update deskU.S. News

Cornel West announces anti-Israel running mate, Melina Abdullah

She has written that “criticism of Israel for their murderous policies and challenging U.S. electeds to consider their allegiances is not antisemitism.”

Cornell West in New York City in 2015. Credit: A katz/Shutterstock.
Cornell West in New York City in 2015. Credit: A katz/Shutterstock.

Cornel West, an independent running a longshot campaign in this year’s presidential race, has named his running mate: Melina Abdullah, a professor and founder of Black Lives Matter.

In a radio appearance on the Tavis Smiley Show, West—a far-left professor and theologian who said in December that there is “evidence” that Israel committed genocide—selected a running mate who also has an anti-Israel track record.

“Biden disgusts me … on Palestine especially. What about Cornel West?” Abdullah wrote on Nov. 10.

“Criticism of the State of Israel for their murderous policies and challenging U.S. electeds to consider their allegiances is not antisemitism,” she wrote in March 2019. “With you Ilhan Omar,” she added, referring to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), one of Israel’s harshest critics in Congress.

Abdullah wrote on Oct. 7 that Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) had articulated a “courageous, visionary statement and position” after she posted about the “ongoing violence in Palestine and Israel,” calling for an “immediate ceasefire.” In that same post, Bush wrote that the U.S. government must end “support for military occupation and apartheid,” referring to U.S. aid to Israel.

Abdullah is a professor and former chair of pan-African studies at California State University, Los Angeles, and is, according to her official bio, “a recognized expert on race, gender, class and social movements.”

“Sister Melina’s incredible courage, keen intellect and deep vision have greatly served the cause of liberation in education, worker rights, and both racial and gender justice,” West said in a release. “Her unique black analysis and witness helps us confront our crumbling era of empire, white supremacy and patriarchy.”

On his campaign website platform, West—the Dietrich Bonhoeffer professor of philosophy and Christian practice at Union Theological Seminary—lists “end and prohibit all police training programs by military forces including, but not limited to the Israel Defense Forces,” “cease military funding to the State of Israel” and “end Israeli apartheid of Palestinian people and press the U.N. to establish a program for Palestinian dignity and liberation.”

JNS sought comment from the West campaign.

“I’m running for Jesus. She’s running for Allah. That’s a beautiful thing,” West has said.

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