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Women's March Leader Wouldn't Say in Interview Whether Israel Has Right to Exist

'I feel everyone has a right to exist,' Tamika Mallory tells PBS' Margaret Hoover, who says answer should have been 'a no-brainer'

File photo: Tamika Mallory, co-chair for the Women's March, right, speaks during the Women's March One-Year Anniversary: Power To The Polls event in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., January 21, 2018.
Michelle Gustafson/Bloomberg

The Women’s March takes place this weekend, and the mainstream media has noticed the anti-Semitism problem afflicting the national group’s leadership.

The latest high-profile journalist to have at Women’s March leaders is Margaret Hoover, who hosts the venerable PBS Sunday morning interview show “Firing Line.”

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On Friday, Hoover teased two minutes of her sit-down with Tamika Mallory, who has said she disagrees with some of the statements by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, whom she has lionized, but will not disavow him or specifically his anti-Semitism.

Hoover took it in another direction, asking Mallory if she thought Israel should exist. Mallory would not be pinned down.

“I have said many times that I feel everyone has a right to exist, I just don’t feel anyone has a right to exist at the disposal of another group,” she said, adding that “Jewish scholars” shared this view.

Hoover stayed on the theme, however, and things became tense.

“Does that include Israel and Israelis?” she asked.

“I’m done talking about this,” Mallory responded.

“I just don’t think it requires scholarly knowledge to say that Israel has the right to exist,” Hoover said.

Hoover was unsettled by the encounter. After CNN’s Jake Tapper posted the clip on Twitter, she replied to her colleague, “If you are vigorously defending allegations of anti-Semitism, seems like affirming Israel’s right to exist would be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.”