update deskAntisemitism

Foreign-policy adviser for Bernie Sanders meets with PLO official Hanan Ashwari

“The two parties discussed the Trump administration’s ... destructive policies that undermine the prospects of peace and the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights to freedom,” in addition to the rejection of a U.S. visa for Ashrawi, according to a statement by the PLO.

Matthew Duss. Credit: Center for American Progress/Flickr.
Matthew Duss. Credit: Center for American Progress/Flickr.

Hanan Ashrawi, a longtime aide to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, met on Monday with Matthew Duss, the foreign-policy adviser for the presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), according to a statement released by the Department of Public Diplomacy and Policy of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

“The two parties discussed the Trump administration’s hostile approach in the region and its destructive policies that undermine the prospects of peace and the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights to freedom,” in addition to the “Trump administration’s vindictive actions against the Palestinian people and leadership, including as reflected recently in the rejection of Dr. Ashrawi’s visa application,” according to the statement.

Ashrawi was denied a travel visa to the United States earlier this month.

“It is official! My US visa application has been rejected. No reason given,” she wrote on Twitter. “Choose any of the following: I’m over 70 & a grandmother; I’ve been an activist for Palestine since the late 1960’s; I’ve always been an ardent supporter of nonviolent resistance.”

Ashrawi told the AFP that her daughter and grandchildren live in the United States, and that she travels to America three or four times a year. She said she has never before been denied a visa.

Ashrawi, a member of the PLO executive committee and former P.A. Minister of Higher Education and Research, has been a Palestinian spokesperson for the last 30 years.

Duss has an anti-Israel background as he, along with Sanders’s campaign manager Faiz Shakir, has been accused of furthering anti-Semitic conspiracy theories during his tenure at the left-wing think-tank Center for American Progress.

He allegedly was part of CAP’s 2012 anti-Semitic incident where several staffers at the center’s ThinkProgress website, which Shakir served as editor-in-chief, were condemned for using anti-Semitic tropes of Jews dominating politics and money.

The staffers alleged “pro-Israel Jews and members of Congress of being ‘Israel firsters,’ a term implying that those who support the Jewish state have dual loyalties,” according to The Washington Free Beacon.

The row caused the firing and departure of several ThinkProgress writers.

At the time, Duss was CAP’s Middle East director, which has been known to be a stronghold for anti-Israel propaganda.

He also faced a backlash for publicizing Nazi-era propaganda posters in 2013.

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