A spokesperson from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s office said that the Senator condemns anti-Semitism on Thursday, despite being the keynote speaker at the Women’s March.
“Sen. Gillibrand strongly condemns anti-Semitism from anyone, in all forms, and believes it has no place in a movement for women’s empowerment or anywhere else,” the statement from Meredith Kelly reads, according to Buzzfeed reporter Ruby Cramer. “She is looking forward to being in Iowa and will not turn her back on the thousands of Iowa women who are joining this locally organized march to advocate for the issues that deeply impact them and their families.”
UPDATE from spox @meredithk27: Kirsten Gillibrand believes anti-Semitism “has no place in a movement for women’s empowerment or anywhere else,” but she will “not turn her back on the thousands of Iowa women who are joining this locally organized march.” Full statement: pic.twitter.com/zK5O1Ahd2u
— Ruby Cramer (@rubycramer) January 17, 2019
It continued, “This powerful and meaningful march is about the hardworking women in Des Moines and across the country, and she can’t wait to join them.”
The statement does not mention the Women’s March by name, nor does it reference the organization’s reported connections to known anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.
Here’s our speaker list for January 19th!! pic.twitter.com/LYiUnLMSpx
— Women’s March Iowa (@womensmarchia) January 16, 2019
Gillibrand will be the keynote speaker at the Women’s March in Iowa on Saturday.
The march in Iowa is an offshoot of the national organization which has been bogged down by accusations of anti-Semitism in recent months.
At first, two of the march’s leaders Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour were criticized for their ties to the Nation of Islam and their leader Louis Farrakhan, who is a known anti-Semite. Back in October, Farrakhan compared Jewish people to termites.
Then Carmen Perez and fellow founder Tamika Mallory were accused of accosting a Jewish woman at the march’s inaugural meeting about a debunked anti-Semitic myth in a report by Tablet Magazine, last month.
Mallory was asked about her own ties to Farrakhan during an appearance on ABC’s “The View” earlier this week and she refused to condemn his remarks. When specifically asked to do so, she responded only by saying, “I don’t agree with these at the end of the day …”
In a different interview earlier this week, Mallory refused to affirm Israel’s right to exist.
On Tuesday, Gillibrand announced the formation of an exploratory committee for her to run to be the next President of the United States.