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Women's March Leader Appeals to Jewish Women Amid anti-Semitism Controversy

Tamika Mallory appealed directly to Jewish women, while Linda Sarsour promoted the BDS movement

Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory, two of the organisers of the Women's March, walk together on Pennsylvania Avenue during the Third Annual Women's March in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2019
REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Leaders of the Women's March national non-profit organization addressed on Saturday an ongoing anti-Semitism controversy that has cast a shadow over this year's national women's march in Washington, D.C..

Women's March co-chair Tamika Mallory has faced blowback for her support of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Read more: 'Many People Are Trying to Divide Us': Thousands Attend Third Annual Women's March

But on Saturday, in a speech before thousands, Mallory addressed Jewish women directly.

Women's march co-chair addresses Jewish women amid anti-Semitism controversy

"And to my Jewish sisters, do not let anyone tell you who I am. I see all of you. I see you and I hear your pain," she said.

Following Mallory's speech, co-chair Linda Sarsour spoke, reminding the crowd " there are no perfect leaders. We are all flawed human beings we should not be throwing stones from glass houses."

Sarsour told CNN on Saturday that the group is committed to putting the controversy behind it - just as former DNC Chairwoman and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz published an op-ed explaining why as Jewish woman she felt compelled to boycott the march this year. 

“We unequivocally have rejected the comments made by [Farrakhan] and on Jewish communities. We have said multiple times on our statements at womensmarch.com, we unequivocally denounce transphobia and ask people to ask us directly and read our statements and understand we have been doing this work before there was a Women’s March,” she said.

Sarsour on CNN

The comments came following a boisterous and defiant protest through the streets of the nation's capital aimed largely at U.S. President Donald Trump.

Sarsour also said that, "We will protect our constitutional right to boycott, divest and sanctions in this country," alluding to debates that erupted in Congress earlier this month centered on two bills against boycotts of Israel and its settlements.

Sarsour supports BDS

Women marched in hundreds of U.S. cities and overseas to mark the second anniversary of demonstrations that drew millions of protesters to the streets the day after Republican President Donald Trump's inauguration in January 2017.