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Biden Campaign Secretly Apologizes for Disavowing Linda Sarsour Appearance on Democrat Convention Panel, Then Publicly Disavows Her Again After New Backlash

Posted on 24 August 2020

The Biden campaign secretly apologized for disavowing noted anti-Semite Linda Sarsour, a U.S. born Muslim Palestinian-American activist, after she appeared on a virtual panel at the Democrat National Convention last week, according to a report by the Middle East Eye. In a sign of disarray, a senior Biden advisor repeated the campaign’s disavowal of Sarsour after the secret phone-meeting between several campaign officials and Muslim and Arab activists was reported.

A video clip posted by the RNC shows Sarsour claiming the Democrat Party is “absolutely our party”.

Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates provided a statement to CNN’s Jake Tapper last Tuesday about Sarsour’s appearance on a DNC panel that day. Tapper posted the statement to Twitter:

“Joe Biden has been a strong supporter of Israel and a vehement opponent of anti-Semitism 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.” A Dem official says this was a meeting of Muslim delegates to the convention room and not run by the DNC or the Biden campaign…3/ Bates points to this in DNC platform: “We oppose any effort to unfairly single out and delegitimize Israel, including at the United Nations or through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement, while protecting the Constitutional right of our citizens to free speech.”

Sarsour criticized Tapper, who is Jewish, saying, “Jake Tapper lives for these moments”

Sarsour also criticized Bates, “[email protected], just came here to remind you that you need a coalition to defeat Donald Trump and that Muslim Americans are an important voter bloc in key states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia, Texas, Pennsylvania & I know a little something about how to organize them.”

Excerpt from the Middle East Eye exclusive report:

Top aides to presidential candidate Joe Biden have apologised to Arab and Muslim Democrats over an attack on Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour by the campaign, in an effort to quell anger over the controversy.

In a private call with dozens of prominent activists on Sunday, Ashley Allison, national coalitions director for the Biden campaign, said she was “sorry” for the comments that a campaign spokesman made against Sarsour.

Top foreign policy adviser Tony Blinken also expressed “regret” over the incident during the virtual meeting.

Anger erupted after a Biden campaign spokesman had condemned Sarsour and suggested that she was antisemitic over her criticism of Israel.

Allison said she empathised with “the pain” that the campaign had caused to Arabs and Muslims by disavowing Sarsour.

“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 told the activists.

Sunday’s call was off-the-record, but Middle East Eye obtained a recording of it.

…Symone Sanders, a Biden adviser, stressed on Sunday’s call that the campaign did not equate criticism of Israel to antisemitism and recognises “constitutional right to free speech on issues like BDS”.

Sanders added that Bates’ remarks were a collective mistake by the campaign, not solely the spokesman’s fault.

She called the statement an “egregious misstep” that damaged the work that Democratic Muslim advocates have been doing to mobilise the community to vote in November.

“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.

“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.”…

End excerpt. Please read the complete article by Middle East Eye at this link.

After blowback from the Middle East Eye report, Tapper posted a new statement by the Biden campaign, this time from Symone Sanders that repeated the campaign’s disavowal of Sarsour, “[email protected] of Biden campaign: “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. We continue to reject the views that Linda Sarsour has expressed.”

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