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Letter: Linda Sarsour is a progressive advocate, not an anti-Semite

To the Editor:

As a Jewish resident of Providence and a member of Jewish Voice for Peace, I felt compelled to respond to Min Tunkel’s op-ed, “Before her visit to campus, students should know about Linda Sarsour’s history of anti-Semitism.”

Tunkel writes that, by inviting Sarsour to speak, Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace are “giving a platform to an anti-Semitic individual.” Her accusations against Sarsour depend on a series of tenuous claims of guilt by association.

Linda Sarsour is a courageous progressive leader who stands with our community in the fight against anti-Semitism. As an outspoken woman of color and a Palestinian, she’s become a lightning rod for right-wing smears.

Progressive Jews have stood with her against these attacks. Over 100 Jewish leaders have signed a letter defending her, including Nancy Kaufman of the National Council of Jewish Women, Rabbi Jill Jacobs of T’ruah and Stosh Cotler from Bend the Arc.

Bend the Arc released another statement condemning smears that falsely impugned Sarsour’s support for the Jewish community following the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting: Sarsour “immediately jumped in to support us in our time of mourning, attending vigils, and promoted fundraising efforts for funerals and for the safety and security of Tree of Life and other Jewish institutions in Pittsburgh.”

This is the kind of solidarity that we need to stand against the rise of the far right. To accuse Sarsour of anti-Semitism is deeply misguided and plays into the hands of real anti-Semites.

Joel Reinstein

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