A prominent Palestinian-American activist campaigning on behalf of Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders has been linked to a terrorism investigation and has in the past insinuated that violence is a legitimate form of resistance against Israel, according to information compiled by the Washington Free Beacon.
Recent Stories in Politics
Sarsour’s past, which includes fierce criticism of Israel and "Zionism," puts her in company with a handful of other Sanders supporters who have expressed similar anti-Israel views. These surrogates have raised questions about Sanders’ position on the Jewish state and his vision for the region.
Sanders was recently forced to suspend his Jewish outreach coordinator after the Free Beacon disclosed comments maligning Israel and its government.
Sarsour is one of many voices in the Sanders camp who have expressed disdain for Israel and expressed views that some have criticized as soft on terrorism.
It was disclosed in 2004 that the NYPD sought to install informants on the Arab American Association of New York in Brooklyn, of which Sarsour served as executive director. The effort was part of a large-scale terrorism investigation conducted by the police.
Soursour’s organization works to empower immigrant communities and fight against surveillance of the Muslim community conducted by police and other authorities.
Sarsour has been designated by the Obama administration as a "champion of change." She used this position to attack pro-Israel activists, including one African-American pro-Israel voice who Sarsour accused of forgetting "where she came from."
The activist also has lashed out against Zionism, tweeting in 2012, "Nothing is creepier than Zionism. Challenge racism."
Sarsour also has weighed in on the presidential elections, specifically by attacking Republicans.
In response to a 2015 tweet by Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz, who wrote that America "remains a nation built on Judeo-Christian values," Sarsour responded, "Genocide and slavery?"
Sarsour also has come under fire for appearing to endorse Palestinian rock throwing.
In one October 2015 tweet, Sarsour attached a picture of a young boy holding rocks and included the message, "The definition of courage #Palestine."
She has appeared to welcome protest from the pro-Israel community, stating after the above tweet, "The Zionist trolls are out to play. Bring it. You will never silence me."
Sarsour also has rejected calls by President Barack Obama for the Muslim community to help combat terrorism.
"We would never ask any other faith community to stand up and condemn acts of violence committed by people within their groups," she said in December 2015. "The fact that this is only directed at the Muslim community is something that I personally can't accept."
Sarsour also expressed sadness that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was deposed in 2003.
"I think he’s done a lot of things he shouldn’t have done, but I was hurt. My Arab pride was hurt. Palestinians are under so much oppression and no other Arab country ever helped them," she said after Hussein's execution.
Other advisers to Sanders have compared Israelis to "Nazis" and accused them of waging "a Holocaust" against Palestinians.
Both the Sanders campaign and Sarsour did not respond to requests for comment.