Phillip Agnew,” ZOA’s president, Morton A. Klein, and its chairman, Mark Levenson, said in a joint statement Monday.

The two called on leaders of other Jewish groups — including Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt; American Jewish Congress head David Harris; the Conference of Presidents’ Arthur Stark and William Daroff; and American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) CEO Howard Kohr — to rally together in condemning Agnew, whom ZOA also described as a “dangerous, maniacal Jew-hating bigot and militant extremist.”

“You dare not be silent!” they wrote.

In a 2015 article for Ebony magazine, Agnew called Zionism “a racist, exploitative, and exclusionary ideology.”

He also slammed former President Barack Obama over the latter’s comparison between the Jewish right to self-determination in Israel and the civil rights movement.

Agnew is the co-founder of Dream Defenders, a group created in response to the 2012 killing of African American teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida.

The group backs the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, and has promoted the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.



In 2016, Agnew shared a cartoon on Instagram of the World Trade Center on fire as two boomerang-shaped planes, with “U.S. Interventionist Policy” imprinted them, were embedded in the buildings. His accompanying text read: “#neverforget what goes round comes round.”

The ZOA “strongly” urged Sanders to “immediately fire” Agnew and to condemn his comments.

Sanders has faced criticism for his close association with others with extreme anti-Israel — or even antisemitic — views, including Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour.


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