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.
i've joined the campaign as a senior advisor; accepting the challenges & contradictions
to my friends & comrades: thank you for the love & accountability.
this is a people's position on a people's campaign.
— phillip agnew (@iPhilSomething) March 8, 2020
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.
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.”
I get that there is an entire generation of young activists who either weren't born/don't remember 9/11/2001 but you really need to think here, because you won't win elections by telling the loved ones of dead office workers and first responders that we got what we deserved. pic.twitter.com/th1zjc46lu
— Dan SIoan 🇺🇸🇺🏳️🌈 (@dantoujours) March 8, 2020
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.