Tamika Mallory, National Co-Chair, Women's March, addresses the audience during the opening session of the three-day Women's Convention at Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan, US, October 27, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS/REBECCA COOK)
Tamika Mallory, the Women’s March leader who was the subject of criticism for her support of antisemitic preacher Louis Farrakhan, is touring Israel this week.
Mallory has been visiting sites across the region with a delegation from the US-based Center for Constitutional Rights.
“In #Jerusalem for today,” she tweeted Monday. “Already witnessing the similarities with America.”
The CCR says the group “brought together mostly black and brown civil and human rights leaders working on domestic US justice issues who have not had an opportunity to visit Palestine and Israel.”
The trip, the organization said, “was planned to provide an opportunity to better understand the human rights situation in Israel and Palestine, including the history of systematic displacement and institutional racism, as well as the work of human rights defenders there.”
On Tuesday, Mallory shared that the group had heard from the Grassroots Jerusalem NGO “on Israeli land confiscation, settlements and other discriminatory policies toward Palestinian Jerusalemites.”
She also visited Hebron this week, saying afterwards she is “still processing all the emotions around what I saw and what we experienced as a group.
I am deeply troubled!” Mallory rose to fame last year as one of the leaders of the Women’s March, which was held in January 2017 as a protest against US President Donald Trump. But earlier this year, she found herself at the center of controversy when she attended a speech by Farrakhan where he – as is typical for the Nation of Islam leader – railed against the Jews and called them satanic.
Mallory later deleted photos of herself and Farrakhan from social media, and, after a week of criticism, she tweeted that she opposed “anti-black racism, antisemitism, homophobia & transphobia,” but did not specifically condemn the Nation of Islam leader.
And last week, Mallory criticized Starbucks for saying it would include the Anti-Defamation League in its upcoming bias training, saying the group is “constantly attacking black and brown people.” The ADL had criticized Mallory for her ties to Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.
The CCR delegation was supposed to have been led by the group’s executive director and chairwoman of its board.
But both Vincent Warren and Katherine Franke were denied entry into Israel on Sunday and deported, according to the organization.
The pair were detained Sunday, April 29, for 14 hours and interrogated at Ben-Gurion Airport, then denied entry into Israel and deported, arriving back in New York early Monday morning, CCR said. “Warren and Franke were questioned about their political association with human rights groups that have been critical of Israel’s human rights record.”
Franke, the chair of CCR’s board and a professor at Columbia University, said the questioning at the airport “made it clear that I was banned from entering Israel because of my work in the US on behalf of Palestinian rights.”
Over the past year, the Israeli government has worked to prevent the entry of groups and individuals it believes work to harm the Jewish state. In January, it published a list of 20 groups that will be officially banned from entering the country.
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