“I hope that whatever trust was broken, that this conversation is one small step to help build back the trust,” said Ashley Allison, national coalitions director for the Biden campaign.
By Josh Plank, World Israel News
Top aides for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign apologized to dozens of prominent Arab and Muslim activists on Sunday for the campaign’s recent disavowal of anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour, reported Middle East Eye, who obtained a recording of the private call.
“I am sorry that that happened,” said Ashley Allison, national coalitions director for the Biden campaign.
“And I hope that whatever trust was broken, that this conversation is one small step to help build back the trust,” she said.
“My apologies for what we did and what happened,” said Antony Blinken, foreign policy advisor for the Biden campaign.
Blinken pledged that a future Biden administration would be “genuinely inclusive” and ensure Arab and Muslim representation at the decision-making level.
Symone Sanders, senior adviser for the Biden campaign, called the disavowal an “egregious misstep” and stressed that the campaign does not equate criticism of Israel to anti-Semitism and recognizes the “constitutional right to free speech on issues like BDS.”
“And we are just not going to try and do better going forward; we are going to do better going forward. This will not be a situation that will happen again,” she said.
However, after Middle East Eye published the report, Sanders appeared to walk back the apology in a statement to CNN‘s Jake Tapper.
“We met to affirm Vice President Biden’s unshakable commitment to working with Arab, Palestinian, and Muslim Americans and to standing up against anti-Muslim prejudice, and to make clear that we regretted any hurt that was caused to these communities,” Sanders said.
She said, “We continue to reject the views that Linda Sarsour has expressed.”
Andrew Bates, director of rapid response for the Biden campaign, attempted to distance the Democrat candidate from Sarsour after she addressed the Democratic National Convention (DNC) on August 18.
“Joe Biden has been a strong supporter of Israel and a vehement opponent of anti-Semitism his entire life, and he obviously condemns her views and opposes BDS, as does the Democratic platform,” said Bates.
“She has no role in the Biden campaign whatsoever,” he said.
The disavowal outraged numerous Arab and Muslim groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Arab American Institute, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and Emgage, who urged the campaign to retract the statement.
“I am a credentialed DNC delegate. I was formally invited to speak on this Muslim assembly,” Sarsour said in an interview on “Roland Martin Unfiltered” on August 21.
“Here goes the Joe Biden campaign, throwing the most prominent Muslim American organizer under the bus,” she said.
Sarsour said that when the campaign disavows her views, “That means they condemn the views of 99.9 percent of the communities that I come from, who hold the exact views that I have.”