(Washington, D.C., March 10, 2020)—B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
We call on presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to terminate his campaign’s relationship with Phillip Agnew, who was named this week as a senior adviser to the Sanders camp.
Agnew’s activist organization, Dream Defenders, has promoted to children the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which has been a U.S.-designated terrorist organization since 1997. He called Zionism “racist, exploitative and exclusionary” in a 2015 interview with Ebony Magazine and is a proponent of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Agnew’s so-called “rebellion curriculum,” which is aimed at children in 6th to 11th grade, refers to Israel as “occupied Palestine” and speaks approvingly of the goals of creating a communist party and liberating “Palestine.” He participated in a trip to Israel that included meetings with Omar Barghouti, the founder of BDS, and a former spokesperson for the Palestine Liberation Organization.
It is unacceptable that someone with this history of anti-Semitic and pro-terrorism statements was given a role on any presidential campaign. In his statement naming Agnew as an adviser, Sanders noted Agnew’s expertise on race and inequity. It is possible to address social inequity in this country without espousing anti-Israel vitriol.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org