Torossian: New York State Non-Profit Hosting Anti-Israel Sarsour

Henry Street Settlement must rescind the invitation to Sarsour, or their non-profit status must be examined.

In New York State, state agencies cannot do business with any institution or company that supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (B.D.S.) movement. As New York State has said, “If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you.”

Yet, a New York state non-profit, Henry Street Settlement has announced Linda Sarsour, an anti-Israel, pro-BDS activist will speak at its annual Lillian Wald Symposium, "Immigrant New York: The New Majority,” on Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

Founded in 1893 by social work and public health pioneer Lillian Wald and based on Manhattan's Lower East Side, Henry Street Settlement delivers a wide range of social service, arts and health care programs to more than 60,000 New Yorkers each year. Major donors to Henry Street Settlements include the New York City Council, New York State Assembly, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, American Express and Citibank.

Sarsour has said that Muslim women who have criticized parts of Islam must have their vaginas taken away. She has said Zionists cannot be feminists. She is a proud advocate of BDS and an open opponent of the State of Israel.

As Ha’aretz reported,

Sarsour’s history of criticizing Israel and Muslims who cooperate with Israel-related organizations dates back years. In 2015, shortly after the Shalom Hartman Institute created the Muslim Leadership Initiative, in which it takes emerging leaders of that community to Israel, Sarsour tweeted her opposition. Using hashtags #BDS and #FreePalestine she tweeted a statement by the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative opposing the program because of Palestinian leaders’ call to BDS.

Sarsour has declared that she “believes in a one-state solution” (which ultimately means the end of Israel), and said "nothing is creepier than Zionism.” Sarsour has advocated violence against Israeli soldiers, having posting a photo of a Palestinian throwing a rock at Israeli soldiers, labeling it “the definition of courage.”

Henry Street settlement must rescind the invitation to Sarsour, or their non-profit status must be examined.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, one of America’s largest independently owned PR firms.