IslamismSeptember 26 2022, 12:15 pm

How Russian Trolls Targeted Palestinian American Activist in 2017- NYT Report Omits Key Information

The New York Times has pub­lished a lengthy account of how in 2017, Russ­ian troll fac­to­ries and its mil­i­tary intel­li­gence ser­vice under­took a sig­nif­i­cant effort to dis­cred­it the Women’s March, a mobi­liza­tion against then US Pres­i­dent Don­ald J. Trump. Accord­ing to the NYT report. the Russ­ian effort cen­tered on dis­cred­it­ing March co-chair Lin­da Sar­sour, a well-known Pales­tin­ian Amer­i­can activist:

Over the 18 months that fol­lowed, Russia’s troll fac­to­ries and its mil­i­tary intel­li­gence ser­vice put a sus­tained effort into dis­cred­it­ing the move­ment by cir­cu­lat­ing damn­ing, often fab­ri­cat­ed nar­ra­tives around Ms. Sar­sour, whose activism made her a light­ning rod for Mr. Trump’s base and also for some of his most ardent oppo­si­tion. One hun­dred and fifty-two dif­fer­ent Russ­ian accounts pro­duced mate­r­i­al about her. Pub­lic archives of Twit­ter accounts known to be Russ­ian con­tain 2,642 tweets about Ms. Sar­sour, many of which found large audi­ences, accord­ing to an analy­sis by Advance Democ­ra­cy Inc., a non­prof­it, non­par­ti­san orga­ni­za­tion that con­ducts pub­lic-inter­est research and inves­ti­ga­tions. Many peo­ple know the sto­ry about how the Women’s March move­ment frac­tured, leav­ing last­ing scars on the Amer­i­can left. A frag­ile coali­tion to begin with, it head­ed into cri­sis over its co-chairs’ asso­ci­a­tion with Louis Far­rakhan, the Nation of Islam leader, who is wide­ly con­demned for his anti­se­mit­ic state­ments. When this sur­faced, pro­gres­sive groups dis­tanced them­selves from Ms. Sar­sour and her fel­low march co-chairs, Car­men Perez, Tami­ka Mal­lo­ry and Bob Bland, and some called for them to step down. But there is also a sto­ry that has not been told, one that only emerged years lat­er in aca­d­e­m­ic research, of how Rus­sia insert­ed itself into this moment.

Read the rest here.

In Sep­tem­ber 2019, The Wash­ing­ton Post report­ed that Sar­sour had resigned as co-chair of the Women’s March move­ment fol­low­ing accu­sa­tions of anti-Semi­tism and finan­cial mismanagement.

Despite the involve­ment of a Russ­ian influ­ence oper­a­tion, it should be point­ed out that in 2012, our pre­de­ces­sor pub­li­ca­tion was the first to report Sarsour’s fam­i­ly ties to Hamas, infor­ma­tion not report­ed by the NYT. Sar­sour is known for her harsh crit­i­cism of Israel, includ­ing say­ing that Israel was “built on the idea that Jews are supreme to every­one else. In Feb­ru­ary 2022, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed that Sar­sour par­tic­i­pat­ed in an “Amer­i­can Mus­lim Pub­lic Ser­vant of 2021 Award” event host­ed by the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR), a lead­ing part of the US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. On 8 April 2022, a coali­tion of US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood groups released a joint state­ment con­demn­ing US insur­ance com­pa­ny GEICO for abrupt­ly can­cel­ing an employ­ee diver­si­ty event to have been head­lined by Sar­sour, Lead­ers of Jew­ish advo­ca­cy groups had crit­i­cized the com­pa­ny for host­ing Sar­sour, point­ing to her his­to­ry of mak­ing anti-Semit­ic statements.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.