Actress Mayim Bialik refuted claims by Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour that feminism and Zionism are not compatible.
The star of the CBS comedy series “The Big Bang Theory” and an Orthodox Jew, Bialik took on the anti-Israel activist in a post on her website GrokNation.
Palestinian feminist/activist Linda Sarsour says you can’t be a Zionist *and* a feminist. I disagree, here’s why: https://t.co/by5lFooAlB
— Mayim Bialik (@missmayim) March 16, 2017
“Zionism is the belief in the right of the Jewish people to have an autonomous state in Israel,” Bialik, wrote. “I am a Zionist. Feminism is the belief that a woman-driven movement can bring about race, class and gender equality and that women deserve all of the rights and privileges afforded to men. I am a feminist.”
The 41-year-old actress was responding to remarks Sarsour made in an interview with The Nation.
“When you talk about feminism you’re talking about the rights of all women and their families to live in dignity, peace, and security,” Sarsour said. “Israel is a country that continues to occupy territories in Palestine, has people under siege at checkpoints…You either stand up for the rights of all women, including Palestinians, or none. There’s just no way around it.”
Bialik said she was “upset” by the comments from Sarsour, a Muslim Palestinian American from Brooklyn.
In response to Linda Sarsour “I can’t believe I am being asked to choose or even defend my religious…identity”https://t.co/2Yvj1aci5R
— Rorschach (onGab.Ai) (@MeRorschach) March 18, 2017
“The definitions of Zionism and feminism are not in conflict with each other. At all,” she wrote.
“Many countries – many Muslim countries, in fact – perpetrate atrocities against women which include: female genital mutilation, forced marriages, child brides, systematic abuse of women by the justice system, revenge rape and honor killing. Why is Israel held to a standard none of these other countries – whose offenses are, arguably more extreme – are held to?” she questioned.
Sarsour was one of the people behind the January 21 Women’s March and helped organize “A Day without a Woman.”
Bialik slammed Sarsour’s claim that Zionism and feminism conflict as being “short-sighted” and bigoted.
“Bad things happen when we paint with such a broad brush,” she warned. “Ultimately, for a feminist activist – or any activist – to place the blame for policies made by a few people on the entire entity of Zionism and all who are committed to the idea of a Jewish state is irresponsible. It’s disgusting, it’s insulting, and it’s wrong.”
She concluded her piece with some advice to the left.
“As a feminist Zionist, I can’t believe I am being asked to choose or even defend my religious, historical and cultural identity,” she wrote. “The ‘left’ needs to reexamine the microscope they use to look at Israel, and we all need to take a step back and remember we are stronger together: women, men, lovers of peace, and lovers of freedom and justice.”
Bialik sparked emotional reactions on Twitter with many praising the actress for speaking up.
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@FoxNews That’s a reasonable, well thought out sentiment. Something rarely expressed by entertainers. Thank you young lady, well said.
— Mike Wall (@wallwriting) March 17, 2017
@FoxNews Wow!! Powerful and beautiful and smart!!
— PKM (@pmnurse007) March 17, 2017
— Speed (@speed_marisa) March 17, 2017
Mayim Bialik is a Zionist and my type of feminist. “Zionism is the belief in the right of the Jewish people to… https://t.co/mmuBFCIBu1
— Afshine Emrani MD (@afshineemrani) March 17, 2017
— Roark (@Roark86) March 18, 2017
@FoxNews it’s about time someone has the nerve to stand up to this Hating activist!!
— Donna Ingber (@IngberDonna) March 18, 2017
— Bryan Olson (@OlsonServices) March 18, 2017
@missmayim The most reasonable thing I’ve read all day.
— Sandy (@thatryanlady) March 16, 2017
— (((Jax Persists))) (@JackieBlue4u) March 16, 2017
Sarsour’s stance is anti-intersectional and therefore regressive. Bialik makes simple but excellent points. https://t.co/ML6AuToOMQ
— Liana Kerzner (@redlianak) March 16, 2017