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Linda Sarsour flickr photo

Editorial: Sarsour Claims Victory in her Facebook Page: Neglects to Mention She didn't Make anti-Israel Remarks while in Wpg

May 4, 2019

On April 27, 2019 the day after she spoke in Winnipeg, anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour wrote on her facebook page, claiming victory over "right Wing Zionists" who tried to stop her from speaking: Here is her full post:
"Right wing Zionists with another#EpicFail.

Created uproar and controversy in Winnipeg. Attempted to silence and intimidate the organizers and me (including enlisting the mayor to join their calls) - the event still happens, I still speak and it’s SOLD OUT.

Here’s a piece about it being sold out ??:…/controversial-activist-…

I am pretty sure the opposition is not happy. But this is what happens when you try to infringe on free speech, more people will hear me speak. ???

Thank you Winnipeg for a truly warm welcome. You were louder, braver, kinder and more opened minded than the loud few. Thank you for giving me a chance! Thank you to the Social Planning Council and the Canadian Muslim Women’s Institute for standing your ground. You are on the right side of history."

Although Sarsour claimed in her above post that she benefited from the campaign by many in the Jewish community to have her dropped as a speaker, I do not think hers was a real victory. That's because I am of the view that all of the pressure put on the Social Planning Council by the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, and B'nai Brith  as well as the statements by Mayor Bowman and Deputy Premier Heather Stefanson in favour of Sarsour not speaking, resulted in the fact that Sarsour did not make one mention of Israel in her speech.As well there is no doubt that the petition begun by Ron East against Sarsour which garnered 4, 200 signatures also had an impact in putting pressure on the Social Planning Council to ensure that Sarsour stayed on topic and did not venture into making hateful comments about Israel, like she usually does. 

It is true that Sarsour garnered media coverage as a result of the campaign against her, coverage which she may well not otherwise have had. And if the Winnipeg Free Press is correct, she spoke to a crowd of 300 people. But the fact that Sarsour in the end restrained herself from her usual anti-Israel diatribe speaks volumes about who really emerged victorious in this battle.

And although the protest rally against Sarsour drew only about 30 people, I can't remember the last time members of the Jewish community held a rally in the north end of Winnipeg (let alone holding one on the Sabbath and on Passover). 
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.