NYC mayoral candidate denounces BDS after report exposes campaign manager’s ties to Linda Sarsour

“As I’ve said before, I strongly disagree with Linda Sarsour on many, many issues including BDS and Israel,” said Andrew Yang.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Andrew Yang, a leading Democratic mayoral candidate for New York City, said that he rejects the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, despite having hired Sasha Neha Ahuja, his campaign co-manager who has ties to anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour, The New York Post reported Saturday.

The Post cited a number of social media posts in which Ahuja spoke very positively of Sarsour, calling her a “freedom fighter” and a “shero.”

“What they don’t realize is that @lsarsour has raised a generation of activists. She paved the way for all of us. When they come for her, they come for all of us. Not on our watch. NOPE,” Ahuja tweeted in August 2020.

“We love you and stand with you always, Linda!” she said.

The tweet was accompanied by a photograph of Ahuja, Sarsour, and Faiza N. Ali being arrested together at a March 2017 protest outside Trump Tower in Manhattan.

Sarsour, a well-known advocate for the BDS campaign, has said that support for Israel as a state is unacceptable in the progressive movement.

Yang sent a statement to New York’s Yeshiva World News on Saturday night saying that he disagrees with Sarsour’s views on Israel.

“As I’ve said before, I strongly disagree with Linda Sarsour on many, many issues including BDS and Israel,” Yang said.

“I’m proud to have pro-Israel Congressman Ritchie Torres as my campaign co-chair and advising me on issues important to the Jewish community including Israel. I’m a proud supporter of this community. Always will be,” he said.

Torres told The Post, “The private relationships of campaign staffers have no bearing on the clearly stated policy positions of Yang for New York. We unequivocally reject BDS — always have and always will.”

In an op-ed in the Forward last month, Yang said, “A Yang administration will push back against the BDS movement, which singles out Israel for unfair economic punishment. Not only is BDS rooted in anti-Semitic thought and history, hearkening back to fascist boycotts of Jewish businesses, it’s also a direct shot at New York City’s economy.”

As a candidate in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries, Yang told the New York Times, “The only acceptable end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict involves a two-state solution that allows both the Israeli and Palestinian people to have sovereign land and self-determination.”

In an August 2019 tweet, Yang criticized Israel’s decision to bar entry to anti-Israel congresswomen Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).

“@realDonaldTrump cares more about riling his base against Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib than he cares about the U.S. – Israel Relationship. I hope Israel pushes back and reverses this decision,” Yang said.

Israeli officials said at the time, “It is inconceivable that anyone who wishes to harm the State of Israel will be allowed” to visit.