Politics

Biden Campaign Regrets ‘Any Hurt’ To Muslim Community Caused By Sarsour, BDS Condemnation

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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  • Joe Biden’s presidential campaign regrets “any hurt” that it may have caused to the Muslim community through its condemnation of activist Linda Sarsour and the BDS movement, a senior advisor said Monday.
  • Senior advisor Simone Sanders said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation Monday that the Biden campaign continues to “reject the views that Linda Sarsour has expressed.”
  • Sanders’ comment comes after news outlet the Middle East Eye reported leaked audio of a Biden campaign staff member apologizing to Muslim activists in a conference call. 

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign regrets “any hurt” that it may have caused to the Muslim community through its condemnation of activist Linda Sarsour, the campaign said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation Monday.

Senior advisor Simone Sanders said that the Biden campaign continues to “reject the views that Linda Sarsour has expressed” following a report from Middle East Eye that top Biden aides had privately apologized over a Biden campaign statement condemning Sarsour, a Muslim activist who has been critical of Israel and accused of anti-semitism.

“We met to affirm Vice President Biden’s unshakeable commitment to working with Arab, Palestinian, and Muslim Americans and to standing up against anti-Muslim prejudice, and to make clear that we regretted any hurt that was caused to these communities,” Simone said in the statement to the DCNF.

The Biden campaign denounced Sarsour and the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement after President Donald Trump’s campaign accused Biden of endorsing Sarsour’s “bigotry” against Jewish people following her appearance on a Democratic National Convention panel Tuesday.

Campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said Tuesday that Biden “has been a strong supporter of Israel and a vehement opponent of antisemitism his entire life, and he obviously condemns her views and opposes BDS, as does the Democratic platform.”

“She has no role in the Biden campaign whatsoever,” Bates added. (RELATED: Biden Condemns Former Women’s March Co-Chair Linda Sarsour After She Appears At DNC)


In an off-the-record Sunday call to activists, Biden’s national coalitions director Ashley Allison reportedly said she empathized with “the pain” caused to Arabs and Muslims through the campaign’s condemnation, the Middle East Eye reported.

“I am sorry that that happened. And I hope that whatever trust was broken, that this conversation is one small step to help build back the trust, but that is not the last time we have this conversation,” Allison said on the call, according to Middle East Eye.

Top foreign policy adviser Tony Blinken also told activists on the call: “Historically, Republicans and Democrats have been quick to dismiss Muslim, Arab-American and especially Palestinian-American voices, and I want to reiterate on behalf of all of us our support for your communities.”

“My apologies for what we did and what happened,” he added, according to the publication, pledging that the campaign would be “genuinely inclusive” in the future.

Sanders, who was also present on the call according to Middle East Eye, reportedly said that the Biden campaign does not view criticism of Israel as anti-semitism and that the campaign recognizes a “constitutional right to free speech on issues like BDS,” the publication reported.

She also called Bates’ statement on the matter “an egregious misstep” though she said that his comments were a mistake made collectively by the campaign, rather than merely by Bates.

“That’s not how we do business… We are not in the business of condemning people and large swathes of the community, absolutely not,” she said, according to Middle East Eye.

“And we are just not going to try and do better going forward, we are going to do better going forward. This will not be a situation that will happen again.”

Sarsour was a founding co-chair of the Women’s March, but stepped down from the position in September 2019 due to anti-semitic comments, according to the Washington Post.

The Zionist Organization of America accused the activist of standing with “terrorists and bigots, including Louis Farrakhan,” in an August 2019 statement.

“Sarsour shared a platform with and praised Rasmea Odeh – a Palestinian-Arab terrorist responsible for murdering Jewish students; praised an Arab kid holding rocks to throw at Israelis as ‘the definition of courage,’ and tweeted her support for the intifada – the knifing, bombing and shooting campaigns in which Palestinian-Arab terrorists murdered and maimed 12,000 Jews,” the organization said.

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