Daily TIP

The Daily TIP: Women's March Founder Asks Co-Chairs to Resign over Anti-Semitism, Bigotry

Posted by Tip Staff - November 20, 2018

Women's March Founder Asks Co-Chairs to Resign over Anti-Semitism, Bigotry
TIP Policy Analyst: Laws Fighting Boycotts Shows Bipartisan Opposition to Anti-Israel Bias
Iran-Backed Houthis Launch Ballistic Missile at Saudi Forces
Israel Breaks 2017 Record for Most Tourists, Drawing over 3.6 Million in 2018

Women's March Founder Asks Co-Chairs to Resign over Anti-Semitism, Bigotry

The founder of the Women's March has called on the movement's current co-chairs to resign over anti-Semitic rhetoric and bigotry, just days after Linda Sarsour suggested American Jews have dual loyalties, CNN reported Monday.

Teresa Shook, a retired lawyer based in Hawaii, who first called for a women’s march after the election of United States President Donald Trump, said that board members – Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez – “have steered the Movement away from its true course,” as a result of “their refusal to separate themselves” from groups and individuals with “anti-Semitic and homophobic sentiments.”

Shook said in a statement that she had “waited, hoping they would right the ship.” Instead, she noted, “they have allowed anti-Semitism, anti-LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform.”

"I call for the current Co-Chairs to step down and to let others lead who can restore faith in the Movement and its original intent," Shook added. "I stand in Solidarity with all the Sister March Organizations, to bring the Movement back to its authentic purpose."

Shook's critique comes following longstanding criticism of the group's association with anti-Semitic hate preacher Louis Farrakhan and bigoted comments made by the organization’s leadership.

Just last week, Sarsour, a Palestinian-American activist who is one of the march’s current leaders, accused American Jews of a dual loyalty to Israel in a Facebook post calling for support for Congresswoman-elect Ilhan Omar, following a backlash over her announcement that she supports boycotts against Israel. The American Jewish Committee, one of the oldest Jewish advocacy groups in America, described her comments as anti-Semitic.

Hours after Shook asked for the board to resign, the Women’s March leaders responded to her criticism in a statement, saying her attack was done “irresponsibly.”

TIP Policy Analyst: Laws Fighting Boycotts Shows Bipartisan Opposition to Anti-Israel Bias

The widespread adoption of laws by states — most recently Kentucky — prohibiting their governments from doing business with entities that boycott Israel, is a recognition that these boycotts "a form of economic warfare, steeped in hate and discrimination, aimed at the lone Jewish state in the world," a Senior Policy Analyst for The Israel Project wrote Monday in an op-ed for The Algemeiner.

Jacob Millner, who also serves as TIP's Midwest Regional Director, noted that since Illinois became the first state to pass a law opposing discriminatory boycotts of Israel in May 2015, 25 other states have adopted similar legislation, making laws targeting the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, "one of the most successful efforts in recent legislative memory."

"In a nation seemingly divided on everything, legislatures and governors from New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota, all the way to Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Florida, and many others have forcefully identified BDS as a form of hate," Millner wrote. "Kentucky is the latest addition to states who oppose these boycotts. And these states should be applauded. Americans must not condone taxpayer dollars going to subsidize discrimination."

Millner quoted from Gov. Matthew Bevin (R - Kan.), Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D - N.Y.), and Gov. Greg Abbott (R - Texas), that the laws adopted by their states were meant to fight BDS. He observed that the governors, who represent the bipartisan consensus on this issue, "all understand that boycotting Israel for political purposes is unfair and creates a double standard, which the US State Department has deemed antisemitism."

Calling the BDS campaign generally, or boycotts that single out Israel, anti-Semitic is appropriate, Millner explained, because "the singling out of the lone Jewish state for divestment and sanctions under the guise of 'opposing occupation,'" while raising no objections to the "hundreds of other territorial disputes," is a double standard that "should not and cannot be tolerated."

Iran-Backed Houthis Launch Ballistic Missile at Saudi Forces

Iran-backed Houthi rebels launched a short-range ballistic missile against Saudi-led forces backing the internationally-recognized government of Yemen, Seth Frantzman reported Monday in The Jerusalem Post.

Citing reports in the Iranian media, Frantzman wrote that the missile, called the Badr P-1, had been unveiled last month by Houthi forces boasting that it was a "domestically designed and manufactured smart missile intended to precisely hit specific targets.” The missile was said to possess "increased lethality" and was designed to counter the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

"The missile hit the target with high precision and led to the deaths and injuries of a number of military allied forces with the Saudi coalition,” Iran's Fars News reported Monday. The report also claimed that the missile was part of a larger development program that possibly included "other missiles."

Frantzman noted that the Badr P-1 resembles the Iranian Fajr-5 artillery rocket. He observed further that "Iran has an extensive missile program and has been increasing the precision of its ballistic missiles in the past year." Iran had fired ballistic missiles in attacks on ISIS in October, and Kurdistan in September.

A UN report, released early this year, found that Iran had violated UN Security Council Resolution 2216, which implemented an arms embargo of the Houthi rebels. The report found that Iran had allowed the "sale or transfer, of Borkan-2H short-range ballistic missiles, filed storage tanks for liquid bi-propellant oxidizer for missiles and Ababil-T (Qasef-1) unmanned aerial vehicles" to the Houthis, in violation of the embargo.

Though the Houthis highlight the poverty and starvation in Yemen, Frantzman observed that they have nonetheless "developed precision munitions." He concluded that the Houthi missile program "has links to the wider Iranian attempt to support missile programs among Hezbollah and Hamas, either through financial support or direct technology transfers."

Israel Breaks 2017 Record for Most Tourists, Drawing over 3.6 Million in 2018

On Friday, November 16, the all-time 2017 record for incoming tourism to Israel was broken by surpassing 3.6 million tourists. The Ministry of Tourism expects that by the end of 2018, at least 4 million tourists will have visited Israel.

This new milestone follows an October that saw the highest monthly number of incoming tourists ever registered in Israel — nearly half a million.

Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin said an increase of tens of percentage points in incoming tourism over the past two years has placed Israel among the world’s fastest-growing countries in tourism.

The two peak months of 2018 so far were April (408,449) and October (485,500). October’s grand total was 516,500 counting day visitors from cruise ships docking in Haifa.

Europeans accounted for the majority of tourists to Israel this year, with the largest numbers coming from the Russian Federation, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Among Asian countries, the highest number of tourists to Israel in 2018 came from China, with India in second place.

Since January, the tourism industry is estimated to have contributed more than ₪18 billion ($4.8 billion) to the Israeli economy.

(via Israel21c)

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