The Tablet, the respected Jewish magazine, has done an explosive expose about the Women's March that alleges anti-Semitism was present at the very beginning when founders first met together to create what would become an influential institution.
I obviously can't vouch for the accuracy of the Tablet's reporting but, while most journalistic entities are content to laud the March, the Tablet appears to have done valuable digging.
It should also be stressed that even if the article is 100 percent accurate, that doesn't mean that the millions of women who participate in the March are in any way anti-Semitic.
But it is refreshing to see a journalistic organization actually doing some legwork as opposed to opining. This is potentially an important article.
The Tablet article, authored by Leah McSweeney and Jacob Siegel, concentrates on the small group of women who emerged as leaders of the first March: Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory, along with Bob Bland (a fashion designer and entrepreneur previously known as Mari Lynn Foulger), and Carmen Perez.
Sarsour and Tamika Mallory have longstanding ties to Minister Louis Farrakhan, whose anti-Semitism is part of his persona.
The Tablet gives a version of the seminal meeting held by founders that portrays anti-Semitism as central to the top echelon from the outset.
The original meeting took place on the rooftop of a Manhattan hotel (they had originally planned to meet at Chelsea Market, an upscale food court, but that venue proved too noisy).
Here is the key passage:
According to several sources, it was there—in the first hours of the first meeting for what would become the Women’s March—that something happened that was so shameful to many of those who witnessed it, they chose to bury it like a family secret. Almost two years would pass before anyone present would speak about it.
It was there that, as the women were opening up about their backgrounds and personal investments in creating a resistance movement to Trump, [Carmen]Perez and [Tamika] Mallory allegedly first asserted that Jewish people bore a special collective responsibility as exploiters of black and brown people—and even, according to a close secondhand source, claimed that Jews were proven to have been leaders of the American slave trade.
These are canards popularized by The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, a book published by Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam—“the bible of the new anti-Semitism,” according to Henry Louis Gates Jr., who noted in 1992: “Among significant sectors of the black community, this brief has become a credo of a new philosophy of black self-affirmation.”
To this day, Mallory and Bland deny any such statements were ever uttered, either at the first meeting or at Mallory’s apartment.
The Tablet's investigative piece also probes the finances of the Women's March:
At some point during that very first meeting in Chelsea, Perez suggested that the Justice League’s parent entity, The Gathering for Justice—where she, Mallory, and [Michael] Skolnik all had roles—set up a “fiscal sponsorship” over the Women’s March to handle its finances.
A fiscal sponsorship is a common arrangement in the nonprofit sector that allows more established organizations to finance newer ventures as they get off the ground and find their own funding.
In this case, though, the standard logic didn’t apply since the Women’s March would, from its inception, raise vastly more money than its sponsor ever had. Over time, new details of the Women’s March’s organizational structure have been dragged into public view that reveals complicated financial arrangements, confusing even to experts.
I had not heard of The Gathering for Justice before reading this article. Here is its website.
Unlike the Tablet, other media outlets have been more interested in cheerleading than learning about the Women's March. As the Tablet notes . . .
Yet within no time, the March leaders would be named 2017 Women of the Year by Glamour magazine. There was a glossy book published with Condé Nast, a lucrative merchandise business selling branded Women’s March gear, and millions of dollars raised through individual donations and institutional funding from major organizations like Planned Parenthood and the powerful hospital workers union, 1199SEIU.
Fortune magazine named Mallory, Linda Sarsour, Perez, and Bland to its list of the World’s Greatest Leaders, and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand—in explaining why these four were on Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People—wrote: “The Women’s March was the most inspiring and transformational moment I’ve ever witnessed in politics … and it happened because four extraordinary women—Tamika Mallory, Bob Bland, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour—had the courage to take on something big, important and urgent, and never gave up.”
In conclusion, the senator declared, “these women are the suffragists of our time.”