Holocaust Survivors Send Letter to Cuomo to Stop Linda Sarsour From Speaking at Public University

Linda Sarsour / Getty Images
May 17, 2017

Holocaust survivors have asked New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to intervene and stop a publicly funded state school from allowing pro-Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour to be the commencement speaker in June.

The City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health (CUNY) invited Sarsour as the commencement speaker for the 2017 graduates on June 1st, according to Yeshiva World News.

The 100 Holocaust survivors of Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau, the Riga Ghetto and Theresienstadt pled with the Gov. Cuomo in a signed letter about the "frightening reality that we hoped we would never see again."

What Linda Sarsour advocates for—boycotts against Jewish businesses in Israel and random acts of violence against the innocent—are no different than the things that we personally experienced. This is a frightening reality that we hoped we would never see again. But what makes matters worse is to again see good people and respected institutions responding with indifference… Nothing good can come of Ms. Sarsour telling young people, with CUNY’s imprimatur, that violence against the innocent for any reason at all is acceptable or courageous.

CUNY's decision has spurred backlash. Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D., Brooklyn) has been outspoken on the publicly funded university's decision to allow a terror sympathizer to speak at graduation.

"It’s a sad day for New York," Hikind said. "Our most vulnerable citizens—elderly Holocaust survivors who understand the price of ignoring evil—have to cry out to their elected officials regarding something as obvious as not offering an official platform to a hate peddler like Linda Sarsour."

"This wolf in sheep’s clothing has fooled some of the people, but her tweets and the things she’s said on stage betray her fondness for violence against Jews," he continued. "This is something New York State funded schools should distance themselves from, not tacitly approve."

Since 2003, Sarsour has been publicly sympathizing terrorism.

"My Arab pride was hurt… I felt humiliated by the way Hussein was caught and shown, disheveled and pathetic-looking, on international television," Sarsour said after U.S. forces captured Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Sarsour in 2015 tweeted out a photo of a small Palestinian child holding rocks in his hand facing Israeli soldiers calling him courageous.

Most recently, Sarsour a co-organizer of January’s Women’s March on Washington gave an interview with the Nation and said you cannot be a Zionist and feminist.