Zahra Billoo kicked off Women's March board

After a series of allegedly antisemitic tweets arose, including one in which Billoo says "Israel commits war crimes and terrorism as a hobby," the Women's March voted her off its board.

September 19, 2019 20:15
2 minute read.
Zahra Billoo kicked off Women's March board

Zahra Billoo, Executive Director, Council on American Islamic Relations (San Francisco) addresses the audience during a panel discussion titled 'Dismantling All Forms Of Oppression' during the three-day Women's Convention at Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., October 28, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS/REBECCA COOK)

Zahra Billoo, who was appointed to the Women's March board on Monday, was voted off the board on September 19 following concerns over antisemitic tweets.

Billoo announced that she was voted off the board in a 25-tweet-long thread. "Since this is going to be in your newsfeeds in the morning - here’s a thread about me being voted off the board of @WomensMarch
tonight," she started the series of tweets.

She described the reports about her as "an Islamophobic smear campaign led by the usual antagonists, who have long targeted me, my colleagues, and anyone else who dares speak out in support of Palestinian human rights and the right to self-determination."

In one of the tweets brought to light after Billoo's appointment, she tweeted that "Israel commits war crimes and terrorism as a hobby." She also called Israel a "racist state" and compared American lone soldiers in the IDF to ISIS recruits.

In the tweets that followed her being ousted, Billoo heavily criticized the Women's March. "The Women's March, Inc. has drawn a line in the sand, one that will exclude many with my lived experiences and critiques. It has effectively said, we will work on some women’s rights at the expense of others," Billoo tweeted.

She claimed to have offered to meet with those who were concerned, but that the Women's March "rejected" her efforts. "And in rejecting these efforts, the new Women’s March, Inc. board demonstrated that it lacks the courage to demonstrate allyship in the face of fire."

She also stated that "antisemitism is indeed a growing and dangerous problem in our country, as is anti-Blackness, anti-immigrant sentiment, Islamophobia, ableism, sexism, and so much more." Billoo said she condemned "any form of bigotry unequivocally," but would not stand by as "allegations of bigotry are weaponized against the most marginalized people..."

Prior to Billoo's appointment, Linda Sarsour, Tamika Morwy and Bob Bland, all founding members of the Women's March, left the board, allegedly due to antisemitic concerns. Sarsour in particular was frequently accused of antisemitism following several tweets. Infamously, in 2015, Sarsour stated that "nothing in creepier than Zionism."

Billoo is an attorney who works at the San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and said on Twitter that that she will remain there.

Read Billoo's full statement below:

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