Zioness Statement on Linda Sarsour's comment to "Dehumanize the Oppressor (Israel)"

September 8, 2018

Today, Zioness issued the following statement:

 

“In Linda Sarsour’s remarks at the recent Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention last weekend, she shamed American Muslims who dare to “humanize the oppressor”—which she defines as Israel. In other words, she advocates for the dehumanization of Jews, Israelis and anyone else who supports Israel’s right to exist.

 

Zioness unequivocally opposes the dehumanization of any person, anywhere, for any reason, even when they hold views that we do not share. There is nothing progressive about dehumanizing an entire community based on their religion or their commitment to their own self-determination.

 

Zioness is appalled that someone who positions herself as a champion of progressive causes continues to use her platform as a public figure to promote hate and normalize the dehumanization of Jews and Israelis. The dehumanizing rhetoric and ideology that she brings to our public discourse is strikingly similar to what we see on the right from the Trump Administration and his supporters.

The path to peace in the Middle East and a stronger social fabric and more thoughtful debate in America must be driven by recognizing the humanity in all of us.

 

President Obama made this truth clear in his remarks this morning at the University of Illinois when he said, “To make democracy work, we have to be able to get inside the reality of people who are different, have different experiences, come from different backgrounds. We have to engage them even when it is frustrating. We have to listen to them even when we don't like what they have to say. We have to hope we can change their minds and we have to remain open to them changing ours.”

 

Bigotry and demonization like we heard from Sarsour last weekend is recipe for violence, not peace; for close-mindedness, not understanding; and for stagnation, not progress.

 

As Zionists, we proudly fight for justice and against discrimination for women, people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, Arabs and Muslims and any other human being whose rights are denied or threatened because of their innate characteristics. Indeed, this is the only way to move towards peace and reconciliation.”

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